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Swedish ISPs To Thwart EU Data Retention Law

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the no-data-for-you dept.

Privacy 110

aaardwark writes "After a leaked document from the department of justice showed police will be able to demand extensive private information for minor offenses, some Swedish ISPs have decided to fight back (translated article). By routing all traffic through VPN, they plan to make the gathered data pointless. ISP Bahnhof says they will give you the option to opt out of VPN, but giving up your privacy will cost extra."

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110 comments

I agree with an earlier poster, (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35016964)

The Road Warrior is definitely the best of the Mad Max series.

And just out of curiosity, is there, like, a link or something for this article?

Umm (1)

CSFFlame (761318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35016968)

, wouldn't this royally screw up incoming connections unless they used some kind of rapid renewing PAT?

Wrong motive (4, Insightful)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35016978)

It would be nice if their motive really was righteous. They seem to be doing it just because it would cost them a lot to comply with every request the police made.

Re:Wrong motive (5, Interesting)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017002)

Either way it's good for the customers. Google likewise decides to be notsoevil because otherwise it would cost them too much. Data retention is the wet dream of every mainstream politician these days, it allows for unlimited powers of coercion. The fact that storage is expensive and our governments are too broke to pay for it themselves is a blessing albeit a temporary one.

Re:Wrong motive (4, Insightful)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017096)

"Google likewise decides to be notsoevil because otherwise it would cost them too much."

I'm pretty convinced that Brin & Page have some specific political-philosophical motivations for what they do (partly based on Brin's upbringing in the Soviet Union), and not exclusively a profit motive.

Re:Wrong motive (5, Interesting)

horza (87255) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017574)

Google is not a good example, as they have more cash in the bank than they know what to do with. I don't want to take anything away from Brin and Page, they have done a sterling job so far, but a small ISP in a competitive market with razor thin margins trying to take a stand is more impressive.

Phillip.

Re:Wrong motive (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018584)

Can someone in Sweden comment on how mainstream this stuff is over there? People in the UK know hardly anything about online tracking, data retention, net neutrality and so on. Are the ISPs in Sweden taking a stand on principal alone or do these issues actually matter to their customers?

Re:Wrong motive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018778)

the majority of the politicians are bought by the usual suspects, most people aren't knowledgable enought to realise they are being lied to (prime example:"We need to be able to track who is talking to who in sweden to protect our "boy's in afghanistan" from insurgents). Bahnhoof has some ideological stake in all this, as they've been pro-consumer and pro-pivacy since the 90th:ies - most other operators are probably just upset about being made to pick up the bill for something which is contrary to not only their own intrests but also their customers.

Re:Wrong motive (5, Informative)

smallfries (601545) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018812)

As a Brit living in Sweden I can answer some of your question. People over here do care a lot more about internet access than in the UK - they want it to be fast, reliable and work as transparently as possible. You could say that internet access has become much more of a basic commodity over here. It is also used a lot more heavily. Unlike the UK market an unlimited connection means unlimited. There are huge untapped amounts of bandwidth in the backbone because the provisioning model used for building networks over here is very different. They assume that people will use bandwidth that is available to them and don't over-provision to the same level.

Privacy is a slightly different issue and it is much harder to see where the Swedish stand on it. On the one hand everyone over here is in many public government databases and nobody cares about it. There is even a website devoted to looking up peoples addresses and birthdays (and of course being Swedish it gets used to send flowers). On the other hand when people decide that they have a right to privacy on anything it is considered to be absolute. If the media over here is told not to publish a name to avoid compromising someone's privacy then it stays private.

There was a huge backlash over the IPred laws over the same issues (retention of IP traffic and linking it to real world identities). Many Swedish ISPs have already announced similar plans with respect to that law - ways of avoiding compliance to protect people's privacy. This new law is in effect the next salvo in the ongoing fight against the IPred laws and as such there is widespread support for avoiding compliance as much as possible.

Re:Wrong motive (3, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35021610)

I was one of the people who complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that "unlimited" in adverts actually means "limited" when you read the small print. Their response was that limits were a normal part of traffic management for ISPs so they are basically allowed to lie with impunity. No word on what constitutes a "normal" amount, e.g. T-Mobile used to advertise their mobile BB as unlimited when in fact there was a pathetic 3GB/month limit.

The attitude to provisioning sounds similar to Japan. If you build it, they will come. If your network is awesome you can offer lots of new services like reasonable quality video on demand and eat into other markets. If you network is shit you have to block BBC iPlayer in the evenings or only allow people to watch a postage stamp resolutions (e.g. BT, Virgin Media). Rather than seeing bandwidth as an opportunity they see it as a problem.

The privacy aspect is interesting. On the one hand we are the most watched country in the world, and on the other our internet access if fully recorded and available to the police. So we are pretty much screwed at this stage, and the much touted repealing of overreaching laws has yet to actually happen.

Re:Wrong motive (1)

narooze (845310) | more than 3 years ago | (#35026928)

Also worth noting, the first case resulting from the IPRED law is, to my knowledge (I'm a Swede and all), still going. The ISP that the copyright holders have demanded personal information from is fighting it as hard as they can.

Even though there might be monetary incentives to the ISPs actions, that doesn't seem to be all of it. ISPs here really do seem to care about these things.

Re:Wrong motive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018832)

At least in my social circle (early 20s) pretty much everyone (including the non-computer people) are well aware of the tracking done. Major news outlets often print things like "How Facebook is stealing your data", although admittedly it's mostly the junk papers going for sensationalistic headlines.

In the geekier crowds I think Bahnhof is definitively one of (if not THE) most respected ISPs precisely because in cases like these, they repeatedly show good judgement and defend the peoples rights.

Re:Wrong motive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019602)

As a Swede I would gauge the situation as follows:

There is a decent level of understanding among the young about tracking; the
passing of IPRED (military intelligence data gathering) caused quite a bit
of controversy. It is clear that there exists a very vocal part of the population
who are deeply concerned with this issue.

The amount of people who are actually prepared to change the way they vote, however,
is quite different. The only parties which were concerned enough with this to actually
make a stance were FI and PP (roughly translated as the Feministic Initiative and
the Pirate party) neither of which made it past - or even near -
the 4% limit needed to get into the Riksdag (Parliament).

So basically: People are prepared to bitch about it at great length and possibly even
switch ISPs over it but are more concerned with things like economy, education and
healthcare when it comes to who they vote for. This is, perhaps regrettably, pretty much
par for the course for us.

Re:Wrong motive (2)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017864)

I'm pretty convinced that Brin & Page have some specific political-philosophical motivations for what they do (partly based on Brin's upbringing in the Soviet Union), and not exclusively a profit motive.

Likewise, I'm sure the dude that started Bahnhof, the ISP of choice of the informed geek in Sweden, along with their current decision-makers, personally like integrity and whatever else "good" services they provide.

They are, however, a publicly traded company, which means that they must believe that being the "good" ISP makes good business sense.

If the market would "feel" that lower quality service, fucking over their customers and selling them out to the man is better for the bottom line of Bahnhof or Google or any other publicly traded company, then players in the market would probably make that happen, sooner or later, whatever delusions of goodness the current leadership may have.

Re:Wrong motive (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020664)

If the market would "feel" that lower quality service, fucking over their customers and selling them out to the man is better for the bottom line of Bahnhof or Google or any other publicly traded company, then players in the market would probably make that happen, sooner or later, whatever delusions of goodness the current leadership may have.

*cough* Facebook, Microsoft, SCO *cough*

Re:Wrong motive (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017292)

This wouldn't fly in America, where using encryption is in and of itself often considered "probable cause". The attitude is typically that if you are encrypting something (or care about your privacy), then you must be hiding something.

Re:Wrong motive (3, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017318)

But if it's your ISP who does the hiding routinely and you have to pay extra to get clear text, which in turn means that everyone is doing it, what probable cause is it then?

Re:Wrong motive (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017886)

It would really depend on the ISP. If it's a fairly small one who touts this as a selling point, and some of the major players (Comcast, MediaCom, AT&T, and so on) are available options, then it becomes a little murky; did so-and-so choose this ISP because they cover tracks by default, or was there some other motive? And given that the major ISPs are more easily able to offer at least competitive rates for service (at least in and around where I am), if not better rates, the field of possibilities narrows.

You also have to consider that, in the US, the major ISPs really wouldn't voluntarily obfuscate data from the government, lest they either a) face legislation to make them not do so, or b) have to shell out a metric fuckton of cash into lobbying to make sure they would remain able to do so...neither of which is a financially sound option, when compared with the option of just not doing it for their subscribers--which they already do, thus no additional costs result.

Sum total, if an ISP were to do this in the US, it's most likely not to be one of the big ones, and given that, there's a stigma of guilt-by-association (or selection, if you will) for the little guy who is willing to take these steps.

Re:Wrong motive (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35021506)

This wouldn't fly in America, where using encryption is in and of itself often considered "probable cause".

Citation needed. Pretty much every company I or any of my friends in the industry has worked for in the last decade has used encryption, and, in particular, VPN, which is the specific form of encryption being discussed here.

Even if I were to accept what you probably meant (that private individuals using personal encryption technologies like PGP may be subject to arbitrary arrest), which I don't, that still wouldn't affect the fact that we're discussing corporations here, not individuals, and corporations in the US can pretty much get away with blatant murder in the streets in front of thousands of eye-witnesses without it being considered probable cause, as long as it has a positive effect on their bottom line. (It's the murders that don't lead directly to profit that are frowned upon!) Certainly a company using VPN, just like every other company in the country that uses computers, is not going to be an issue.

Re:Wrong motive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35017756)

Unlimited powers of coercion? Really?

Cut back on the hyperbole. If we were talking about storage of all data, and attempts to grab bank login details and passwords then you might have a point. That's not what this is about though.

Re:Wrong motive (1)

anne on E. mouse cow (867445) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018858)

WTF? Did I just enter an alternative universe where google doesn't collect ridiculous amounts of information on everybody and have already given police forces bundles of information on people and only recently it was discovered hackers got in to their email system by using the back-door they put in. They've only just started too, see last link.

Sources: U.S. enables Chinese hacking of Google [cnn.com]

Google's private data grab means big legal trouble [reuters.com]

Schmidt offers Google's most chilling Big Brother scenario yet [computerworld.com]

Re:Wrong motive (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35017042)

Why does the ISP have to engage in law enforcement at the ISP's expense? How about tax payers (who usually pay law enforcement costs) pay the ISP's costs to implement all the data capture and logging (and filtering).

Of course the ISP wants to reduce costs. They are not a charity. Would you work for free, assuming you had no other sources of income, no way to support yourself and/or family (housing/food/etc)? No? Gee, why expect someone else (i.e. an ISP) to work for free?

I know someone who works for an ISP and know just how much work and additional equipment it would require if the ISP had to do things like the European ISPs. And in the US lawmakers are threatening to add onerous data retention laws that will burden ISPs, costing the ISP. Guess where that money is gonna come from. Yep. Rates will go up. Yet another unfunded mandate from the government.

Re:Wrong motive (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017278)

I know someone who works for an ISP and know just how much work and additional equipment it would require if the ISP had to do things like the European ISPs.

Then elaborate. Give details instead of just hoarding this knowledge to yourself because last I checked, setting up IOS to spit log events to some specific IP on the internal network wasn't hard.

Re:Wrong motive (4, Insightful)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018206)

It's not nust about splitting log events. It's also about adding a lot more logging (you don't routinely log every connection from every customer, let alone the contents of them); but also the keeping of records for seven years. Given the amount of traffic ISPs push, that requires ungodly amounts of storage, which in turn requires ungodly amounts of power.

Re:Wrong motive (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 3 years ago | (#35028314)

What are you talking about 'contents'.

Here is what the EU data retension asks for:

to trace and identify the source of a communication - Source IP address.
to trace and identify the destination of a communication - Destination IP address
to identify the date, time and duration of a communication - Time until TCP connection dies or UDP session ends
to identify the type of communication - being able to determine if it was TCP, UDP or some other packet type was considered sufficient.
to identify the communication device - In the case of mobile phones and mobile phone networks
to identify the location of mobile communication equipment - Obvious.

I can set that up on IOS without an issue. Storing text is not really that much of an issue on a day to day basis. Having a daily backup that compresses the data would not take that considerable amount of room as you'd think.

You could even eleviate storage issues by using amazon S3 to store the compressed data.

I'm not convinced by your arguments.

Re:Wrong motive (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017512)

Would you work for free, assuming you had no other sources of income, no way to support yourself and/or family (housing/food/etc)?

No way in hell. I'm disabled and can't support myself... but no way would I ever work for free. Instead I pass the time by writing reviews on Amazon and IMDB, recruiting all my friends and relatives on Facebook to play Farmville with me, and helping out on Apple tech support boards and the eBay Q&A board.

Re:Wrong motive (2, Interesting)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017060)

They're a business, they're in the business to make money, and will find ways to make as much money they can. That's plain economics, every business tries to do so (and, one could argue, that includes non-profit organisations). Altruism doesn't make money directly - however it can give goodwill, promotion, whatever that in the long run increases the company's profits.

Now back to the altruism/principles part what this is about: like Google with their famous "do no evil" slogan, they want to be seen as caring for their customers. There may or may not be personal reasons of the company's leadership behind this of course. Some companies will say "OK we'll just follow the law, store data as required, keep a low profile, go on with business", and set up their servers to comply with the law. This ISP and apparently others too have said "we don't agree with these laws; we consider it highly intrusive for our customers; and we will find ways to protect our customers' privacy while staying within the letter of the law", and are planning to make the necessary investments to do so. They obviously have to make bigger investments than the first group as they have to implement both the storage and the extra work for the workaround, and they have apparently thought publicity.

This publicity I think is good, really. It makes the law and it's intentions and consequences so much better known with the public - basically with this they could even hope to spark enough of an outrage to have the laws repealed. And if not, at least they got a lot of free advertising of their ISP out of it. That may be so good for their business that they make a net gain out of it.

Altruism is simply part of smart business operation. You give some you get some. Goodwill is important, and this way they could build up goodwill with their customers. Just don't expect a business is going all altruistic just because they can - their owners may on a personal basis, but businesses are about making money. That, and nothing less.

Re:Wrong motive (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35017414)

They're a business, they're in the business to make money, and will find ways to make as much money they can. That's plain economics, every business tries to do so (and, one could argue, that includes non-profit organisations). Altruism doesn't make money directly - however it can give goodwill, promotion, whatever that in the long run increases the company's profits.

All true, except that we are talking about a Swedish ISP's not an American.
Bahnhof was started more for ideology than for profit. According to wikipedia [wikipedia.org] Bahnhof also hosted wikileaks.
They are also part of integrity.st [google.se], a collection of Swedish ISP's that have decided to abide by two nice rules.

"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence."

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

Everyone has a hobby, some just sit down and watch TV, others start companies and try to make a difference.
All companies are run by people, some are run by shallow worthless people that live only for money and profit, others are run by people who want to change the world.

Re:Wrong motive (1)

definate (876684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017674)

Thank you professor. I must have missed the part where "they're in it to make money", in economics we talk about value/utility as opposed to money. Else you'd hear about "Marginal Money" as opposed to "Marginal Utility".

People value things other than money, and to what extent varies with each person. The person who came up with these concepts envisaged an objective valuation which we would all use or move towards. Now a days, we know that's not quite true.

If this companies owner(s) are quite political, they could pursue this without believing that it will generate more income. After all, there's a certain satisfaction achieved when telling the government to go fuck themselves. They may rationalize it in monetary ways such as "we believe our target market is the privacy conscious (READ: Nerds)", or they may rationalize it in non-monetary ways "we're going to own this niche, even if it reduces our overall market", or just "I hate this shit, and won't stand for it".

So, don't make the same mistake everyone does, and reduce people to basic mechanical interactions (even on aggregate... I'm looking at you macro-economists).

Re:Wrong motive (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017114)

Bahnhof has fought for their customer at every step of the way, even when there's been no direct economic gain. They probably don't want to officially go out as some sort of "referee" saying who they think is right and who they think is wrong, but they've really done everything you could ask for. I don't know what it is you want, to announce themselves as the lawless ISP or the pirate ISP or anything like that would only be foolish in so many ways.

Re:Wrong motive (1)

jchillerup (1140775) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017524)

I don't know what it is you want, to announce themselves as the lawless ISP or the pirate ISP or anything like that would only be foolish in so many ways.

Why? For the record, the Swedish PirateISP [pirateisp.net] seems to do just fine. Granted, they only offer services to one city currently, but that city has one of the largest Swedish universities [www.lth.se], along with all of its student dorms. Honestly, I don't see why it'd be 'foolish' to have a pirate ISP, they are not responsible for their customers. If anything they're sure to get them, being the only company offering 1Gbps/1Gbps fiber connections to households (for $80/month).

Wrong, better motive (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017190)

It would be nice if their motive really was righteous. They seem to be doing it just because it would cost them a lot to comply with every request the police made.

No, because in the case of them being righteous it's all to easy to have your resolve worn away and eventually just start complying.

With a financial incentive to resist (and also I feel not a little of the righteous angle at work too), I can be sure they will struggle against this longer than they might have, since there's no way to measure levels of resolve.

Also with financial disincentives pointed out now, those who would want to fight the law politically have stronger ammunition against it rather than the nebulous call for "privacy" that most people (read: voters) do not actually care about. Voters care very much about government spending and costs affecting businesses.

Re:Wrong, better motive (1)

catman (1412) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017928)

Actually they do have to comply with the law and with requests from the police. It's just that with the VPN solutions the retained traffic data are meaningless. Better than wearing Anonymous masks wherever there's a surveillance camera.

Re:Wrong motive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35017270)

At least Banhof is doing this because they believe that in the long run, protecting their customer is good for their business. I've been a banhof customer for quite a while now and its an excellent ISP IMHO.

Re:Wrong motive (2, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017458)

It's important to accept the actions that people do that benefit you regardless of their motivations. Understanding their motivations is only useful in predicting future behavior, and perhaps to judge the veracity with which they pursue your common interest.

Never, ever decry an action that benefits you or a cause you believe in because the actor's motivations aren't the same as yours!

Re:Wrong motive (3, Interesting)

Reality Master 301 (1462839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019076)

This is possibly the dumbest comment I've ever read on slashdot. Are you saying I should never ever say anything bad about something, if it slightly benefits me personally? For instance, if someone cut your head off and gave me a small part of the money in your wallet? Or if a popular politican was killed, because he/she didn't share my opinion on tax levels? Or if a mod decided to lock your account, because of your stupid ideas?

Re:Wrong motive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35017754)

You should read up on Banhof. Their motive is most definitely righteous, but they will use whatever explantion which will work best in the mainstream media.

Re:Wrong motive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018456)

Actually Bahnhof is a highly moral company.

Re:Wrong motive (1)

bjoeg (629707) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018886)

This law has been in effect in Denmark over several years now. And even when it is the law several ISPs does not log this information, simply because of the costs.

So maybe ISPs or justice department should put some more work into, what if an ISP does not comply with the law, what should then happen, a fine, cease and desist or.....?

Re:Wrong motive (2)

xenobyte (446878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018966)

It is very much about the principles. Consider the following scenarios:

A) The police suspects a specific person of a specific crime, goes to the courts and gets a warrant to intercept communication in order to gather evidence - and so on.

B) The police suspects someone may be committing a crime and request (no warrant needed) all logs in order to comb them for possible suspects and gather evidence against these suspects, if any.

No question that option B is the easiest for the police, but it is extremely invasive and makes the ISP a part of the policing system. Option A also requires actual police work in advance, in order to put a name on the suspect and to get enough circumstantial evidence in order to get a warrant.

The argument for B has always been the quest for terrorists. But so far all terrorists arrested have left enough data on their PCs for the authorities to compile and use in a trial. None have been found through this generic logging and the logging will not yield information not already available on the suspects computers.

The logging from B is useless against encrypted communication and the primary terrorist forums already use encrypted chat forums. You can log that there was traffic to the IP of the website with the chat but not whether the suspect actually joined the chat or what was said in it. It is useless as both an information gathering device and as evidence (looking at a website isn't a crime for instance). In other words you have something that's expensive, invasive and useless.

Re:Wrong motive (1)

undecim (1237470) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020698)

Who gives a damn? If it's good for the customers, it doesn't matter whether they were motivated by money, politics, ethics, aliens, or the FSM and his noodly appendage.

They've got their motives right (1)

aaardwark (1573215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35021482)

I think it's the right motive. They will still have to store the data, it will just be the same address everywhere. They were the first ones to drop documentation about their customers to avoid handing it out because of IPRED. In fact they started integrity classed ISPs [integrity.st] (in Swedish), when IPRED came. They've said they would gladly help investigations of serious crimes. What they don't want to do is mass surveillance against their own customers, and handing out that sensitive information for offences so minor they will only deal fines.

Re:Wrong motive (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35022110)

I truly think that you are wrong in this case. Bahnhof is different. It was started in 1994 by Oscar Swartz [wikipedia.org], a prominent liberal (not socialist) gay political activist and Pirate Party supporter. CEO Jon Karlung is also a liberal (who used to be editor-in-chief on Sweden's largest (?) porno magazine Aktuell Rapport in the 90s). Bahnhof is one of the few companies that is actually run by liberal ideologists and they are as interested in freedom (as in not giving more power to the government) as they are in running a successful company. They are all total nerds and they spent tons of money to make their office bunker (!) look like it's from a cyberpunk movie [google.se].

In most other cases I would agree with you though...

Original Link (3, Informative)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017000)

Re:Original Link (2, Funny)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017074)

Yes, and kudos to Google's machine translation. It was actually a pretty pleasant read, the sentences made as much sense as the average /. reply.

Re:Original Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35017494)

How do you view that pedophiles, drug dealers and murderers can get away with your service?
- I'm with the crime, but it must be based on individual efforts, which we target reconnaissance and where we direct our efforts towards the direction where there is suspicion.

"I'm with the crime" probably makes more sense if you translate it as "I'm in favor of fighting crime". Other than that the translation is surprisingly coherent.

Re:Original Link MOD UP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35017580)

There are a lot of people who can read Swedish, like most people in the nordic countries, you insensitive blob! (@ /. editor)

Re:Original Link MOD UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019220)

Most people in the Nordic countries are also quite comfortable using English, and they're also probably smart enough to find URL to the original story at Dagens Nyheter buried in the Google Translate URL, if they're so inclined. You were saying...?

LE is not the real privacy enemy anymore (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35017008)

The privacy violation and spying that Law Enforcement does is nothing compared to what google, facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc. are doing. I think the privacy advocates need to rethink who the real enemy is. With search, chat, mail, ads, analytics, like buttons, and other embedded icons/code spread throughout the web, these big web companies can gather more intelligence than anyone. LE has the goal of eliminating crime, big-web has the goal of raking in cash. Who is your real privacy enemy?

Re:LE is not the real privacy enemy anymore (4, Interesting)

boarder8925 (714555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017020)

Both are our "real privacy enem[ies]." Google et al make money off all the information they index and archive about us, and the law-enforcement agencies can turn around and demand that data to intimidate, harass, and persecute us. We're getting royally screwed no matter how you look at it, but at least Google can't send you to pound-you-in-the-ass prison, or beat the shit out of you on the way there.

Re:LE is not the real privacy enemy anymore (2, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017130)

the law-enforcement agencies can turn around and demand that data to intimidate, harass, and persecute us.

Oh yeah, well I like watching women suck horse cocks.

Do you hear me, NSA? Your perverted agents are jacking off to captures of my screen showing videos of women sucking horse cocks, aren't they? But they're allowed to watch it obsessively all day and go home and ejaculate to the thought of horse cocks while making love to their wives because they're not the ones who clicked those links, were they? You sick, sick fucks.

What you gonna do, tell my wife? She's a furry. What you gonna do, tell my boyfriend? He's a furry. What you gonna do, tell my employer? My HR manager is a sadistic pedophile. So fuck you, NSA.

Re:LE is not the real privacy enemy anymore (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017306)

Google making money off information they gather makes them my enemy how? The concept baffles me. OK, they know some guy's interests are airship design and history, politics, World War II history, various science and engineering topics, reading and commenting on slashdot, and collecting innovative LED flashlights. To the best of my knowledge they don't connect it to my personal identity (as if that would bother me). Somehow, that doesn't bother me.

Google et al make money off all the information they index and archive about us [makes them our enemy]

YES IT IS (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017284)

Which one of the two is my real enemy? The evil son of a bitch who craves power, and when he gets it, turns it to spiteful and vindictive purpose, that's who. And that is most assuredly the government, not business (except when the two operate in collusion, which is becoming the fashion). Almost universally, law enforcement doesn't limit itself to eliminating crime. It cooperates with lawmakers to hungrily expand the definition of crime to include victimless "offenses," thought "offenses," and what it sees as the POTENTIAL for offending. It despises liberty instinctively. It mistrusts the minds of all people. AND it has fundamentally unlimited power. All the resources of the overpowering state can be called out against me.

Certain businesses may not meet with my approval, and where possibly I simply do not avail myself of their product. They, unlike the state, are subject to market influences. I don't see a single thing google does which threatens me. Little of their activity even meets with my disapproval.

The privacy violation and spying that Law Enforcement does is nothing compared to what google, facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc. are doing. I think the privacy advocates need to rethink who the real enemy is. With search, chat, mail, ads, analytics, like buttons, and other embedded icons/code spread throughout the web, these big web companies can gather more intelligence than anyone. LE has the goal of eliminating crime, big-web has the goal of raking in cash. Who is your real privacy enemy?

Re:YES IT IS (1)

GauteL (29207) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018582)

The "evil son of a bitch who craves power, and when he gets it, turns it to spiteful and vindictive purpose" will seek out whatever route will take him/her into this position. Historically the government has been the easiest way of achieving this sort of power. As multi-national corporations continue to grow, this may well change.

Also, the behaviour of corporative executives are much less scrutinised by the media than the behaviour of the government. If Google did things you disapprove of, it is quite possible you wouldn't know about it.

Re:YES IT IS (2)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35020002)

I think it is less that megacorporations are to some extent replacing the government as the enemy, than that it is becoming more and more difficult to find a line of distinction between the government and the megacorporations.

Re:LE is not the real privacy enemy anymore (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017796)

both are but lawmaker are the worse of the evil when it comes to this. google etc profit lawmaker will come bashing down your door for saying something abought oboma. the less control the gov has over the net the better. well relly the less controle they have over anything is better. look at heathcare ssi and so forth all runed by are gov.

Re:LE is not the real privacy enemy anymore (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35023328)

In Corporatism the powers of law enforcement are merged with the interests of large corporations. They are now just two sides of the same pervasive-surveillance coin.

I knew it. (2, Funny)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017040)

All that fresh air and clean water (and as much as I hate it, anti-alcohol-policy) had to be good for something. Little did I knew it would be common sense that would benefit. I'm not from Sweden but as soon as I can afford to be an alcoholic there I will immigrate to it!

Re:I knew it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35017160)

Moonshine

Re:I knew it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019452)

Hell yeah! You will struggle to find someone who hasn't had his/her fair share of moonshine in Sweden. However some of them don't even know it.

Re:I knew it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35017358)

s/immigrate/emigrate. One emigrates to another country, in which one is a foreign national with some leave to remain -- an immigrant in that country. To quote the OED:
  • Emigrate: "To remove out of a country for the purpose of settling in another."
  • Immigrate: "To come to settle in a country (which is not one's own); to pass into a new habitat or place of residence (lit. and fig.)."

This drives me absolutely mad -- one oft sees obnoxious ads yelling "Immigrate to the US!" that serve only to (further) put me off the country...

Re:I knew it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35017520)

Immigrate: "To come to settle in a country (which is not one's own); to pass into a new habitat or place of residence (lit. and fig.)."

But that's exactly how he used the word, and you objected to it. Can you give an example of how you would use "immigrate" in a sentence given that you say that he used it incorrectly?

Re:I knew it. (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017618)

Please correct me if I am wrong. I am not a native English speaker and may have confused Dutch stuff with it.
Assuming he currently lives in the US he would be emigrating from the US and immigrating to Sweden. True?
Now he wants to live in Sweden, so his spelling and grammar were correct, true?

I think I love the Swedes (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017168)

Is it difficult to obtain citizenship there? I think I want to move.

Re:I think I love the Swedes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35017352)

Hold your horses, we've still got extraordinary privacy-breaching laws [wikipedia.org] in place. I'm a Swede, and I'm looking emigrate -- country's been going down the drain since 9/11.

Re:I think I love the Swedes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35017462)

Just go across the border to Norway. Probably the only place better than Sweden.

Re:I think I love the Swedes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35017488)

As a native Swede I have enjoyed reading Hairy Swedes [blogspot.com] blog.
It is written by an American who moved to Sweden for a while.
It contains a lot of information about the nice and not so nice things about Sweden. It also has guides on what to bring, how to deal with the metric system and how to pass the Swedish citizenship test.

Re:I think I love the Swedes (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017640)

Swedish residence is easy. It is one of the things that is really attractive about Sweden (and I say that as a Dane, we are usually forbidden by social taboo from saying anything nice about Sweden). Should be noted that Swedish ISPs with this move are apparently the most compliant in Europe, so anywhere in Europe would be attractive, but Sweden is the nicest to immigrants.

Re:I think I love the Swedes (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017808)

If you can get and keep a job in Sweden, it's very easy to obtain citizenship. I think you can get naturalised after having lived and worked here for around a decade.

There are a number of backsides to Sweden too, of course, like the crushing political correctness, and a less than encouraging attitude to people who try to take initiatives (like starting new businesses).

Re:I think I love the Swedes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018436)

It takes 5 years to become a citizen if you are working here in Sweden.

3 years if you live together with a Swedish partner for 2 years (marriage not required).

Re:I think I love the Swedes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018358)

I do hope your name isn't Julian Assange!

Re:I think I love the Swedes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018372)

Just cross the border, they won't throw you out. The same goes for Norway sadly..

Re:I think I love the Swedes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018652)

Is it difficult to obtain citizenship there? I think I want to move.

You can apply for citizenship online. [migrationsverket.se]

This rather funny crash course in Swedish [slayradio.org], concentrate on some of the more important aspects of the Swedish language that English speakers have hard to grok on their own (it only covers the rather simplistic (almost as simplistic as English) dialects around the Swedish capital). Most people that move to Sweden as adults never learn to speak good Swedish. It is especially hard for English speakers as they can cheat and get by using their native language, e.g. we had a wave of immigrants from USA during the Vietnam war, none of those guys that I've met even try to speak Swedish, despite living here for more then 40 years. Other then more grammar, much more phonemes (you will sound more ridiculous then a Chinese person that can't say R in English), extensive use of tonality (nobody will understand you until you get the Swedish prosody right and unless you already speak some Asian language like Chinese, or have a perfect pitch, you likely never will), extensive use of word composition, a much larger vocabulary in common use and a lot of false friends, Swedish and English is rather similar, English is almost a subset of Swedish (but use all prepositions wrong and we modernised our spelling in the 1830's, prior to that it was similar to English spelling), spoken Old English could perhaps even pass as a Swedish dialect.

Viking Heritage (3, Interesting)

andersh (229403) | more than 3 years ago | (#35021624)

Well, English is a close cousin of all the Scandinavian languages, but more to the point Old Norse.

The original Old English language was influenced by two waves of invasion: the first by speakers of the Scandinavian branch of the Germanic language family, who conquered and colonized parts of Britain in the 8th and 9th centuries; the second by the Normans in the 11th century, who spoke Old Norman.

However it was the Danish and Norwegian Vikings that attacked and settled in Britain. Have you heard of the Danelaw [wikipedia.org]? So it would be more precise to say English has a closer relationship with Danish/Norwegian than Swedish.

In fact some dialects still exist in the northwest of England that sounds like modern Norwegian (BBC, 2008). Indeed, modern genetic sampling and research reveals a lot of Viking blood heritage [youtube.com] in England, Ireland and Scotland.

The influence of this period of Scandinavian settlement can still be seen, and is particularly evident in place-names: name endings such as -howe, -by ("village") or "thorp" ("hamlet").

Furthermore many British island groups, including the Isle of Man(n) and Shetland [bbc.co.uk], belonged to Norwegian Kings for hundreds of years. Indeed York [historyofyork.org.uk] was once known by its original name Jorvik. Dublin (Dubh Linn) [dublinks.com] and other Irish cities were Viking settlements.

Then later the descendants of Norwegian/Danish settlers in Normandy, France, decided to invade and conquer England. Of course by that time William the Conqueror and his men spoke French. His father again was the well known [Norwegain/Danish] Rollo, or Hrólfr, who forced the French king to sign a treaty ceding part of the province to him, from which it took the name of Normandy [normandie-tourisme.fr], the country of the Northmen.

Ironically it was the attack of the invading Norwegian Viking army under King Harald Hardråda [wikipedia.org] and Tostig Godwinson, brother of the English King, that led to the fall of England to the Normans. King Harold [wikipedia.org] managed to beat the Norwegian invaders at the Battle of Stamford Bridge [battle-of-...066.org.uk], near York, but was not strong enough to withstand a second attack by the Norman army. In 1066 at the time of the Battle of Hastings [battle-of-...066.org.uk] the languages were mutually intelligible.

Swedish Vikings moved east and played a major role in the development of Russia [pbs.org]. These Vikings are know as the Rus and it is from this name that the name of Russia has been derived. Actually the Rus were Swedish Vikings meaning the northern Germanic tribes which setteled in Sweden. The Term Rus was not what they called themselves, but the name given them by the Finns. Today Sweden is Ruotsia in Finnish.

English, the three Scandinavian languages, Icelandic, Dutch and German all belong to the Germanic language family [wikipedia.org].

Re:I think I love the Swedes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35023216)

It's easy if you're from a Schengen [wikipedia.org] country but if you can show you have a source of income (job, company) that probably helps as well; otherwise I think you can only stay 3 months and get a stamp "sailor" in you passport :-).

And you want to bet they can't amend the law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35017346)

Not that they'd necessarily have to do so, because it's quite possible in many cases to argue a deliberate attempt to thwart the law is itself illegal, but even if that weren't an avenue, changing the law to include such a clause is hardly unimaginable.

You want to argue the law is a bad idea? Go ahead. You want to challenge it in the court of law, or even of public opinion...more power to you!

But don't imagine for a second you can get away with thumbing your nose at the government.

They'll just legislate to prevent ISPs doing this? (1)

wdef (1050680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017544)

If they can. And how long will it be before routing traffic through Tor or any darknet becomes illegal?

Re:They'll just legislate to prevent ISPs doing th (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017770)

being its imposable to track tor packets and the same for vpn such a law would be just as useless.

Re:They'll just legislate to prevent ISPs doing th (1)

wdef (1050680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35022640)

Don't they just have to outlaw any connection to a Tor node on the right port that looks like Tor traffic? I didn't say they needed to catch everybody - just catch enough. Set up a sting node and track IP addresses of those who connect. Busted. Or make it illegal to download or possess Tor or Freenet client software. Easily flouted but that's not the point.

Re:They'll just legislate to prevent ISPs doing th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35021324)

any law like that would also make secure banking/payment transactions illegal.
the fallout from that would be to huge to conceal.

Re:They'll just legislate to prevent ISPs doing th (1)

wdef (1050680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35022762)

Banking transactions don't normally go via a known anonymizing darknet do they? And I didn't say they'd make SSL illegal which would be ridiculous. They don't need to enforce the law consistently especially in civil law countries (Europe) where case law does not have the weight it has in the US/UK. They can just enforce it upon whomsoever they feel like enforcing it on who happens to be running a Tor node for example. The list of tor nodes can't be hidden. Maybe they'd be in conflict with laws designed to protect privacy though. Perhaps there is a legal impediment to this though, because I tend to think if they could ban running Tor, Freenet etc nodes and client software, then they would have already.

Why this convoluted solution? (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017620)

Why don't they just ignore the law like danish ISPs, or mostly ignore it like most ISPs in Europe (noting that UDP is practically impossible to store "connection" information about)??

It seems the Swedish ISPs are way way behind in "rebelling".

Re:Why this convoluted solution? (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017950)

There's a difference between ignoring it and actively taking measures to thwart it; the latter sends a rather stronger signal.

Re:Why this convoluted solution? (2)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019412)

It sends a stronger signal of taking the law serious. As long as nobody cares, it is not effectual law and can not be enforced, by circumventing it you are acknowledging the law and could be liable for trying to circumvent the law.

awsome for isp stupid for lawmaker (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#35017762)

nice you guys get a fee vpn. the usa is trying for the same push even thow i dought it will get anywhere.even if it does what do they think the users will do. that right vpn everything. and probably most isps to. and no comcast doest count they will just raise your prices again and bend to anyones will.regardless of there motives and what lawmakers are trying to cheap skate out of its not the isp responsibly to track there users. lawmakers just wanna get around having to get a warrant for such actions to be taken. and now they just made it inpossable being the isp is gonna encrypt everything.

"giving up your privacy will cost extra" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018192)

Go bahnhof. Too bad I'm not in Sweden, or I'd sign up instantly.

Sticker Printing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018208)

i always like to read some good and informative
  blogs and this blog is also so good and helpful.
thanks for taking time to discus this topic..
http://www.fprinting.com

How does this thwart the law again? (1)

Vrtigo1 (1303147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019208)

I didn't read TFA, but if the ISP is providing the VPN service, then they must control the VPN endpoint where the traffic is decrypted when it leaves their network. If that's the case, then it seems to me that they would still be obligated to log all of the traffic at that point, thus negating the whole point of using VPN in the first place. Maybe they've partnered with a 3rd party to provide the VPN service to get around this?

Re:How does this thwart the law again? (1)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019676)

No they are only forced to store certain type of information and by bundling the VPN with the internet access they can honestly say - when the police asks them who was using a specific IP-adress at a specific time - " We dont know".

Who was using the VPN service at a specific time is not something that they have to store.

Re:How does this thwart the law again? (1)

Vrtigo1 (1303147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019830)

Your comment didn't really address the issue I brought up. If they provide the VPN service, then they're still issuing subscribers IPs from their IP space.

The proper resonse (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019500)

from the ISP's would be, "Piss off. You want logging, bring a warrant... and the equipment required to store it. I'll make the required configurations and provide the network connections for our standard fee."

Umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019784)

This is complicated, legally. There are safe harbor rules for ISP's, however that doesn't apply when you are just a VPN company...so VPN servers should really be located somewhere in a small/offshore country (Norway?) where most of such traffic isn't domestic. Or maybe they are partnering with another ISP, outside of EU. Also it's unlikely that ISP's in other countries even care except in profit sense. it's a lot of information to be stored, while customers could also DDOS everything with extremely huge amount of stuff that is logged.

Heja Banhof! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35020384)

Where's the US ISP that sticks it's neck out to protect the privacy of its customers?

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