A newly leaked government report is suggesting that the Swedish government is planning on implementing a new law that would force ISPs to retain all user information for a period of six months. the Swedish minister stressed that nothing is set in stone regarding this, but a theory is already being put forth that says the government is trying to wait until after critical elections are over.
Last week, we reported on a study that suggested that the Pirate Party has enough support to gain two seats in the European Elections. One can easily trace the surge in support from angered Swedish citizens who saw a guilty verdict handed down to the Pirate Bay by a judge who has been under fire for being a supporter of the copyright industry. Not only this, but there was very tangible evidence that the United States government was involved in Swedish affairs surrounding file-sharing related issues - a kind of foreign intervention that doesn’t tend to fly amongst Swedish citizens.
We also know that a few Swedish ISPs rocketed to web fame when they said that they would destroy their logs in an effort to fight new anti-filesharing laws introduced in Sweden recently. Essentially, if they were asked to hand over their records, there would be nothing to hand over.
Clearly, the government is already in the midst of damage control, but word from The Local suggests that they may have a brand new PR meltdown on their hands that stands to giving even more support for the Pirate Party.
Internet service providers (ISPs) in Sweden will be forced to store customer data for at least six months starting in 2010, according to a new proposal from the government.
The proposal, which is still in its initial stages but was leaked onto the internet and reported on by the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, is an attempt by the Ministry of Justice to prevent internet providers from diluting a new law meant to make it easier to hunt down people suspected of illegal file sharing.
In order to rectify the law’s shortcomings, Sweden’s Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask has laid out plans in an unpublished referral to Sweden’s Council on Legislation (Lagrådet) which would force ISPs to save information about their customers for six months.
“There is no referral to the Council on Legislation. The government hasn’t taken a decision about any referral to the Council and until the government has done so, nothing is finished,” he told the TT news agency.
In response, the Pirate Party had this to say (Google translation)
- Data storage means that the State may register any contact people have online and the telephone, although they are not suspected of crimes. It is contrary to the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights, says Christian Engström, Pirate Party’s first name to the EU Parliament.
- Internet is not a playhouse where politicians must do what they want. The Constitution must also apply on the Internet. We have the right to keep our private life private, “says Christian Engström.
Data Act also means that all mobile phone calls, we call recorded, together information about where the phone was located.
- In a blow turns all our mobile phones into electronic fetter in State service. It is quite unreasonable in a democracy in peacetime, “said Christian Engström.
The bill comes from an EU directive called Data Directive, which Thomas Bodström drove through in the EU during the last mandate. The Directive will therefore directly from the last red government, and now carried out by the blue.
- Saying “we must, for the European Union has decided” is a cowardly way to refuse to take responsibility, “says Engström. This law is an unacceptable violation of privacy. “Nej. Correct answer to the EU on this issue is a short and concise “no. Absolutely not. Sue us if you dare. “
If anything can be said about the next EU election, it’s that it’s going to be quite an interesting one on the back of this fresh revelation.