Business, Technology Security

Swedish ISP stands up against new anti-piracy laws


An ISP [Internet Service Provider] in Sweden has decided not to cooperate with the movie and record companies in their zealous crusade against file sharing. On April 1st, 2009, just before the trial against the Pirate Bay started Sweden enacted a law that is based off of the European Union’s IPRED [Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive].

This law allows for courts to order ISPs to hand over details on suspected file sharers such as IP address. This law allows ISPs to retain this information for up to six months but does not require it. As such ISPs are allowed to destroy that information at their own discretion.

Bahnhof has chosen to destroy the user information in an open attempt to undermine the new anti-piracy laws.   By destroying the data the new laws are rendered useless. The courts can still ask for any maintained data but since there is nothing there the ISPs have nothing to give. Since he law allows for this it is a legal way to stand up against the record and movie industry.
As Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung said "Yes, that would make the new law completely ineffective. And then the legislators will have to step up and say they want to have data storage, not to catch terrorists but to help record companies and the movie industry in the hunt for file sharers,"

Karlung has been a very vocal opponent to the new law and has made the decision to protect his customers rather than the industry.  Karlung also stated that if the law changes to require the retention of this information Bahnhoff would stay within the limits of the law.

Swedish Lawmakers are in fact working on a revised law to require the retention of data for six months. As law makers push to comply with corporate requests it begins to make you wonder just how far governments will go to keep large corporations and the conglomerates happy. After all they are not pushing for retention to fight terrorism or child exploitation; they are pushing this to catch file sharers.