Switzerland's Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) received permission to begin tapping phones and monitoring emails following a vote in parliament and approval by a public referendum, according to Express.
The enhanced surveillance power enables government authorities to not only monitor communications – via the use of hidden cameras and microphones – but to tap into computers in other countries in pursuit of suspected spies and hackers.
The government argued the move was necessary due to increased terrorism and the need to keep up with the capabilities of other nations.
"This is not generalised surveillance," said Yannick Buttet, VP of the Christian Democratic Party. "It's letting the intelligence services do their job.”
Not all were in favour of the measure, however. Those who disapproved said the measure was sold through a fear campaign and was a risk to the nation's traditional neutrality.The FIS will need warrants to proceed with investigations.