Swedish ISP Refuses To Give Up Info; Says IPRED Violates EU Privacy Rules

from the privacy-or-copyright? dept

Since the Swedish IPRED law went into effect, basically requiring ISPs to hand over info on those accused of copyright infringement, many ISPs have begun questioning the legality of the law itself — specifically noting that the law clearly conflicts with privacy laws already in place in Sweden, as well as wider EU privacy rules. Last year, the ISP Ephone appealed a demand for info, and now Swedish telco giant Telia Sonera is doing the same in appealing a demand for info on whoever runs SweTorrents:

In its appeal, the ISP argues that IPRED is in direct violation of the EU’s data retention directive, under which the privacy of the SweTorrents owner would be protected….

“The protection of privacy contained in the directive prevents the application of the Swedish IPRED law in this case,” TeliaSonera’s lawyer Patrick Hiselius said in a comment.

Separately, TeliaSonera also pointed out that the court doesn’t seem to understand the most basic technical aspects of BitTorrent, in that it spoke of “the material that is uploaded on the website” in referring to SweTorrents. But SweTorrents is just a tracker, and thus there is no infringing material uploaded to its website. TeliaSonera points out that the demands for information on SweTorrents, then, is “based on faulty technical knowledge.”

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Companies: teliasonera

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Comments on “Swedish ISP Refuses To Give Up Info; Says IPRED Violates EU Privacy Rules”

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8 Comments
Hulser (profile) says:

Technical technicalities

“TeliaSonera also pointed out that the court doesn’t seem to understand the most basic technical aspects of BitTorrent, in that it spoke of ‘the material that is uploaded on the website in referring to SweTorrents.”

Ha! I love that part. Legal systems are based on technicalities, so I hope that as the professionals in the legal systems get more tech savvy, we’ll see more of this kind of thing.

Defense lawyer: “My client is being sued for hosting infringing content on his web site, but he doesn’t host any content.”

Judge: Looking at web site, “Hmmm. Right you are. Case dismissed.”

Tor (profile) says:

I’d argue that the data rentention directive itself is probably what violates EU privacy laws in this case (for example the convention on human rights). Some have tried to make the argument that the stricter access rules of the data retention directive (which is not implemented in Swedish law but applies anyway) neutralises the IPRED law by making it impossible to release trafic data in cases like this. However, the data retention directive only affects data that has been stored in accordance with the directive. It’s very questionable if the data in this case can be said to have been that.

For example, if an ISP uses certain logs internally in the company then one could argue that such data is stored in accordance with the directive since it is stored and used for other purposes than criminal investigations. That could be the case even if the same log data were stored in another database with stricter access rules according to the directive.

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