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?

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