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Watching the IPRED Watchers In Sweden 88

digithed writes "In response to Sweden's recent introduction of new laws (discussed here recently) implementing the European IPRED directive, a new Swedish Web site has been launched allowing users to check if their IP address is currently under investigation. The site also allows users to subscribe for email updates alerting them if their IP address comes under investigation in the future, or to report IP addresses known to be under investigation. This interesting use of people power 'watching the watchers' is possible because the new Swedish laws implementing the IPRED directive require a public request to the courts in order to get ISPs to forcibly disclose potentially sensitive private information. Since all court records are public in Sweden, it will be easy to compile a list of addresses currently being investigated."
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Watching the IPRED Watchers In Sweden

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  • by saiha ( 665337 ) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @11:57PM (#27499457)

    Its a beautiful thing.

    • by cbiltcliffe ( 186293 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:17AM (#27499597) Homepage Journal

      Until the government raids and confiscates the servers that the site is hosted on....

      Oh, wait..... this isn't Phoenix....

      • by emilv ( 847905 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:37AM (#27499713)

        No, but this is Sweden. The motto of our police force are something along the lines of "Raidin' The Pirate Bay and keepin' their servers forever". Thus, your comment are not at all inappropriate to describe Sweden.

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Meh, even if the police give your hardware back, you have to at the very least go over it with a fine-toothed comb looking for tiny embedded keyloggers, if you're feeling particularly paranoid maybe best just to sell it on as "handled by the pigs" damaged goods and get new kit.

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          You brought up the Pirate Bay case as an example. The police confiscated a lot of unrelated servers as evidence but one got returned real fucking quick, even though it is an extremely controversial site. The reason for that is that it was registered as a news outlet, which is especially protected in the Swedish constitution (see tryckfrihetsförordningen and yttrandefrihetsgrundlagen)

          A site like this could easily get the same protection by registering at (Radio & TV verket).
  • It's a shame that the Swedish language doesn't derive from Latin. The Sapir-Worf hypothesis states that you can only conceptualize those things that your language supports.

    Since Swedish doesn't have the concept of habeas corpus, they find themselves in this kind of circular "watching the watchers" predicament. When the government has no responsibility to provide proof of anything to simply go ahead with investigation, the citizens are forced to take measures like this wherein they must determine on their ow

    • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:03AM (#27499495) Homepage Journal
      Thats a terrible analogy. I am a native English speaker and I did not hear of habeas corpus until recently.

      OTH my wife is a native Cantonese speaker and I have noticed the trouble she has in English with the concepts of lights vs mirrors, ground vs floor and gate vs door.
    • by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) * on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:04AM (#27499501) Homepage Journal
      I know nothing of the Swedish language but I'd give my left nut to be able to request that information in America, especially since our governmental attack dogs behave as if they have no responsibility to provide proof of anything to simply go ahead with investigation anyway.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BlueParrot ( 965239 )

      If you're writing this from the US I'm going to laugh at you.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Sapir-Worf hypothesis

      1) It's Sapir-Whorf - watch less star trek.
      2) That hypothesis does not work like you think it does.
      3) You don't understand Swedish laws, or the concept of habeas corpus.
      4) ????
      5) Oh, and fuck you.

    • by ParanoidJanitor ( 959839 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:11AM (#27499559)
      English is also not derived from Latin (although it does borrow a large amount of words from Latin.) Swedish and English actually come from the same language family (Germanic) and share a large number of words (whether they share more than English shares with Latin is something that I don't know.) By the hypothesis you mentioned, the concept of habeus corpus is not something that English speakers should be able to conceptualize either.
      • by iminplaya ( 723125 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @01:38AM (#27500009) Journal

        ...the concept of habeus corpus is not something that English speakers should be able to conceptualize either.

        Yes, we did lose that ability just a few short years ago.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Threni ( 635302 )

        > English is also not derived from Latin (although it does borrow a large amount of words from Latin.)

        It borrows to within less than 1% as many words from Latin as from the biggest influence, so where it's derived from is something of a moot point for the purpose of this argument!

        • by iNaya ( 1049686 )
          That really depends on whether you count words borrowed from the other romance languages which were borrowed / evolved from Latin as being borrowed from Latin. It also depends on whether or not said English lexicon belongs to a biologist.
        • by Petrushka ( 815171 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @08:51AM (#27501865)

          > English is also not derived from Latin (although it does borrow a large amount of words from Latin.)

          It borrows to within less than 1% as many words from Latin as from the biggest influence, so where it's derived from is something of a moot point for the purpose of this argument!

          Latin/Romance-derived words in your post (including the quotation, since including it actually works in favour of your claim):
          derived, Latin, large, amount, Latin, per cent, Latin, influence, derived, point, purpose, argument.
          Total count: 11.

          Germanic words in your post:
          English, is, also, not, from, although, it, does, borrow, a, of, words, from, it, borrows, to, within, less, than, one, as, many, words, from, as, from, the, biggest, so, where, it, is, from, is, something, of, a, moot, for, the, of, this.
          Total count: 42.

          I hope that clarifies the slip in your reasoning.

          • by Threni ( 635302 )

            I can never listen to Petrushka without it reminding me of the Spitting Image "Chicken Song" from the mid-80's... "Stick a deckchair up your nose".

            Perhaps you have to be British, of a certain age, and a fan of Stravinsky to get that, though...

      • by Kjellander ( 163404 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @04:44AM (#27500737)

        English is also not derived from Latin (although it does borrow a large amount of words from Latin.) Swedish and English actually come from the same language family (Germanic) and share a large number of words.

        Not only that. A lot more English words than you think are borrowed from old Norse, the root of Swedish, Danish , Icelandic and Norwegian, and this because we Vikings invaded a thousand years ago.

        Don't believe me, check out the etymology on the word window [], which means eye to the wind. (Swedish has since borrowed the German word Fenster into the word fönster, but that is beside the point. Norwegian still uses vindue)

        Think about that next time you see for instance Microsoft's trademark on a +1000 year old Norse word, vindauga.

        • by itschy ( 992394 )

          To be even more beside the point:
          The german "Fenster" is derived from latin "fenestra".
          Someone pick up from here. :)

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        English and Swedish have a lot in common. If you're good at Swedish and have been exposed to some different Swedish dialects, you understand British English pretty well, even if you never learned it (but it's really hard to find an adult Swede with normal brain capacity that haven't learned English in school). I don't know if the opposite is true. If your good at Swedish you also understand many dialects of German (dialects in Uplandia sounds a lot like Low German and Stockholm had more German speaking inh

    • by Quothz ( 683368 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:11AM (#27499561) Journal

      Since Swedish doesn't have the concept of habeas corpus, they find themselves in this kind of circular "watching the watchers" predicament.

      *sniff* That's a beautifully constructed troll, sir. The obvious response, of course, is that habeas corpus has nothing whatsoever to do with initiating investigations. At all. In any way.

      The only reasonable conclusion, of course, is that your native tongue is Chewa, which of course has no phrase for "I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, but I could sure use another drink".

    • by jhol13 ( 1087781 )

      I do not believe in the hypothesis.

      Besides, Sweden does have habeas corpus.

    • by proton ( 56759 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @01:14AM (#27499865) Homepage

      As a swede, I can say that our laws seems to function quite alot better than the american laws do.

      We actually have the freedom to watch our watchers (in most cases). The government is quite significantly more "for the people by the people" than in the United States.

      And just for you, the european human rights convention explictly states "habeas corpus" rights, although not under the title "habeas corpus". This convention is also considered part of swedish law since 1998.

      And we certainly have the sense not to run camps were our "habeas corpus" doesnt apply...

      • Unfortunately it seems that citizens of almost any country believe their country to be, if not the best in the world, at least certainly better than the country of their critics...
        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by mindstormpt ( 728974 )

          Unfortunately, they always seem to be right if the critics are from the US...

          • Sweden has an strong tradition of government transparency and a lot of document is publicly availible. Anyone can request any government document which is not explicitly classfied as secret: []

            In Sweden, the Freedom of the Press Act of 1766 granted public access to government documents. It thus became an integral part of the Swedish Constitution, and the first ever piece of freedom of information legislation in the modern sense. In Swedis

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by reachinmark ( 536719 )
          In the case of comparing Sweden to the US, I think this is fair, at least as far as comments about watching the watchers goes.

          The Swedish constitution (also seen as a basic civil right here e.g. [] ) requires that all government paperwork be publicly accessible (and this includes e-mails, etc) - all you have to do is ask for it. Of course, that presumes that you *know* about it - but a heck of a lot better than in most other countries. This is how the IPRED wa
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CRCulver ( 715279 )

      The Sapir-Worf hypothesis states that you can only conceptualize those things that your language supports.

      Cute. But whenever the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is brought before a popular audience, it's always worth mentioning that the hypothesis in its strict form (the language constrains the way you think) is rejected by the vast majority of linguistics, and even its less strict form (that language influences the way you think) is highly contentious. Unfortunately, from popular media like Stephenson's Snow Cras []

      • by blackest_k ( 761565 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @10:12AM (#27502971) Homepage Journal

        I am not a linguist however it doesn't seem to be an unreasonable hypothesis, one of the problems in translation is finding reasonably equivalent phrases between languages.

        Within any individual language there are specialized vocabularies that people outside the profession have very little grasp of, the language of stockbrokers or software engineers or marketing for example.

        I believe thats referred to the domain of discourse. Within different languages there are subtle differences between what we would think of as universal concepts. For example the word you in Japanese has maybe 7 roughly equivalent words, the difference is directly related to the relative positions of the two speakers in relation to each other and society. In Polish for example there is a similar difference where there are formal and familiar forms of discourse. If your being respectful then you use the third party form of verbs. As nonnative speakers we are liable to trample all over that difference and may be considered rude or ignorant.

        I believe 0 was late to arrive in mathematics but it made a considerable impact on thinking about numbers. Of course there is a tendency of languages to assimilate words from other languages sometimes with a direct relation such as the word bungalow which comes from india or a different meaning such as 'handy' which I believe the Germans use for 'Cell phone' or 'Mobile'. I've not even touched on English idiom which can really baffle non native speakers yet can be extremely vivid concepts for native speakers.

        The problem with the hypothesis is that if I were fluent enough to recognize a conceptual difference in one language and were able to convey that concept to you in English or another language then that concept is no longer constrained by its original language.

        However the essential idea that language is a framework in which we express our idea's is quite reasonable, the idea that frameworks differ between languages and individuals also seems reasonable, however these frameworks are not fixed and can be expanded on. So given two differing frameworks it is likely that a difference in the concepts as expressed in two different languages may lead to different approaches which may yield different results. Chances are that if it's important enough the language frameworks will be modified to share the concept. Obviously change is ongoing so differences will become more subtle, but it's obvious that if you talked about working with computers for example to someone from the 1900's the concept computer used to be a man who worked with mathematics and windows were glass panels set into walls. I've no doubt you could teach the modern day concepts to someone from the 1900's but then your modifying his frame of reference.

        As a final thought I'm reminded of a scifi story where a stricken spacecraft needed instruction from earth to be able to avoid disaster but the delay in sending a communication and receiving the answer meant there wouldnt be enough time to avoid disaster, the problem was solved by the presidents wife who told them to speak at the same time in her field of expertise gossiping nothing would get done if they waited for one party to relay one story before they related their own.


  • (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:08AM (#27499537)

    " has not been reported as beeing investigated."

    How long until the government finds a loophole allowing them to investigate or, or maybe even one of the addresses? They could simultaneously investigate everyone with a single incriminating IP address!

    Reminds me of this quote: []

    • The police can raid your without warning under German laws anyway, maybe the Swedish police will just download a copy of the German law?.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by HonIsCool ( 720634 )

        The whole thing about this Swedish IPRED debacle is that it's not the police nor the government that are doing the investigations or raidings. It's private interests such as representatives or the record or movie industry. In some capacity, these groups have now been given more authority than the police, because awhile ago it was ruled that the police were not allowed to force ISPs to release subscription data on IP-addresses suspected of being used to break copyright law, because copyright-violation was no

        • by san ( 6716 )

          So in effect the situation in Sweden is now like in the US, then?
          The people sued by the RIAA must have had their identities revealed to the RIAA by the ISP, right?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by HonIsCool ( 720634 )
            Not exactly. I think that in the USA, the police can also get the information from the ISPs, no?
        • copyright-violation, not considered as serious as physical crimes?! now that's a legal system i could get behind!

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by laederkeps ( 976361 )
            Don't worry, this is going away in Sweden too.

            Whacky police state theory begins here

            Now that we allow the record companies and their kin to run their own prvate police force, it's only a matter of time before the lawmakers realize how f*cked up that really is.
            The answer, of course, is to give that power to the actual police in stead.

            How do you do that?
            That's something I theorized a few years ago; They will raise the upper limit of punishment for copyright infringement to levels which allow the pol
      • The computer you are accessing the internet from has not been reported as beeing investigated.


        Your response to the CAPTCHA was not correct. (times five tries)


    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by houghi ( 78078 )

      I don't care about the It will be a problem when they want to investigate

  • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:09AM (#27499543)
    One good thing that might come out of all these witchhunt laws that the media industry mafiaa is purchasing, is that to be enforcable, everyone needs to be using static IP addresses. Roll on exhaustion of IPv4 address space and the rollout at last of IPv6 to the consumer (without tunnelling).
    • by Zarhan ( 415465 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @01:43AM (#27500023)

      IPv6 has a nice little RFC going for it - Cryptographically generated addresses (CGA) [], defined in RFC 3972 []. Consider the possibility where every TCP/UDP session, or even every packet, comes from a different address...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mdmkolbe ( 944892 )

        RFC 3972 seems targeted at authentication, not anonymity. For that you would want something more like RFC 3041 []. But even then that is only for interface anonymity, there is no network/typology anonymity (i.e. they can still track down the network).

    • by ingvar ( 66436 )

      I believe you're not ENTIRELY correct there, as there's both an IP address and a specific time tied to a request (or, at least, could be).

    • by catxk ( 1086945 )

      Incorrect. The IPRED law forces ISPs to hand out information connected to a certain IP address at a certain time. This is possible as ISPs log customer's assigned IP addresses together with time stamps. They do this as to be able to handle complaints, but it will be law to do it on behalf of law enforcement in the near future.

  • You know what's weird? Electronic cigarettes []. Their legal status is uncertain in Sweden. I think if they work out the details of this IP agreement, it might help clear up the patent status of the e-cigarette, which was invented in Hong Kong (although it's now illegal there). Yep, e-cigarettes. I don't understand the name. Can your cigarette surf the web? Can you print out nicotine using your inkjet printer? I didn't think so.

    • That's not tobacco you're smoking. O.o
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by exley ( 221867 )

      Yep, e-cigarettes. I don't understand the name. Can your cigarette surf the web? Can you print out nicotine using your inkjet printer? I didn't think so.

      What you're looking for is the iCigarette -- it lets you do all the stuff you mentioned. Just like anyone else, really, but never has lung cancer looked so trendy.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 )
        No no. That's Cigarette 2.0. It runs on jSmoke. Although the Tobacco in Tubes implementation looks promising.
        • by exley ( 221867 )

          Very nicely done. Not only was your reply clever, but it's the first post in a long, long time around here to be funny while employing the word "tubes." :)

    • It appears smoking an e-cigarette is still bad for your health. The inhalant still irritates your lungs and thereby spawns cancer cells, but also the nicotine constricts the arteries making blood pressure rise and your heart work harder.

  • Someone could write a script that logs your given ip's for a week and then sends the list to the site.
    If it gets a hit, some desktop 'widget', 'gadget' or 'applet' could change from green to red?
    Time to melt you storage media of choice and slide in factory fresh storage.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 )
      with the use of a PCI, USB, or PC/PCMCIA card and a driver, a daemon could also trigger something like the ANM-14 thermite grenade. the subsequent (and warning-less) fire would destroy all evidence, as well as your eyesight. a blind guy getting sued for movie piracy? ha!
  • by ( 1195047 ) <> on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:42AM (#27499733) Homepage Journal
    it's the proxy dance!

    You can share if you want to
    You can leave those Swedes behind
    Cause your cops don't share
    And if they don't share
    Then they're no friends of mine.
  • 1. Write script to repeatedly access IPED site to see if current IP is under investigation. 2. Have script try to access 3. Place script on buddy's computer. 4. Sit back and wait for IPRED to investigate buddy. 5. Hilarity DNRTFA
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Or fortune 500 with flaky wi fi
    • by bigmouth_strikes ( 224629 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @07:50AM (#27501461) Journal

      There are no scripts involved in this. As much as it may disturb basement-dwellers, exercising your Swedish freedom of information involves showing up at the specific public office/gov't branch/etc yourself.

      You have to show up at the court in person and ask to see any documents pertaining to specific IP-addresses. The court is not obliged to prepare lists or in any other way format the data; they will just hand out the entire court document itself for you to sift through. The work is also expected to be "reasonable", which is why you just can't show up with 1000 ip-addresses every day.

      The general idea behind the Swedish freedom of information is that you know what you're looking for, not that you're scanning everything in order to find something interesting. This of course makes it hard to apply in cases like IPRED where you may not be informed that you are under investigation until after a whole month.

  • i don't understand what all the fuss is about.

    i stopped the downloading hubbub a long time ago, these days i just tunnel through a vpn to the us and watch things directly from streaming services like hulu.

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