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Swedish Court Says IP Numbers Privacy Protected 108

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the then-how-can-i-ping-you dept.
oh2 writes "The highest applicable Swedish court, Regeringsrätten, has ruled that IP numbers are protected (in Swedish) since they can be traced to individuals. This means that only government agencies are allowed to track and store IP addresses, leaving 'anti-piracy' advocates with no legal way to find possible copyright infringers." Update: 06/18 14:42 GMT by KD : The original linked article had been pulled due to factual errors and a new article has been posted (link replaced above). Here is a Google translation. The new article makes clear that the ruling does not affect the anti-piracy efforts of rights-holders.
Update: 06/18 15:08 GMT by KD : Behind the link below is a summary in English of the article sent in by the submitter, oh2.

This autumn Datainspektionen will start monitoring how the IPRED law is applied when it comes to disclosure of personal information. A recent verdict in the Regeringsrätten, Sweden's highest applicable court, has upheld Datainspektionens decision that IP addresses are to be considered personal information and therefore protected under law.

In 2005 Datainspektionen ruled that collecting and storing personal information online like copyright advocates were doing was a breach of the Swedish PUL, Personal information act, that regulates how and what kind of information that can be traced to a single individual that can be stored. The anti-piracy organizations were quickly granted an exemption though, that expired March 31st. Starting April 1st this year IPRED allows holders of copyright to apply to the courts for this information.

Datainspektionen will now monitor closely how any personal information acquired from the courts in this manner is used by copyright holders.
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Swedish Court Says IP Numbers Privacy Protected

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  • No, sorry. (Score:3, Informative)

    by richie2000 (159732) <rickard.olsson@gmail.com> on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:57AM (#28372585) Homepage Journal

    There's an exception to this law in the recently enacted IPRED-law (based on an EU directive) that basically allows rightsholders to gather IP-addresses anyway.

  • by mattj452 (838570) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:58AM (#28372593)
    The article had a lot of errors and DN has replaced it with a new article: http://www.dn.se/kultur-noje/nyheter/ny-dom-paverkar-inte-ipredlagen-1.894500 [www.dn.se] In short: They can still do what they want, but they need a permit for it.
  • Re:Exemption... (Score:3, Informative)

    by oh2 (520684) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @08:01AM (#28372653) Homepage Journal
    Yes, there was a couple of factual errors in the original article. The upside is that IP numbers ARE now regarded as personal information in Sweden, the downside is that the IPRED law is still an abomination and a major infringement on our civil rights. Even more so now, really.
  • Re:bad rule (Score:5, Informative)

    by polle404 (727386) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @08:07AM (#28372715)

    the first article has been removed, since it was wrong on several points.
    http://www.dn.se/kultur-noje/nyheter/ny-dom-paverkar-inte-ipredlagen-1.894500 [www.dn.se]
    the court says: IP's are personal information, therefore you can only get this information through a court of law, and this ruling does not affect the Ipred law
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPRED [wikipedia.org]

    so a sysadm is not prohibited in managing his own network.

  • Re:bad rule (Score:5, Informative)

    by Narpak (961733) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @08:16AM (#28372831)

    "The highest applicable Swedish court, RegeringsrÃtten, has ruled that IP numbers are protected (in Swedish) since they can be traced to individuals. This means that only government agencies are allowed to track and store IP adresses, leaving "anti-piracy" advocates with no legal way to find possible copyright infringers."

    This is pretty much the way things are, and have been, in Norway now for many years. And so far I have heard none of my friends in IT, nor anyone in the media, complain about "And no way for server admins to track what virus infected bots are trying to break into their systems."being a problem.

  • Re:bad rule (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rakshasa Taisab (244699) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @08:34AM (#28373019) Homepage
    It's not a problem as while the agency responsible for pushing companies to secure, delete or reorganize the information they hold on individuals, they haven't really gone after web-server logs and systems used to track virus infected bots. But if you try using logs to catch filesharers, you might suddenly get in trouble. I guess we're just a bit more flexible when it comes to applying common sense.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @08:41AM (#28373069)

    Note that it applies to IP numbers as a means to identify individuals.

    The law in question is called , loosely translated "the personal information law" and basically says that it is illegal to record data that can be tied to an individual without that individuals consent.

    If you connect to a server, your consent is implicit, and the IP address as such is fairly anonymous. But stuff like doubbleclicks cookie tracking is illegal.

  • Short summary (Score:3, Informative)

    by oh2 (520684) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @08:57AM (#28373313) Homepage Journal
    The original article has been pulled, new one available (In swedish) here [www.dn.se]

    A short summary in english.

    This autumn Datainspektionen [datainspektionen.se] will start monitoring how the IPRED law is applied when it comes to disclosure of personal information. A recent verdict in the RegeringsrÃtten, Swedens highest applicable court, has upheld Datainspektionens decision that IP adresses are to be considered personal information and therefore protected under law.

    In 2005 Datainspektionen ruled that collecting and storing personal information online like copyright advocates were doing was a breach of the Swedish PUL, Personal information act, that regulates how and what kind of information that can be traced to a single individual that can be stored. The antipiracy organizations were quickly granted an exemption though, that expired march 31st. Starting april 1st this year IPRED allows holders of copyright to apply to the courts for this information. Datainspektionen will now monitor closely how any personal information aquired from the courts in this manner is used by copyright holders.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:05AM (#28373441)

    ...perhaps a little less googlish: http://www.allende.se/blog/2009/06/en-ipred-fant-balanserade/

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:05AM (#28373443)

    Basically APB argues IP addresses are not personal data and can not be linked to actual persons, thus should not be govenerd by the Personal Data Law (or something like that PUL, Person Uppgifts Lagen).

    The court ruled that since APB is using IP addresses to sue people who are participating in illegal file sharing, then obviously IP addresses can be linked to persons and are thus protected by PUL.

    The PUL law as google translated it:
    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&sl=sv&tl=en&u=http://www.notisum.se/rnp/SLS/lag/19980204.HTM&prev=_t

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