Tag: Sweden

Swedish ISPs tell Big Content to bork off

Despite getting a ruling from the Swedish Supreme Court, Big Content will have its work cut out trying to get Swedish ISPs to block The Pirate Bay.

Last week Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Nordisk Film and the Swedish Film Industry ended a three year battle by getting a court to block a ‘pirate’ site

However other ISPs said that the ruling does not apply to them, so connectivity to the site will continue until a court orders otherwise. This means that Big Content will have to get a court order each time it wants to block the site for each ISP. It will then have to go through the whole performance again each time the Pirate site moves IP addresses.

There is also the chance that other courts might reject Big Content’s applications. In an October 2015 trial at the Stockholm District Court, Big Content lost a case and had to appeal.

Last Monday the court ruled that Bredbandsbolaget, the ISP at the centre of the action, must block The Pirate Bay.

Swedish ISPs don’t like the idea of becoming copyright policemen and are continuing to fight. Last week ISP Bahnhof even hinted that it may offer a technical solution to customers who are prevented from accessing the site.

Even the leading telecoms firms, which have been keener on striking an accord with Big Content say that they have no intention of blocking The Pirate Bay, unless it is forced to do so by law.

Swedes secretly blame Putin for air traffic break-down

Vladimir Putin - Wikimedia CommonsWhile the Swedes publically blamed solar flares for downing its air traffic control system last Novemer, it secretly warned NATO that it was really an attack by Russian hackers.

According to Aldrimer, authorities in the Scandinavian country notified NATO of a serious, ongoing cyber attack by a hacker group linked to Russian intelligence.  That was not the official story.  The Swedish Civil Aviation Administration told the world that a solar storm had knocked out air traffic control systems in much of Sweden.

Sweden is not a member of NATO, but it issued the warning to the alliance and several NATO allies, including Norway and Denmark. The Swedes believed the cyber attack was led by the Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) group which previously has been linked to the Russian military intelligence service GRU.

Of course no one is commenting officially. But it does not appear to have been the only attack on the Swedes. Another case also sent NATO included an attack on the  state-owned power company Vattenfall. Vattenfall owns and operates several nuclear power plants in Sweden and Germany.

The Swedish Civil Aviation Administration’s computer problems were pretty serious. They made it impossible for air traffic controllers to see the aircraft on their screens. Air traffic to and from the Arlanda, Landvetter and Bromma airports in Sweden was affected, and many domestic and international flights were cancelled.

To be fair to the Russians there were warnings of an impending solar storm in the period around the air traffic control collapse. But it was expected to be moderate and declining.


Assange says he will surrender if he loses UN case

Julian AssangeOn the lamb Julian Assange says he will agree to be arrested by British police tomorrow if a UN investigation into his three-and-a-half years holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in central London does not rule that he was illegally detained.

Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy since June 2012, after Swedish authorities sought his extradition. The United Nations working group on arbitrary detention is set to hand down a decision on Assange’s case on Friday morning.

Assange told the UN that his detention was arbitrary and unlawful. It rests on a challenge to the European extradition system, his inability to access the benefit of the grant of asylum by Ecuador, and what he argues is his long-term detention.

In a statement issued by WikiLeaks on Twitter, Assange said: “Should the UN announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden, I shall exit the embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal.

“However, should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me.”

The WikiLeaks founder had raised repeated concerns about Swedish demands that he be questioned in person over the allegations, due to fears he may be extradited to the United States.

Swedish authorities have come under scrutiny for their approach to questioning him. It was only in January 2016 that a deal was finally struck by prosecutors with Ecuadorian officials to allow Assange to be questioned at the embassy in London.

Swedish authorities said three of the offences are out of their statute of limitations. But they still want to talk to him about a further allegation of rape.

Assange might finally be questioned

Julian AssangeForgotten internet wanna-be and alleged sex-crime fugitive Julian Assange might be questioned by the Swedish government in his Ecuadorian embassy hideout.

Assange’s self-imposed house arrest in the embassy has lasted years and was due to a belief that it was perfectly reasonable to bonk who he liked, how he liked and if anyone said otherwise they were part of a CIA plot to have him shipped back to the US to face spying charges.

While the British police have given up posting a guard on the Ecuadorian embassy, diplomacy in the wider world has moved on. Ecuador and Sweden have struck an agreement on how the two nations will cooperate on criminal matters.

One of the spin offs is that the investigation into sexual assault charges levelled Assange will be allowed to continue.

Ecuador’s Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Mr Humana said that the agreement strengthens bilateral relations and could help compliance with judicial proceedings, as the interrogation of Assange.

Assange’s legal team believes Swedish prosecutors may be able to meet with the Wikileaks boss later this week, probably on Thursday.   If they decide that he has not got a case to answer the charges could be dropped and Assange could go free. If this happens then Assange will have to admit he was incredibly stupid not facing the music in the first place.

If they do want him, then Ecuador might actually give him up and do something more useful with the spare bedroom at the embassy. Assange will then face a trial and the whole matter will be finally be dealt with – just like ordinary people have to deal with. [Not me, Nick. Ed.]


Big Content told to sling its piracy hook in Sweden

Captain_Hook_(Hook)A Swedish court has told Big Content that the legal system can’t be used to force ISPs to ban whoever a music or film mogul does not like.

The District Court of Stockholm court ruled that the country’s internet service providers cannot be forced to block controversial Swedish file-sharing site Pirate Bay.

Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Nordisk Film and the Swedish Film Industry wanted to force Swedish ISP Bredbandsbolaget block Pirate Bay because it was ignoring their calls.  Its argument was that if the ISP was not censoring whoever Big Content said it should, then it was helping the pirates.

But the court found that Bredbandsbolaget’s operations do not amount to participation in the copyright infringement offences carried out by some of its ‘pirate’ subscribers.

Bredbandsbolaget said that is only job was to provide customers with internet access and ensuring the free-flow of information, it should not be forced into the censorship business.

Presiding Chief Magistrate Anders Dereborg said that the court said it is not in a position to authorise such a ban as the rights holders want and therefore rejects their request.

The move was a little unexpected.  The courts have been rolling over for Big Content through-out Europe. The only EU country that has not done so has been the Netherlands.

The Pirate Bay was founded in Sweden in 2003, allows users to share music, film and other files using bit torrent technology, or peer-to-peer links offered on the site.

In 2009 Fredrik Neij and three other Swedes connected with The Pirate Bay were found guilty of being accessories to copyright infringement by a Swedish court.

They were each given one-year jail terms and ordered to pay $3.6 million in compensation.

Sweden abandons three Julian Assange allegations

Julian AssangeSwedish prosecutors have decided to abandon investigations into three alleged sexual assault charges against Julian Assange because there’s a statutory time limitation on inquiries that’s elapsed.

But a rape accusation is still being investigated although Swedish prosecutors still need to interview Assange. There’s been a suggestion in recent weeks that such an interview could take place in the Ecuador Embassy following conversations between the two governments.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuador Embassy in London since 2012. The allegation of rape still has five years to run before the Swedish time limitation rule kicks in.

Assange has denied all the charges. He claims that he sought asylum in the Embassy because he feared that if he was extradited to Sweden, the USA might extradite him to the USA, which would dearly love to get its hands on him because of the secret documents Wikileaks published five years ago.

Police investigate movie studio anti-pirate antics

arrestIn a surprising turn around, the Swedish Police have started investigating the antics of movie studio piracy trolls.

Two Pirate Bay co-founders have been questioned by Swedish police, acting on behalf of the FBI. The officers were looking for information on Pirate Bay backups and logs as part of an investigation into the honeypot scheme of Prenda.

Prenda was uploading its own torrents to The Pirate Bay, creating a honeypot for the people they later sued over pirated downloads.

The Pirate Bay provided the evidence that tied a user account and uploads to Prenda and its boss John Steele.

It is fairly serious allegation and the fact that the FBI is interested suggests that more serious charges could be flying Prenda’s way.

Pirate Bay co-founders Peter Sunde and Fredrik Neij have said that the coppers had asked them for help in an investigation which has being going on for a year.

“They wanted to know if I could verify the accuracy of the IP-address logs, how they were stored, and how they could be retrieved,” Neij told Torrent Freak .

It would be deeply ironic if the same trolls who were making a killing from placing honeypots on the Pirate Bay site was actually bought to justice by the same site.

Piracy is legal in the EU sometimes

A court in the European Union has decided that Europeans are allowed to pirate content if they do so in a particular way.

Apparently if an internet user is streaming copyrighted content online, it’s legal for the user, who isn’t willfully making a copy of said content to view it. The pirate can only watch it directly through a web browser, streaming it from a website that hosts it, but it will be perfectly legal.

The ruling comes as part of a legal battle between a European media service Meltwater that used to include headlines from various news stories in daily digests sent to readers via email. Copyright holders including the Associated Press sued the company.

But in Europe the case crossed into strange territory. The group suing Meltwater argued that recipients of Meltwater’s emails had to pay license fees for the content they received, and the court basically ruled that Internet users who see content online, without actually willingly making a copy of it, should not be held accountable for any resulting copyright infringement.

Meltwater is not off the hook, but its clients certainly are. It also means that if someone streams content from their website they can’t be done for piracy. It does mean that viewers cannot be prosecuted.

This should be good news for all those German unternet users who received fines at home for streaming certain porn videos from a site last year. 

Pirate Bay founder arrested in Sweden

One of the founders of file-sharing website Pirate Bay has been arrested in southern Sweden and ordered to serve an outstanding sentence for copyright violations.

Peter Sunde has been on the run for nearly two years and had been wanted by Interpol since 2012 after being sentenced in Sweden to prison and fined for breaching copyright laws.

Carolina Ekeus, spokeswoman at the Swedish National Police Board, said Sunde was given eight months in jail so he has to serve his sentence.

Sunde was arrested on Saturday in the southern Swedish county of Skane but Ekeus was not able to provide further details.

The Pirate Bay four were originally sentenced to one year in prison and fined $4.8 million. An appeals court later reduced the prison sentences by varying amounts, but raised the fine to $6.9 million.

In September, 2012, Cambodia arrested and deported another Pirate Bay co-founder at Sweden’s request.

Sunde may have been living in Germany in recent years and Sweden’s Supreme Court had, as recently as May, rejected an appeal from him.

Pirate Bay, launched in 2003, provided links to music and movie files that were stored on other users’ computers. The website is still functioning. On its website, Pirate Bay says it is now run by a different organisation and is registered in the Seychelles. 

Swedish pirate sued because of poor quality film

It is bad enough to be fined for distributing an illegal movie torrent, but a Swedish movie pirate found himself fined extra for distributing copy that was poor quality.

A moderator and uploader of Swebits has been hit with a huge damages award. For uploading a single pre-release movie the 28-year-old is now required to pay $652,000, the equivalent amount the studio would have charged for a license to distribute the movie for free.

 He also received a suspended jail sentence plus 160 hours community service.

Anti-piracy outfit Antipiratbyran claimed that the man was Sweden’s “worst ever” pirate which is a bit of an insult to the vikings who managed to actually capture whole countries or Martin Pechlin. The prosecution demanded at least one year in jail. 

The damage award was inflated by the fact that he issued a poor quality copy of the flick, which the film makers claimed lowered the standard of the brand.

The Pirate Party is outraged by the decision, which exceeds the $150,000 per title statutory damages possible in the United States, where courts roll over to Big Content and give silly infringement penalties.

Gustav Nipe, chairman of the Young Pirates, told Torrent Freak that it was wrong to have such a harsh penalty for doing something carried out by millions of Swedes.  It shows how outdated Swedish legislation is and the only way forward is a radical reform of copyright law that allows for the sharing of culture.