2007-03-28

Check out Magnatune if you haven't already

If this hasn't already been featured everywhere, it should have been.

Magnatune is a record label that started in the year 2000 from what I can gather (claims that the famous Courtney Love article was written six months after the foundation of the company, but Wikipedia says 2003). The founder's wife had been signed and completely screwed over by the record company - she lost the rights to her music for 7 years, even though the CD was out of print for many years, and received $137 in royalties, parts of which was paid out as CD copies of her own album.

So John Buckman started his own record label. It is not connected to any of the music mafia lobby groups like the RIAA. These guys don't believe in such groups.

All artists signed to the label is handpicked. Which means they sell what they believe in. And because of this, they don't screw their artists over - 50% of the sales goes to the artist.

When you browse around the site, you'll notice that you don't make a buy based on a guess. You can listen to everything, every minute of every song of every album, so you know exactly what it is that you're buying.

And when you make the buy, you download full CD qualities in several formats, with high quality album art - or you can have the CD shipped to you. If you lose your products for any reasons, it's completely okay to download it again.

There is no DRM on their products. Magnatunes doesn't like DRM. Their music can be played anywhere.

If you have a podcast that is non-commercial, or what they call "commercial but starving", you can use their music for free, due to individual deals with every individual artist. And it doesn't stop their. On their website, they outright encourage the buyer to give three copies of your purchase to friends.

The three copies limitations sounds like DRM. It's really not. It doesn't stop you from making more than three copies of files. It allowes you to do four downloads from the downloads page. So when you buy something from them, four people can download the buy.

The only thing I miss is the opportunity to buy individual tracks or designing one's own CD - one buy the entire album in a chunk from Magnatunes, in an old-fashioned style that might quickly go out of date.

2007-03-22

Cheering too soon

Recently, I reported that there is a chance that the social democrats might force a postponement on the Stasi law of defense minister Odenberg, that their own former justice minister Bodström developed before the elections last year.

I also pointed out that Bodström and the social democrats have nothing principally against mass surveillance - quite the contrary, they wouldn't mind it at all when they regain power in 2010 or 2014 - but they are now trying to take popularity points as this legislation is turning out to be a hot potatoe.

I guess I can only confirm that I was right.

The Social Democrats have started working on their own proposition of surveillance legislation.

Today the party held a hearing where critical voices could make themselves heard.

Defense minister Mikael Odenberg have adjusted his original proposition. But it is not enough, according to Board of Attorneys representative Anne Ramberg and the chairman of Directory Committee and former head of SÄPO (Swedish National Security Agency) Anders Eriksson.

Ramberg protests against the fact that the proposition that lets FRA listen in on all tele trafic and read e-mail, faxes and text messages to and from Sweden will make possible an unregulated retrieval of information.

"We are talking about surveillance on a scale that we have never been close to before," said Anne Ramberg, who think that such revolutionizing legislation must be prepared differently.

"Why such a hurry? Why not take a step back?" she asks and called for an independent body authorizing the surveillance.

Anders Eriksson agree and compared with other countries that have more far-reaching limits [to survelliance - my comment], such as the US and Germany.

Former Justice Minister Thomas Bodström also wants new rules for surveillance but he is critical of the proposition from the government.

"We will bring our own proposition where Anne Ramberg's and Anders Eriksson's views will be important", Bodström says and calls for an independent body of control.

The non-socialist parties have left an opening for changes in the proposition during its handling in parliament. The committees of defense, justice and constitution are to hold a public hearing and the decision is not to be made until June.

The governmental party MPs are happy to remind anyone that it was the social democrats that created the proposition. But Bodström says:

"We have failed the propositions of both the old government and the new one."

If the social democrats can't get support for their opinions, they will reach the minority protection the parliament provides and postpone the proposition for a year.

(Source)


So, the social democrats will make their own proposition about mass surveillance á la Eastern Germany. The main difference is that they want a control body (which they also had in Eastern Germany, by the way), and they will take the opinions of a lawyer and the former head of the Swedish Security Services into account! But they will also only postpone the decision if these changes doesn't get through.

So there is really difference at all, in other words.

But, even if we are lucky and the proposition does get postponed, we shouldn't believe we are safe just yet. Because there are three other surveillance propositions waiting to get sneaked through as well. The Pirate Party made a press release on March 13.

The social democrats have made it understood that they will probably vote with the Green Party and the Left Party for a postponement of the FRA proposition. The mass surveillance that the government has planned will then have to wait for at least a year.

"But there are three other almost identical propositions just around the corner, that threatens integrity just as much, says Pirate Party chairman Rickard Falkvinge.

Science Radio reported on March 13 on one of these propositions, one called "Availability of electronic communication in crime investigations", or SOU 2005:38. The proposition says that police is going to be able to place bugs in computers, and that internet providers are to be forced to spy on all their customers, all the time, for the benifit of the National Board of Police. The idea is that a police officer or another personal involved in state administration can watch what a person has done at a given time. The internet providers are to pay the bill for the surveillance and the gigantic database that is required.

"Just like in the case of the FRA proposition, it is a matter of mass surveillance of ordinary citizens that are not even suspected of crime. This is the wrong direction to go for our society", says Rickard Falkvinge.

Another proposition that is expected to be brought up in parliament during spring is the Data Storage Directive, due to be integrated into Swedish legislation before June. It is a EU directive from the winter of 2005, where Thomas Bodström was a key architect. Just like the proposition on electronic communications, it is about internet providers being forced to register what their customers are doing and give this information to authorities. Critics claim that this clash with the European Convention and thus can not and should not be implemented.

"From having a mail secrecy where it has been forbiden for the operators to store information about our private communications, we are now going to have laws that says that they are forced to do it, says Rickard Falkvinge. Information about all text messages, e-mails and phone calls are to be logged in a gigantic database. They are also being forced to store our movements through to"wn, by continously taking the bearings of all cellular phones."

The third proposition is the so-called Sanction Directive, or IPRED1. This is also a EU directive due to become Swedish legislation. The planned Swedish implementation give the lobby groups of movie and record companies the right to work as police and prosecutors, with more far reaching power than the real judicial system.

"This is how it works in the US, for example. There these lobby groups have put into system forcing tens of thousands of citizens to turn over all their fortunes to them, threatening to sue them for the tripple amounts if they don't comply. They have sent legal threats to 83 year old ladies and 12 year old school girls. This is nothing short of systematic and state sanctioned blackmailing, and this kind of organized crime against our citizens I don't want to see in Sweden," Falkvinge says. "Those that don't believe this could happen in Sweden can watch any other country in Europe - every place where these special interest groups have been given this authority, they act in the same fashion. They are accused of organized mafia methods, and not without reason."

"Each one of these propositions is an abomination against democracy and a direct threat against society if they are made into laws. Sweden is the second worst country in Europe when it comes to protecting our privacy. Why is the government hurrying to create the police state that is the lowest spot on the list? The Pirate Party claimed before the election that there wouldn't be much of a difference between a red or a blue government in this respect, but it is sad to see how correct with were. It is now up to Sweden to confirm that all these propositions is a breach against basic human rights conventions and to refuse to make them into laws," Falkvinge concludes.


We are currently fighting for basic democratic principles in Sweden, believe nothing else. If these propositons are passed and turned into legislation, we have a system of mass surveillance that has not been seen in Europe since well before the fall of the Iron Curtain. Back then we were on the right side of the wall. If these laws are passed, we will quickly find ourselves on the wrong side of the Telescreens.

Name the company

Who can guess the name of the company I am now describing?

5 points: One of the many companies that are effectively involved in lawsuits against itself for copyright infringments?

4 points: The company in 2005 hired graffiti artists to spray paint advertisements for one of its products in seven major US cities.

3 points: The company has been charged for price cartelling several times, including in 2005 (at least three times), 2006, and just as late as March 20, 2007.

2 points: Received fame for installing a rootkit on the computer of those that bought some of their products. They provided an uninstaller - that installed a dial-home program. They are facing several class action lawsuits regarding this matter. being sued or filed by several US states, the US federal government and sovereign states.

1 points: Provides what is probably the most over-priced game console in the world - for consumers, developers and virtually anyone else.

Answer: Sony, of course.

2007-03-19

2007-03-13

Social democrats might postpone surveillance law

Former minister of justice Thomas Bodström and another influental social democrat Ulrica Messing recommend that the law that will give FRA rights to spy on Swedish citizens be postponed a year for debate.

Thomas Bodström has no principle obligations against the idea, mind you, he simply do not think that the proposition is good enough from an integrity point of view.

Vice prime minister Maud Olofsson has an interesting way of arguing for the proposition. She says that this is merely regulating something that has been done practically for decades.

That's like making murder legal, since that has happened for a long time, and now we want to regulate how it is done.

If there is a practice that is unacceptable in society, the answer is to bring the responsible to justice. Not to legalize their actions.

2007-03-08

A large step

So, when defense minister Odenberg presents the new surveillance law to the parliament, what are the words he begins his presentation with?

Today we take an important step to improve the personal integrity of the individual.


Have I heard and read this before somewhere?

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

2007-03-07

Mass surveillance bill might get postponed for a year - with a little luck

According to Swedish news agency TT, the controversial mass surveillance law might be postponed for a year if enough members of the parliament demands it. Two opposition parties have already decided to try to make it so, but will need support from further MPs.

Since even MPs belonging to the parties in government are highly critical of this proposition, that would effectively put Sweden in a state of survelliance resembling that of the former Eastern Europe, the government is now trying broke a deal with the Social Democrats.

But, despite the fact that the Social Democrats have laid the groundworks of mass surveillance during the last few years, they now see a chance to play the good guys. They are not saying they are pro this bill, but they keep it "an open question." Not to be fooled, of course, chances are they will sooner or later regain power and hardly object to being a step closer to the Bodström society, now perhaps better described as the Bodström-Odenberg society. But perhaps, who knows, in a few years, people might have forgotten about how they were the once building the base for this development.

During the Pirate Demonstration last month, however, representatives of Young Pirates, youth organisation of the Swedish Pirate Party already said to Swedish Television that the main strategy was to get a postponement in the Parliament for a year, so that the matter could rise up on the agenda, since the only reason people are not reacting more powerfully on these developments is that they are simply not aware of them.

Below is the full message in my translation.

Controversial law can be stopped in parliament

On Thursday, Defense minister Mikael Odenberg is to finish the law of signal surveillance against computer and tele trafic through cable. The parliament might however stop the controversial propostion for a year.

- He can't be certain to pass this proposition this year, says former minister of justice Thomas Bodström (s).

The defense minister is hoping that the law can be put into effect on July 1 this year. It gives the right for FRA (Försvarets Radioanstalt - The Radio Institution of the Defense Forces) to keep surveillence of all tele communications to and from the country that goes through cable.

According to the constitution, a minority of 60 MPs can force a postponement for twelve months, since it is a proposition limiting freedoms and rights of individuals.

The Left party and the Green Party have already decided to try to force the postponement. Green Party mouthpiece Peter Eriksson has also demanded a debate when the proposition is handed to the Parliament. The two parties will however need support from other MPs to manage to halt the proposition for a year.

To avoid delays, Odenberg (m) have stated that he would consult with the Social Democrats concerning the prooisition. S, however, have not in advance wanted to declair their position on the matter. According to the parliaments Defense Committee chairman Ulrica Messing (s) it is an "open" question if the party is to support a delay.

Basically the Social Democrats believe that the FRA needs to be able to perform surveillence not only radio trafic, but also data- och tele communications through cable. But it has to be weighed against the protection of personal integrity, according to Messing.

Bodström also points towards a less highlighted part of the proposition, that he believes should be discussed further. The military is given the possibility to perform intelligence gathering in Sweden, something that collides with police tasks.

- We have always been clear that it is the work of the police to conduct crime investigations, and the work of the military to defend the nation.

The governmental parties have negotiated changes to strengthen personal integrity in the proposition, and have done so untill the last second before the decision was taken this Thursday.

Those who wants to delay it will have the support of statements that will be made by the Parliamentary Committee of Defense of Personal Integrity in a few weeks. The committee has investigated the laws of recent years and will come to the conclusion that there has been too little analysis of how personal integrity is affected.

Several right wing MPs in the committee are expressing criticism on that the government has not awaited the statement before pushing the proposition.

- It's not serious, says Annie Johansson (c).

Her fellow party member, former MP Agne Hansson says that integrity matters is not kept high on the agendy these days.

The controversial surveillance biil is now also facing criticism from a pure technical viewpoint. It will not be possible to separate foreign data trafic from domestic data traic, according to Patric Fältström, who has been leading the IT-political stragety group of the government for the last years, according to Swedish Radio.

It is crucial for this bill that it is possible to separate trafic within Sweden from trafic to other countries, since the FRA according to the proposition can only monitor data and telecommunications to and from other countries.

- It is extremely difficult to determine if the trafic is really passing between someone in Sweden and someone outside of Sweden. My position is that it's impossible, says Patric Fältström to Swedish Radio.

From TT.

Funny picture.


Kudos to p2pnet, who found the picture off of Tony in Holland. Thanks to you.

2007-02-28

Successful lobby groups file another complaint against the Pirate Bay, for the same crime

It seems that IFPI has decided to file another report on The Pirate Bay, in the middle of the current investigation. For the same crime. And, according to the CEO, Lars Gustafsson, they would like another raid.

That's what we wish for in our wettest dreams.


Isn't it counterproductive and impossible to get an investigation for a crime going by a police report, while another investigation is currently taking place for the same crime?

Well, it seems that the copyright lobby groups have wind in their sails. Not only have they been educating the police on how to tackle file sharing. It seems that their last attack on the Pirate Bay will not be investigated on wether or not it was constitutional. At least not now. "Postponed indefinately." sounds very convinient.

And so the scandal grows.

2007-02-22

Known APB employed infiltrator lectures on copyright at Swedish Police Academy

Copyriot provide a very interesting notice:

On March 10, the Swedish police made a raid on Bahnhof, the first independent Internet Service Provider in Sweden. It was raided, and four servers confiscated, due to a police report made by Antipiratbyrån - piracy was done from the servers.

But it turned out the servers were not Bahnhofs property, since employees had put them there.

Before too long, it was proven that the person that had put the servers there was paid by a person calling himself "Rogue", who was actually paid by - Antipiratbyrån. This rogue also send mails to his bosses, bragging that he had infiltrated the ISP for two years which finally led to a raid.

This turned into a major scandal when a group called Arga Unga Hackare (Angry Young Hackers) gained access to APB mail and published some. It was a scandal, because it proved that APB had hired a person to infiltrate a company, and that the person had then himself commited piracy crimes while at their property, and then the APB, his employers, had reported the company, leading to a raid.

"Rogue" turned out to be a guy called Peter Bergström. And, are you ready for this (translation from Copyriot):

No further indignation will be spent here over the fact that Hollywood and FBI has been allowed to educate the Swedish police. We will simply note an interesting name. Invited to the Police Academy seminar on file sharing and copyright legislation, held on January 24, was:

* Andrew Myers, FBI agent.
* Henrik Pontén, chief legal advisor at the APB
* The Brussels lobbyist Peter Bergström, representative of the MPA

Hmm... Peter Bergström? I recognize this name from the scandal where APB infiltrated Bahnhof.

According to the mails hacked and made public, Rogue, the nickname of this infiltrator, was a 32 year old by the name of Peter Bergström. This person sent, among other things, IRC logs to APBs Anders Nilsson, and after the raid on Bahnhof during the spring of 2005 he proudly reported to his employers in the US:

From: peter@anti-piracy.se
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 9:29
To: Tilbury, Chad; Seymour, Dan; Winter, Craig
Subject: Swedish pirates busted!

Hi guys!

After 2 years of infiltrations our work finally paid of today with a successful raid on Sweden's oldest and largest ISP named Bahnhof.
Bahnhof has been a source for top level piracy for several years and hosting some of the biggest and fastest servers in Europe.

Is this the same Peter Bergström? I don't know, but it doesn't seem completely unlikely that the MPA(A) could have rewarded "Rogue" with a job in Brussels.

Bahnhofs own investigation concluded that Peter Bergströms own acts was crime provocation, and Piratbyrån reported APB for forgery and false accusations - a police report that, hardly surpricingly, the police doesn't seem to have touched. The entire Bahnhof affair has been getting in the shadow of the Pirate Bay raid, but when the central figure "Rogue" have now possibly popped up as a lecturer at the Police Academy, it would be extra important to investigate if there have been any mistakes done?

2007-02-20

Windows Vista sucks - it's the pirates' fault

The reason why Windows Vista is selling slowly is piracy, especially in countries such as China, India, Brazil and Russia.

At least the Microsoft CEO, Steve "The Sweaty Madman" Ballmer claims this to be the truth.

His final solution (interesting choice of words, I wonder if they are his or if it's the words of the Inquirer) is to - increase the WGA to squeaze these developing nations more.

Steve Ballmer has not understood that blaming piracy doesn't work. And that piracy is actually a great help to developing economies. It's good that Stevie finally has released Bill Gates' skirt, but if someone is able to give Bill Gates advice on matters of software, then it would be wise to listen.

And perhaps it's the other way around, really - Vista doesn't sell bad because of piracy, there might be piracy because of Vista's pricing and trusted computing concept. Perhaps it's about time that big business looks over their business methods, instead of blaming piracy for the fact that the world is still evolving.

Demonstration in favour of Egyptian blogger who faces prison

The Egyptian blogger Abdelkareem has been detained since November because he spoke his mind. On February 22nd Kareem will be the first Egyptian to stand trial for Internet-based journalism. Because of his arguments for secularism, women’s rights and free speech this 22-year old blogger faces up to 11 years in jail. More information here.

Right now several Swedish bloggers and others are preparing a protest against this attack on freedom of expression. Please help us to show support for human rights in Egypt. Mark your calendar, and if you are a blogger, please spread the word.

Meet us outside the Egyptian Embassy

Strandvägen 35, Stockholm

Wednesday, 21 February, 12.00

Speakers:

Henrik Alexandersson, blogger

Fredrik Malm, Member of Parliament

Johan Norberg, author

The MPAA educates Swedish police

So the question of copyright is a rather complicated one, and our system is not entierly sure how work it juridically.

In Sweden we have a few number prejudicing cases and it is all a mess. Therefor it would be welcomed to see that police is educating people on the matter. As a matter of fact, a couple of weeks ago, six officers finished their education as the Swedish police force's experts in matters of copyright, piracy and file sharing.

That would be a good thing, one might think. Maybe these officers could balance the complex interests involved, that of industry, originators, privacy, and judicial security.

If it weren't for one fact. Guess who educated these Swedish police officers?

The MPAA did.

So it seems, once again, the US private interest group has been going to Sweden to teach our police how to work our laws in our country.

Representatives from the three organisations (MPA, FBI, APB) were invited by the Police Academy to hold lectures on how they have worked against piracy and give example of successfull projects in other countries. [...] In the report (from IIPA, mentioned on this blog earlier, my comment) there are also plans for the "industry to plan further training and educational work with police and prosecutors during 2007."


And, get this:

After Computer Sweden's queries Friday, the list of participants became classified.


Isn't it about time that the Swedish judicial system stopped taking orders from US lobby groups?

2007-02-18

Pirates of all colours demonstrate in four cities


On Saturday, a few hundered people gathered outside the Swedish parliament in Stockholm. Other demonstrations were held in Malmö, Gothenburgh and Umeå, with the same number of participants. The message was clear: Mass surveillance of all citizens in case something interesting will show up is not okay. With the new legislation that is passing in Sweden, couped through political and judicial instances, means that Sweden is rapidly passing countries such as the UK and the US that are famous, or infamous, for their surveillance. Instead, the Swedish system is getting dangerously similar to those of Eastern Germany or the Soviet Union when it comes to surveillance.

TV news made a short report covering a few minutes that was aired on most of the important news shows throughout the evening. This report focused on the wide representation present in arranging these demonstrations.

The demonstrations were arranged by the Pirate Party along with Ung Pirat, Ung Vänster (Young Left, youth organisation of the Left Party), Grön Ungdom (Green Youth, youth organisation of the Green Party) and Liberala Ungdomsförbundet (Liberal Yough Organisation, youth organisation of the People's Parrty, one of the liberal parties in government). This was not only an outcry against Sweden's march against an Orwellian society, but also the youth organisations decrying the failures of their mother parties to protect basic democratic principles.


2007-02-15

IIPA: Sweden an infamous pirate haven

Sweden is a free haven for piracy, hosting more Direct Connect hubs than any other country in the world. It is also the home of the Pirate Bay and this illegal distribution continues to increase because of bad legislation. This is claimed by the copyright organisation IIPA in a special report on Sweden.

The copyright interest group International Intellectual Property Alliance, IIPA, points at Sweden as being one of 60 countries where "copyright legislation creates obstacles for the founding of new companies with large needs for copyright, such as software companies". This is reported by the Business Software Alliance, BSA, one of the organisations behind the report.

The annual report has been presented to the United States Trade Representative.

The reasons that Sweden is on the list is, according to the organisation, that there is a lot of internet piracy going on in Sweden, and that we are claimed to have difficulties dealing with the criminal activity in an effective manner.

The IIPA can not yet see an end to the widespread piracy in Sweden. According to the organisation, 490 000 movies were downloaded during the third quarter last year, an increase from 468 000 movies the year before, the report says, not specifying any source.

The situation is further complicated, according to the organisation, by the fact that Swedes are tolerant towards piracy, something that according to the report is evident in media and in public opinion. The politicians are not thought of as having understood the extent of the file sharing problem. The organisation however claims to be looking forward to cooperating with the new government in finding new ways in the struggle against piracy.

In the report it is claimed that Sweden is the home of 40 per cent of the top sites that are specialized pirate servers with large storage capabilities and large bandwidth, that are present in Europe. It is also claimed that Sweden is home to the largest number of Direct Connect users and hubs. The report points out that Sweden is the home of the Pirate Bay.

Also the political debate following the raid against the Pirate Bay is highlighted in the report. The copyright industry is said to be deeply concerned that the Social Democratic party and the Moderate party during the fall have made positive remarks on the idea of a fee on broadband as an alternative to keeping piracy illegal.

Sweden is also criticized because it is not possible to get user information from ISP:s, something that turns copyright legislation into a lame duck, and it is also remarked that Sweden has not yet implemented the EU directive that gives possibilities to pirate hunters to demand information on file sharers without police or attorneys.

It does not, however, know what we all know - that APB, the Anti-Piracy Bureau in fact has the right to collect personal information about individuals that they suspect of being involved in piracy, in other words to perform police work. Nor does it mention that Sweden is about to pass a law that gives private interest groups such as members of the copyright mafia the rights to demand private information about individuals from ISPs if the organisation suspects them of being involved in piracy. This is something I have reported on time and time again, and something that will be the target of a rally this saturday.

The report expresses disappointment that many ISP:s have stopped forwarding reminders to users after copyright groups have discovered that there is piracy going on. This is something that IIPA sees as a consequence of the public debate on file sharing that has been going on in Sweden.

The Pirate Party is also pointed out as a sign that Sweden is one of the most pro pirate countries and the IIPA themselves claim that the party's result in the general elections last years was far lower than expected.

Note the tone. Sweden is an infamous haven for pirates. It's lame duck legislation makes it hard for software companies to start. The public, the politicians and media are all against the copyright mafia.

Sweden can't deal with criminal activity.

Sweden has the nerve to be toleratant towards piracy. The Swedish public are insolent enough to think that it is a waste of resources to hunt down close to one fourth of the population.

Swedish media has the audacity to mirror this public opinion. And Swedish politicians are stupid enough to act on the same public opinion. Nevermind that in a representative democracy such as Sweden politicians are suppose to work in the interest of the public.

The politics of Sweden is so perverted that politicians and public figures have the very nerve to actually discuss different alternatives.

Sweden is so corrupt that it doesn't even let private organisations perform police work.

How fortunate then that we have brave groups like the IIPA, that can point our errors out to us. Groups like the IIPA that does not complain about an open debate. Groups like the IIPA who would never give a figure without citing any sources. Groups like the IIPA who would never ever forget to mention that a country DO give them the possibilities that they claim they are denied.

For what is it that the IIPA says? It complaints about the Swedish open minds on political ideas, on new business models, on the right to express one's opinions, on the protection against private policing and mob rule, on our willingness to discuss various alternative solutions to problems. On the very basics of democracy.

"Democracy and piracy can not co-exist. Therefor, let us together cut down on democracy. That is the price we must pay to be able to keep to our own out-dated business methods."

This is what the IIPA wants to tell us in this report. This is the slogan of the copyright mafia. And, in an instant, it becomes rather obvious that the main problem is not that democracy and piracy have problems to co-exist. The problem is the co-existance of democracy and copyright as we know it today.

Check the report out!

2007-02-14

Demonstrations for Privacy in Sweden, this saturday!


Swedish authorities have given a green light to the radio corps of the military for mass surveillance of telecommunications. According to Anne Ramberg in the Swedish Association of Lawyers, this means that Sweden will now carry through a surveillance similar to that of former Eastern Germany, and by far surpasses for example the United States of today.

More and similar descisions are coming, decisions that will consequently give priority to surveillance over integrity. It is time to tell the Parliament that they don't have support for these policies. It is time for demonstrations!

This Saturday, February 17, the Pirate Party will arrange a demonstration for the right to privacy, together with Green Youth, Liberal Youth and Young Pirate. More organisations are poked and might attend. We gather those that want to save our rights to a private life on the following spots:

Stockholm - Mynttorget, 2 p.m.
Gothemburg: Gustav Adolf square, 1 p.m.
Malmö: Stortorget, 1 p.m.
Umeå: Rådhustorget, 3 p.m.

Come to the demonstration, bring your friends and demonstrate for the right to privacy.

2007-02-05

The machine is us

I like this video.

Romania tells Bill Gates that piracy helps

Bill Gates attended the grand opening of a new research center in Romania. He was presented by the Star of Romania from the president, Traian Basescu, a medal usually given out for outstanding bravery during wartime. And he got to listen to a speech held by the president at the opening. A speech that must have surprised him a bit.

"Piracy helped the young generation to discover computers. It set off the development of the IT industry in Romania", he said.


"A bad thing became, in the end, an investment in friendship towards Microsoft and Bill Gates; an investment in educating the young generation in Romania which created the Romanians' friendship with the computer."


The British Software Alliance (BSA) made a survey, concluding that 72 per cent of all software in Romania is pirated. Bill Gates did not reply to the president's statement.

More at vnunet.com.