Archive for July, 2008

09
Jul
08

Taliban HQ resides in sweden.

Even though General-director of FRA has pointed out its impossible, the afghan defense is still used to try and convince the public that the FRA needs a copy of all digital traffic crossing the borders of Sweden. One of the latest proponents to get a letter to the press published is the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces Håkan Syrén. Apparently Swedish C-130’s operating in Afghanistan need the FRA to keep themselves safe from SAM’s and what not. Now to be fair, our Supreme Commander could be interpreted to be saying, he needs the FRA, not necessarily, the new law. And true, there are reasons to moth ball all of FRA, their systematic disregard for Swedish law being one of them. But this is still only secondary to stopping them from copying and filtering all Swedish Internet traffic. So unless Mr Syrén wants to step up and enter the debate for real, he should keep his tidbits of “wisdom” to himself.

Rumors are 80% of Russia’s Internet traffic passes through Sweden. So you can see the great importance of this new law…. Maybe I should stop talking to my friend from Russia. He’s actually trained by their intelligence offices as some sort of network admin…. But then again I have one friend who works as a security guard at a Finnish airport, another one who works as a security guard at a Swedish air port. Yet another friend who has a masters in chemistry, and one who did his conscription tour in the military as a programmer, and several who worked with different kinds of explosives. I know this guy who works as a chef at a consulate, and I recently applied for a job at a nuclear power plant. How many terrorist plots can you make of that?

While summers in Sweden, and probably most other countries means news drought, this summer has the FRA debate, and sadly for our government it just wont die. Specially troublesome this week I think since it saw the opening of the annual Politics week in Almedalen on Gotland. Reports are that around every corner there is someone asking someone else about this new law. It’s also reported that theres a lot more talks on the FRA issue going on behind the scenes. Its the hottest topic bar none, but the right wing parties are doing their best to gracefully dodge the issue.

Of note is when Maud Olofsson, leader of the Centre party shot herself in the foot claiming that there are no laws in Sweden protecting civil liberties. Mrs Olofsson is apparently unaware of the Swedish constitution. We already knew our prime minister hasn’t read it when he claimed all power emanates from the government. The club just keeps on growing.

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01
Jul
08

Four million emails – the Swedish parliament needs a plumber!

Their intertubes must be clogged by now. I certainly hope they are! The Swedish newspaper Expressen is taking the FRA-law very seriously and launched a special portal for all things FRA. As part of the launch they built a mass email script that let you send a protest email to all 143 MP that voted yes, and of course the confused one that abstained. On the first day some 500 000 emails were sent. One MP complained on his blog that he had received over 4700 emails so far, and Badlandshyena(swe) picked it up. Now the protest mail from expressen translates roughly to this:

“Dear member of parliament,

With this email I protest the FRA-law.

If my email crosses Sweden’s borders, FRA will have access to monitor it. You are one of the MP’s that voted to allow FRA to monitor not only this email, but all traffic crossing Swedish borders in cables. It is my opinion that it is unjustified that a protest email to a MP risks being monitored by FRA and therefor I demand the law to be scrapped.”

Nothing spectacular by itself, but when news broke of the Moderate MP Olov Lavesson preferred to be unaware of the opinions of the people he represents, and therefor started forwarding all his emails to Expressen, the think tank Limbo offered this email to Lavesson:

“Dear Expressen,

With this email I protest the citizens of Sweden.

If the citizens continue to protest the FRA-law I will be unable to steam roll them. It is my opinion that it is unreasonable for citizens to not only engage themselves politically, but also to have the media assist them in doing so. Democracy, by definition, is to allow MP’s to make all decision for the people, as the people are too stupid see what is good for them.

If this revenge on Expressen wont make you come to your senses, you leave me no option but to break out the party whip and pay you a visit. Then I promise you you will see my view of things.

You should think twice before ever criticizing MP’s again!”

I laughed at least.

Now following up on this tidal wave of protest emails (actually, maybe we should contact Guinness?) I found this article on Expressens portal. It interviews previous chairmen/women of the different parties in the coalition, all slamming the bill and the handling of the issue by the government. Towards the end though, there is a quote by Thomas Mattsson, editor-in-chief of Expressen Digitala Medier. Apparently FOUR MILLION emails have been sent so far! And they will keep the script available for a a few more days. I cant help but think that this is in fact a reply to the “challenge” issued by another Swedish newspaper a week or two ago, where they established that the FRA-law still wasn’t the issue that generate the most emails to Swedish MP’s.

On another note, Peter Sunde, spokes person of Sweden’s famed The Pirate Bay, has posted a stamp of approval for the Swedish Pirate Party on his blog. TPB are also engaged in the FRA-law, rolling out encryption on the TPB, and are considering using their contacts to urge ISP’s around the world to blacklist Sweden to protect their customers.

I for one would like to see how our government responds to being the cause Sweden is banned from the Internet.