Print 19 comment(s) - last by Runiteshark.. on Aug 16 at 4:51 AM

Untraceable, safe, and secure says Pirate Party

A political group in Sweden calling itself the Pirate Party claims that it has introduced a new service called a "darknet" which allows users to connect to the Internet using an IP based in Sweden. Representatives from the Pirate Party claim that customers should be allowed to use their Internet access services without fear of any government bodies snooping on what they are doing online. The Pirate Party claims that its new service is "untraceable" and is provided by a Swedish company called Relakks.

Reading through Relakks' FAQs however, shows that under some circumstances, information can be revealed. Customer information such as account signup information can be handed over to authorities if necessary requirements are met such as if a user is convicted of jail time. Relakks also says that it will hand of traffic information if a customer is convicted of two years minimal jail time. According to the Pirate Party however "File sharing of music, films, and other forms of culture is where the surveillance of Internet addresses has attracted the most attention, largely because the entertainment industry has been so aggressive in suing Internet users for copyright infringement, suing college students and single mothers alike without concern."

The service use virtual private network (VPN) technology, connecting users over to servers located in Sweden. This means that users will be browsing websites or exchanging data through a Swedish IP, physically located in Sweden. All Internet access data is piped from a website, to Sweden, through VPN back to a user's local ISP, and then to the user's PC. Relakks says that:

  • Your existing ISP will not be able to intercept and track your applications or communication
  • Your existing ISP can not limit what you can do nor limit what information you can access
  • Other organizations or individuals can’t intercept or track your applications or communication.

With Swedish authorities, Relakks must comply to demands under the above stated situations, but Relakks claims that it will never hand over any information to authorities from other countries. This however, does not mean that authorities from the US can not cooperate with authorities in Sweden.

ThePirateBay, a large website dedicated to tracking bittorrent files, had its computers seized by Swedish police. The authorities claimed that ThePirateBay gave users a means to trade and download copy protected software and media such as games, movies and music. Unfortunately, ThePirateBay website itself did not store any data that violated copyrighted works and the site was up and operational again in a matter of a few short days.

The Pirate Party claims that with Relakks, it has introduced the first commercially available "darknet" service. However, a French company called SecurStar Ltd. has been offering a similar service for roughly two years. SecurStar also appears to allow users to select their IP address' location, such as Germany, the Netherlands or Hong Kong. Prices for SecurStar's services start at about 6.6 Euros per month whereas Relakks says its service costs 5 Euros per month.

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By DarthPierce on 8/14/2006 10:08:00 PM , Rating: 2
Hope you can turn this service on and off at will, otherwise it'll be hell for online gaming... I bet that adds some serious latency.

RE: On/Off
By ProviaFan on 8/14/2006 10:16:22 PM , Rating: 3
Being a VPN, it probably works sort of like a dialup connection (the only VPN I used, in Windows XP, was like that). You bring up a connection window when you want to use it, and "disconnect" from the VPN when you want to use your connection directly.

RE: On/Off
By GoodRevrnd on 8/15/2006 1:40:27 AM , Rating: 2
What happens when child pornography comes into play? I see them having a hard time defending that one and it will threaten the whole concept once people have been seen using their service for that purpose.

RE: On/Off
By Samus on 8/15/2006 3:42:40 AM , Rating: 2
who's ganna know?

RE: On/Off
By FITCamaro on 8/15/06, Rating: 0
RE: On/Off
By lenos on 8/15/2006 3:41:43 PM , Rating: 2
Don't you think terrorists and pedophiles already know about encryption? Never heard of Freenet, PGP, SSH, Waste, Share, ... there's loads of strong encryption software available for anyone seeking anonymity and privacy. Something tells me you're one of few not knowing about them already.

I'm from Sweden and I do give a crap about others, but I'm not an ignorant average person from Texas so excuse me for bringing you out of your naive cocoon and telling you the "world's worst" are not clapping their hands for this "new breakthrough" technology but are instead yawning, wondering why they should register themselves with a company which will report them to the authorities when asked (if they risk more than a 2 years sentence).

Here's a final quote from the Freenet FAQ (

"What about child porn, offensive content or terrorism?
While most people wish that child pornography and terrorism did not exist, humanity should not be deprived of their freedom to communicate just because of how a very small number of people might use that freedom."

RE: On/Off
By mindless1 on 8/16/2006 3:40:53 AM , Rating: 2
yes you should pay the penalty for getting caught. Problem is, people who are getting caught are not paying the penalty, they're paying an arbitrary amount most likely far exceeding any real losses. Basically, it's extortion.

Pirates need to be put in jail if anything, but zero paid for damages.

You wrote "act responsibly for your actions" and that most probably can't understand it, but do you? The responsible thing to do is realize that people who pirate are not going to pay for software and act accordingly in your support for change. It has never been proven that they're causing loss and it's irresponsible to support a system where they pay instead of jail time. Put those college kids in jail? Not likely to happen, what happens instead is the rich (who have even less excuse) can afford the penalty and the poor get shafted the most.

What can terrorists do with this? Communicate? They already can, this is a trivial thing if you only need a secure communication, I doubt any would bother using it at all.

RE: On/Off
By MercenaryForHire on 8/15/2006 12:01:52 PM , Rating: 1

If Swedish authorities can prove beyond reasonable doubt that they have a case for demanding subscription information from RELAKKS (they have to be of the opinion that if convicted the user will be imprisoned - being fined is not enough) RELAKKS then have to hand over the subscription information entered by you (but that's all)

Since kiddie pr0n is treated a little more severly than piracy, I don't think there would be any issues with the Swedish police cooperating with FBI/CSIS/etc on that.

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