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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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RE: On/Off
By FITCamaro on 8/15/2006 9:11:04 AM , Rating: 0
Thats exactly what I was thinking. I really don't get why the Swedish seem to revel in allowing criminals to maintain anonymity. If you're downloading music and movies in the states, its illegal, you take the risk of getting caught, and you should pay the penalty if you do get caught. Accept responsibility for your actions. I know its a word most Americans probably can't spell much less understand (I'm from Texas and a moderate conservative btw and yes I have a very low view of the average person, especially those my age).

What really worries me is terrorists using this to basically do whatever they want. I mean everything can be traced but this just makes it that much harder for authorities. But besides terrorists theres also kiddie porn, drug traffickers, etc. Do the Swedes really not give a crap about anyone and only care about making money off allowing anonymity to the world's worst? I know they've cooperated with the US government since 9/11 but still.


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 (http://freenet.sourceforge.net/faq.html?PHPSESSID=...:

"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.


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