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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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  • bad rule (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gmack (197796) <gmack@innerfire . n et> on Thursday June 18, 2009 @08:54AM (#28372551) Homepage Journal

    And no way for server admins to track what virus infected bots are trying to break into their systems.

    This rule will hurt more than it will help.

  • Re:bad rule (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jtev (133871) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:01AM (#28372643) Journal
    First thing I thought of too. That, and almost all servers already log connections by IP address. I mean, I look at /var/log/secure and what I see is a list of IP addresses that have connected to my machine, with what they have been trying to do. Someone didn't have their thinking caps on when they wrote this law.
  • by LaminatorX (410794) <sabotage@@@praecantator...com> on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:04AM (#28372681) Homepage

    Isn't the whole point of a publicly routable address to trace to a specific host or gateway? I sense some significant unintended consequences here. A ton of services will have real problems if this gets enforced thoroughly.

    I'm comparing this to phone numbers in my head. Even if you have an unlisted number, should it be illegal for someone to write down your number if it shows up on caller ID when you call them?

  • by wamatt (782485) * on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:08AM (#28372723)

    I think overall this is a win for Copyright lobby and not the other way around.

    1) Legitimises IP address being tied to account holder. IE lessens the "TOR/ Wifi Defense"
    2) APB have gotten an exemption and are now allowed to track IP's.

  • Re:bad rule (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:23AM (#28372899)

    And no way for server admins to track what virus infected bots are trying to break into their systems.

    This rule will hurt more than it will help.

    Can I use that BS rule next time my system has any problems? What a load of horse .... Any compentent admin can take care of the system without knowing who did it. Yes I would like to know what little snot nosed 13yr old kid is doing the evilness but it could just as well be your grandma that got owned and doesn't know she's doing it.

    So your real statement should say, "And no way for server admins to track down WHO is trying to break into there system. This rule will hurt the accountability process more than it will help.

    I agree with the second statement, but only in so much as it will hurt accountabily, there are many sides to the IP coin. If you had to live with RIAA and MIAA being total over the top BS artists to sue some 79yr old grandmother who doesn't own a computer then you might look at this from a different perspective.

  • Re:bad rule (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CarpetShark (865376) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:26AM (#28372937)

    What are you talking about? People attack your servers, and you hunt them down and kill them? When people attack your server, you find the responsible network block's admins abuse address, and report the IP and the problem. If they fail to act, and you continue to see attacks from that ISP, then you report that ISP upstream. None of that requires you knowing the individual(s) involved, and rightly so, since it could be the ISP pretending to be the individuals, for instance.

    As for hurting more than helping... a swedish feminist politician recently compared (very directly, in a short post about that subject alone) file sharing to rape. Are you really saying you don't value privacy of your IP address in a world like that, considering that people have been killed in mob violence when they were mistakenly believed to be child molesters, for instance?

    Please think a little more about what you're saying. It's often said, but nonetheless true, that those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.

  • by jonwil (467024) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:52AM (#28373219)

    Theres a BIG difference between an IP address (which is public information) and account details i.e. the link between an IP address and the account holder that is holding that account at the time (which should NOT be available to anyone without a valid court order or warrant)

  • Re:bad rule (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:13AM (#28373561)

    Not quite. My Postal address is personal information too. But I give it to you whenever I want to have a response by mail. An IP address is like that. You can off course respond to and keep the info that is handed to you, but not sell it or give to other companies. This will hurt though, as you probably want the right to pass those addresses to a security firm or to your provider.

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