2006-12-19

Traffic monitoring and bugging in Sweden

Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask, who used to be one of the sharpest critics of Thomas Bodström on the question of data trafic monitoring, have now made a complete U-turn and says that storing of trafic data is to be implemented in Sweden.

This directive means that information about all Swedish telephone calls, SMSs, emails, cell phone calls are to be stored if the police needs it. From being illegal to store for matters of personal integrity, tele and internet operators are now being legally forced to store theis information for the judicial bodies. Whoever you call, when, and from where, is now going to be registered. Yes, from where. Cell phones with be continually checked for location, and movements will be registered and stored.

This is a breech of integrity of a scale that is unheard of in the world. Never before, a state has created a complete database of how its citizens are moving,

Youth organisation Young Pirate launched

This weekend saw the foundation of Young Pirate, the youth section to the Swedish Pirate Party. It is to be headed Hugi Ásgeirsson from the town of Kiruna. It will be open to everyone under the age of 26, who can choose to also be members of the Pirate Party.

I will come back with more information as soon as there is more to get.

File sharing is increasing - don't believe them!

The Anti-Piracy Bureau claims that piracy is decreasing in Sweden.

"The statistics we have shows that the trials we have had has given a lot of effect. This is a typical crime where trials given much attention has a preventive effect", says the senior judicial advisor Henrik Pontén. [...] "We keep up our work as before. Our focus has always been on the large distributors, not individuals - even if those cases have gotten the most media attention."


This is the kinds of arguments that are used to get an exclusion from legislation meant to protect privacy. But are their arguments true?

1) As I pointed out three days ago, the APB have seemed to concentrate on getting trials for the most leanient forms of copyright infringements.

2) Their campaign is not working. According to new figures made by SCB (Statistics Sweden), the Swedish government agency on stats, one out of every five persons have used file sharing programs in one way or the other. This is an increase since last year, where the same figure was 18%.

So there we have it - the APB is concentrating on ordinary people. And file sharing is increasing. But the special interest group APB becomes exceptions in that they can store personal information and perform private police investigations, because they claim they go after the "big game" and that their methods are working.

2006-12-16

Swedish anti pirate lobby allowed prolonged exclusion from integrity legislation

IFPI and the Anti Piracy Bureau has been granted a prolonged permission to store IP addresses, according to a desicion made in the Data Inspection board of Sweden. This means that they are partially excluded from legislation that prevents individuals, groups and authorities to store data that has ties to personal integrity.

The Anti Piracy Bureau has made themselves famous for private investigations, organized citizens arrest and suspicion of provoking crimes, as well as basing their cases on screenshots. Screenshots can be forged, even as simply as in a matter of a script on a webpage, and should have no credibility as evidence, but has actually been used to sentence people for copyright infringements.

When the Anti Piracy Bureau applied for an exclusion the last time, they claimed that they wanted the exclusion to try "particularily grave cases of copyright infringment". But the cases they have tried since then has all been about the one movie shared without any commercial interests, i.e. the leanest forms of copyright infringement that exists in Swedish law. Instead of noticing, or caring about, this obvious slide of purpose and obvious change of facts in the last application, and instead of making a case out of it or demanding some form of explanation, the Data Inspection board has, as mentioned above, decided to prolong the exclusion.

What is more worrying than the fact that Swedish judicial authorities are excluding special interest groups from legislation in their particular area, and giving them the opportunity to perform their own private police investigations, is the motivation given by the Data Inspection board:

Datainspektionen bedömer att organisationernas insamling av bland annat IP-nummer inte innebär någon otillbörlig kränkning av den personliga integriteten. Båda organisationerna har i uppdrag att tillvarata sina medlemmars ekonomiska och rättsliga intressen. Till skillnad från tidigare får bland annat Antipiratbyrån efter årsskiftet även behålla uppgifter som redan lämnats till polisen.

"The board believes that the collection of for example IP addresses does not lead to any unacceptable transgressions of personal integrity. [...] As of now, the Anti Piracy Bureau can also keep information already given to the police." (Link - Swedish)


Which means that not only are this special interest group excluded from the law against private policing, they can also keep archives of data they have gathered - data that according to Swedish law is concidered significant to personal integrity."

It uses, as an argument, that storing this information does not endanger said personal integrity. Which means that there's not really a point of such a law in the first place - why issue a law that says that you can't store personal data because it endangers personal integrity, and then give special interest groups the privilledge to store the same data - because it doesn't endager personal integrity?