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EU Sues Sweden, Demands ISP Data Retention

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the save-it-or-else dept.

Privacy 315

Death Metal writes "The EU passed the Data Retention Directive years ago, a law that demands ISPs and search engines hold onto data long enough to help the cops (but not long enough to cause privacy problems). But Sweden never passed it into national law, and the European Commission has now sued the country to make sure a bill appears."

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Why? (5, Insightful)

anonieuweling (536832) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120359)

Sues Sweden? And what if they don't obey?
Data retention is just a Big Brother tool.
You don't catch terrorists with this, nor pedophiles.
And yes, I emailed Osama. Now what? They don't log the contents of an email.
And if I gpg/pgp the email, what then?

Re:Why? (5, Funny)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120421)

If you gpg/pgp the terrorists have already won

Re:Why? (1)

anonieuweling (536832) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120443)

Why do they win if I encrypt? Government just does not have to know what I am sending.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120747)

Because if just about everyone starts using encryption, the people handling serious matters (like terrorism or child-porn) will have their task rendered nigh-impossible. Right now they focus on encrypted data, but if everything goes encrypted, they will never be able to decrypt everything.

That's another reason why too much enforcement against online copyright infringement is moronic, as it is an incentive for people whose actions, while illicit, are very benign, to encrypt their data. And that's one of the reasons why such a system as the recent French three-strikes law haven't been implemented (yet?) in the USA, despite intense lobbying from the MAFIAA: the NSA opposes it.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

BESTouff (531293) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120765)

Because if you have to take active protection measures against your government, that means it (the gov) went too far in the security-against-liberty battle. And this is presumably what they (the terrorists) want.

Re:Why? (1)

lanceblack (969852) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120927)

Because if you gpg/pgp, you must be a terrorist!

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120575)

Terrorists are now pro-freedom?

Dammit, I've been BSed by our governments!

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120989)

> Dammit, I've been BSed by our governments!

Yes, prob.

It's a bigger risk crossing the street, which most people do every day, than to be hit by anything effected by something that some terrorists do/done (with some few exceptions, like Iraq).

Re:Why? (5, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120509)

Sues Sweden? And what if they don't obey?

That's a really good question. I'm guessing there's something for this in those 10000+ pages of international treaties that form the EU.

What's interesting though, that this is the only law they react so harshly to. They usually warn a couple of times, prod gently, give deadlines, give more deadlines, and not take it to court without warning. Of course those are laws not directly related to their emerging police state [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Why? (1)

jopsen (885607) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120693)

They usually warn a couple of times, prod gently, give deadlines, give more deadlines, and not take it to court without warning.

Are you sure they did get a few warnings?

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120801)

Are you sure they did get a few warnings?

Hungary got warnings about banning gene-modified crops. Fortunately, we were not the only ones to do so, and for good reason.

See here [auswaertiges-amt.de] for some details. Also, I was told the corn in question was modified to protect itself from a bug not found in Central Europe, yet they still wanted to force it on us.

Re:Why? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120743)

Unless we start missing some of our friends and some of us get problems feeding our families because our views do not fit into accepted political/economical/security dogma nothing will happen and that is good so.

I am afraid however this time around (if it really comes to that) it may be much more difficult to fight for freedoms than it used to be - modern technology makes it easy not only to organize protests but also to suppress them efficiently. The main problem with the new measures/technology is that hardly anybody understands consequences and issues became so complex that this complexity becomes another bump on the road to freedom. This complexity issue becomes especially visible on pan EU level where laws get written nobody understand but fortunately for authors nobody cares - at the end however these laws are translated into national law. I wonder only why our overlords make it so difficult for themselves - after all nobody seems to care anyway - Brussels is so far away...

I must say I do not miss the old regime of my ol' country but the atmosphere of civic activity and interest in common good is something that I have never seen since fall of communism in eastern part of our continent. Maybe it is a sign of progress or maybe it is a sign of our dumbness and naivety. I hope for the former but I fear the later is true.

This may change if the financial crisis starts really to bite on the continent too.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120769)

Since the EU is very "democratic" (meaning the -mostly appointed- ministers of foreign affairs of the EU countries make the real decisions*), Sweden has a choice : pass the law, or leave the EU (meaning switching away from the euro, no more free trade, ...)

In the EU, you only have to convince 12 non-elected commisioners to create a dictatorship. Individual member countries have long lost control over both their own law and their territorial sovereignty. They cannot legally say no to the EU.

Many Europeans (imho rightly) fear what's going to happen with this body. It's already created a segregated society in the locations where it's located : Brussels, Strasbourg, Luxenburg and Frankfurt. There is zero contact between the fonctionnaires and the local population, which is logical in a way, since they're an unelected body.

* yes they're appointed -indirectly- by an elected body, I know. Still it's not the same as a real democracy.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120657)

Sues Sweden? And what if they don't obey?

I think Finland was sued by EU over taxation of cars imported from other EU countries and lost. Even after losing the trial they have still refused to drop the tax. As far as I'm aware, there have been no consequences for non-compliance.

Re:Why? (5, Funny)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120701)

"Sues Sweden? And what if they don't obey?"

All the rest of us start sending them all our asylum seekers mwuhahahaaa!

Re:Why? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120749)

Fucking tool

Re:Why? (-1, Offtopic)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120855)

You need a what?!! Huh, I guess if you have problems fucking, a tool would be something you'd seek... can't see how it'd work, but I guess that depends on what kind of fucking problem you have.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120897)

Not really. According to statistics 80 to 90% of all asylum seekers are economic ones. They're not persecuted or anything. It's just instead of trying harder in their own country they go to other one as life is easier there. Have you noticed how many asylum seekers there are in Central Europe? Not many as social systems don't pay so well.

I believe we should just send them back.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120955)

Link or your 80% to 90% is fucking bullshit, which it is.

Re:Why? (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#28121033)

If what I said wasn't meant to be taken seriously at all anyway, the facts really don't apply.

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

H.G.Blob (1550325) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120807)

Could you please see this law in perspective for a moment:
1) This law requires the ISP to hold identification data for only 6 months - most ISPs keep it longer than that.
2) The only way to have access to this data is to have a court order.
3) I've never heard Slashdot complain about telcos that save call records for the exact same purpose because in the end we just want our privacy and not make it impossible for police to do their jobs.

My $.02

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

Kartu (1490911) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120851)

And if I gpg/pgp the email, what then?

Then they'll sue you for that. Unauthorized use of encryption software is illegal in, for example, France.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28121041)

No, that is England where the police can demand to get you crypto key.

So you better not record from a analog TV-channel after they stop sending, as you can't (easily) tell the difference between random noice and a good crypted file.
And becouse you (of course) do not have a key to the nocie-file, you get sent to prison for saveing nothing on your hard disk.

Thats what we when ignorant people listen to other ignorant people, instead of someone that knows about problems with changes...

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28121013)

I don't know why you people cry so loud. This is just normal EU procedure: First the countries agree on a law, then all countries have a period of time to implement this law in their national .
If they don't, they get a warning.
The country is given time to respond on why it has not implemented the law (lots of reasons are possible) and opportunity to make its case.
After another period, there is a fine to pay.
This happens for all laws.

If you don't like that particular law, cry about the EU law, not that Sweden got "sued".
It would be interesting if Sweden's EU parliamentarians voted for or against the law in the first place, and what their arguments were.

Concerning the law itself: The strongest argument against it that people will easily understand are the enormous costs.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 4 years ago | (#28121039)

Not to worry, the Swedish government parties simply do not want to lose more votes in the EU-parliament elections that take place on the 7:th of june.

For this reason there is no 99-page government proposal for the implementation of the Data Retention Directive, but for some reason you can already download the proposal [wikileaks.com] through the highly dependable Wikileaks network:

Both the directive and the government proposal states that the reasons for the comming law are terrorists and organized crime (human trafficing and narcotics). Although the law is intended to fight serious crime, the government states that it does not see any reason to limit what organizations can request information from the required logs.

... and invited to share their views on this law proposal are (naturally)... IFPI

Yes, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has been invited to share their views on a law against terrorists and drug smugglers. Their opinion? Well, a 6 month retention plan might be too short, but generally they appreciate the proposal.

Does anyone wonder why the Pirate Party are winning more and more votes?

This is why we don't like the EU. (5, Insightful)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120399)

Now lobbyists only have to bribe a handful of central political bastards to affect the whole of Europe.

Re:This is why we don't like the EU. (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120491)

It's just a shame that Finland isn't the sort of haven that Sweden turned out to be, at least up until now; They would have never put up with this sort of interference

Re:This is why we don't like the EU. (5, Insightful)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120537)

Now lobbyists only have to bribe a handful of central political bastards to affect the whole of Europe.

You apparently didn't follow the data retention directive farce at all. This was not brought about by "central political bastards", and the lobbyists were the various national governments. That directive was a wet dream of law enforcement agencies from all over Europe, and pushed through by the various national governments in the name of thinking of the terrorists and the children.

The rapporteur (Alexander Alvaro) of the directive in the European Parliament (EP) tried to tone it down, only to be backstabbed by the national governments (forming the EU Council of Ministers) that managed to pressure the large political groups in the EP behind his back to ignore his report and voting recommendations.

Alexander Alvaro was so disgusted with the whole circus that after the vote he had his name removed as rapporteur for the directive.

Re:This is why we don't like the EU. (1)

initialE (758110) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120565)

Name em and shame em, where's the proof?

Re:This is why we don't like the EU. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120847)

That's the whole point of the EU; concentration of power. How to a few people control many? By creating a power hierarchy with themselves at the top.

Centralized government == power to the state. Decentralized government == power to the people. This was the goal of the US Constitution; power to the states and limited scope of federal government. Decentralization lends itself to freedom and democracy. The EU is not necessarily bad, but it's scope should be very limited and certainly not have anything to do with internet regulation.

Re:This is why we don't like the EU. (5, Informative)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#28121001)

Actually, the European Parliament seems to be pretty resistant to bribary compared to the rest of the Western world.

The problem is usually with the EU Council of Ministers who are the 'unelected' representatives of each member state and tend to ignore the Parliament if they don't like their decisions (As they did with the software patents issue.)

Thankfully the Parliament can overturn CoM decisions with a 2/3 majority and often do if they feel they've been screwed.

How very... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120401)

democratic of them. Who would have thought a collection of nations creating a supranational government wouldn't infringe on the individual countries' rights?

Re:How very... (3, Interesting)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120417)

And yet, for some reason, the one pan-european political party [libertas.eu] which is against this sort of supranationality, isn't getting much traction with the voters.

Re:How very... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120539)

Maybe because they're just shit? In Italy they've sided with recycled fascists [http://www.partitoladestra.com/], recycled thieves [http://www.alleanzadicentro.it/], deluded pensioners [http://www.partitopensionati.it/], and some sort of autonomists [http://www.mpa-italia.it/]

I will never in a million years vote for them.

Re:How very... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120615)

Oh man, finally I believed to have found a political party that's both pan-european (I don't have faith anymore in the parties from my own country) and against this sort of supranationality... and now I have to rethink my choice again.

I'm sooo totally lost... pratically all parties suck... but which one sucks the least..

Any other Europeans here with pan-european party suggestions that make sense for an average privacy-loving /. member/geek/nerd?

Re:How very... (3, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120661)

Maybe you'll discover that you simply cannot win in any democratic system...?

Re:How very... (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120737)

You have to run yourself and get votes, rather than expecting for there to be someone else who agrees with everything you would stand for if you could be bothered to stand for it EXCEPT that they CAN be bothered to... but of course, we have other things we want to do with our lives. We get the people we deserve.

Re:How very... (2, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120833)

One can try to piss in the ocean everyday as much as they like to try to turn it yellow, but even a lifetime's worth of work will likely do nothing.

Re:How very... (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120887)

Err, yeah, but if you wanted the ocean yellow, but couldn't even be bothered to piss in it yourself, one would question quite how much it must really matter to you.

Re:How very... (2, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#28121009)

Maybe you'll discover that you simply cannot win in any democratic system...?

Not only that, but the majority will always have that illusion. Absolutely brilliant.

Meanwhile, the two biggest parties will have free reign, as long as they piss the voters off equally.

Re:How very... (1)

Alphager (957739) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120703)

The Pirate-Parties are loosely-coupled.

Re:How very... (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120759)

Well that's a chicken and egg situation then.

Libertas are clearly working against a deadline, since elections are in June and the new Lisbon referendum in Ireland is later this year.

They need members, voting allies, and funds. And they're desperate to get them.
So they make questionable alliances, not out of shared idealogy, but out of a desperate "The enemy of my enemy is my temporary friend" mentality.

Unfortunately, large numbers of the voting public don't agree with this.

However, if the public had sided with Libertas from the begining, those alliances would not have been necessary in the first place. And if they sided with Libertas now, they wouldn't be necessary in the future either.

But no, much better to vote for the same shower of corrupt crooks again and again. And somehow convince yourself that voting for the lesser of two evils, maintains your moral centre.

Re:How very... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120775)

Many of the libertas people are racists and fascists.

Re:How very... (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120705)

How very wrong.
The only political opposition against this data retention came from the EU parliament. The real scum are the 'democratically' unelected European commission and the different national governments and police forces.

Re:How very... (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28121037)

democratic of them. Who would have thought a collection of nations creating a supranational government wouldn't infringe on the individual countries' rights?

Who would have thought a collection of nations agreeing on a law wouldn't set actions to make sure all countries are effectively implementing this law?

The EU would be toothless if the countries would be just promising things.

I never understood these policies... (1)

viyh (620825) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120419)

I mean, does the government understand how much storage it would require to actually retain all the data that flows through a large ISP? Why not ask cell phone companies to record all voice calls, after all, terrorists and criminals use phones!

Re:I never understood these policies... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120487)

It's not the information that must be stored. Just Receiver/sender-information. And it's not only about data, voice calls are also included in the directive.

Re:I never understood these policies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120497)

Ironically, cell phone companies do record all voice calls. In fact, they even automatically transcribe the voice calls into text form. For $100 anyone can grab your cell phone calls, already translated into text form for your perusal. Private investigators do just this on a daily basis for their clients. The FBI was recently investigating a number of companies, requesting records of everyone who purchased these logs.

Re:I never understood these policies... (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120617)

Link or it didn't happen.

Re:I never understood these policies... (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120763)

Well I'm going to put aside everything I know about how difficult voice recognition, esp without any pre-training of the software for your voice, apply that to all the different accents everyone has, and the difficulty even a human ear can have at understanding them all... and believe your claims... because that's the kind of stupidity I feel like exercising today.

Wow, can you really?!!!

Re:I never understood these policies... (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120607)

Nope, governments are just here to create solutions. Not to check whether they are possible.

There's this old parable from good ol' soviet times. A mouse is being chased by a cat and runs up to the wise owl that everyone considered the wisest and most informed animals of the woods (let's ignore for a moment that owls eat mice, ok?). So the mouse desperately pleaded "Wise owl, the cat is chasing me and I have to escape, please tell me what to do!" The owl pondered long and hard and told the mouse "Spread your wings and fly away".

"But owl, I have no wings!" the mouse complained.
"Sorry", said the owl, "I can only offer you general solutions. And the solution works for me."

Why sue now? (1)

ckret (321556) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120435)

The data retention directive is to be implemented in law on January 1, 2010.
It was supposed to be implemented on March 1, 2009 but was postponed.

So why sue now when it's coming anyway?

Re:Why sue now? (5, Interesting)

ckret (321556) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120495)

This law itself, in it's current form, nullifies the newly passed IPRED law.
The law says that stored information can only be requested by the police or prosecutors if a serious crime has been committed (or the suspicion of a serious crime).
Hence a third party like RIAA cannot request information to file a suit according to the IPRED law.
Another law in Sweden, currently active, says that all identity information MUST immediately be DESTROYED when it is no longer required for completion of business transactions.

That's some fine politics there, Lou!

Re:Why sue now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120577)

Exactly, the whole controversy of the IPRED law was because lobbyist whores could now demand ISPs of IPs, without even mentioning it to the police. This new law, being more strict, also requires more strict access, such as court order. But still, our Swedish government are just as any other government, whores slaving for the US industries.

First time? (2, Interesting)

olddotter (638430) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120437)

Is this the first time the EU has sued a member state for not passing a law? If so this will be an interesting case.

Re:First time? (1)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120505)

Nope, not the first time. Happened several time to France, for example.

Re:First time? (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120589)

Luckily only twice, or it would have been STRIKE OUT! :)

Re:First time? (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120727)

I would for one would like to see such an exit strategy in the update of the Lisbon treaty. Not necessarily for France, but still...

Re:First time? (1)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120551)

Is this the first time the EU has sued a member state for not passing a law?

No. Not by a long shot.

Re:First time? (2, Informative)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120585)

no, this is normal and happens often. I don't seeked for examples but one can read every time about EU commission actions againt member states for breaching/not implementing EU directives.

a famous one was a few years ago against Greece and Italy (not 100% sure, just google it if you're interested :P) because of the state debt (Maastricht Treaty was imo the legal base for this sueing)

Re:First time? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120629)

Nope. Austria was on the chopping block for the same reason [futurezone.orf.at] a month ago.

Re:First time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120781)

This is default procedure if a nation doesn't comply with EU...

Haha (4, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120449)

Hehe, a bit funny considering the background. This is because the EU now noticed that ISP's are actually now not wanting to do any retention in Sweden, in turn due to the new IPRED law [wikipedia.org] . This is a way for them to partially dodge that law by getting less chances of being able to report users sharing copyright infringing work. The idea is that as their users are reported, they have hopefully already deleted the log entries. Why they are wanting to do that is in turn out of competition reasons. No ISP in Sweden want to be "the ISP where you can more easily get caught for copyright infringement when sharing files". You can read more about the case for one of those ISP's, Bahnhof, here [geek.com] .

OK, I went off on a tangent there. What I think is funny is that the EU is only now paying attention and noticing Sweden didn't adopt that law. :-p It's so apparent that this is in response to all the more ISP's not caring for it, not because they have a check on what Sweden is doing. Or maybe they just don't care until certain laws are dodged in practice out of minimizing bureaucracy. It's hard to tell if it's due to incompetence or bureaucracy, but it's either of them.

Re:Haha (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120843)

Even more funny is that the former minister of justice in Sweden was one of the people pushing through this legislation in the EU to begin with. Maybe we caught the EU by surprise by not implementing the law ourselves?

Another point is that the current ruling party might have been waiting until after the now ongoing EU election as to not give more fuel to the pirate party and the debate about privacy and all.

Re:Haha (1)

ckret (321556) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120849)

It's even more funny when you take into consideration that Sweden was one of the nations proposing this directive.

Re:Haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120921)

Even more funny is that it was the Swedish minster of justice, Thomas BodstrÃm, in the previous goverment who was one of the chief instigators and proponents for this in the EU...

The same man who then more or less ordered the Policeraid on the Pirte Bay. And yes, it is illegal for a member of the goverment to give direct orders to govermental agencies on how they should do their job.

What does "help the police" mean? (-1, Offtopic)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120451)

In an ideal world, we wouldn't need police. People would be nice to each other and crime wouldn't happen.

But we don't live in an ideal world. We live in a world with walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns. Who's going to do it? They have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You have the luxury of not knowing what they know. Their existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want to know the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at Piratpartiet you want them on that wall, you need them on that wall. They use words like honor, code, loyalty. They use them as the backbone of a life trying to defend something. You use them as a punchline.

So enjoy your freedom to cry about the police, but realize that these men are the thin blue line between freedom and anarchy. Freedom entails risk. The law and police mitigate that risk. Hobble them at your own risk.

Re:What does "help the police" mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120541)

Thats not a bad analogy, its just complete horseshit.

Re:What does "help the police" mean? (4, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120719)

You seem to be under the impression that law enforcement agents are infallible and not susceptible to your average human's woes.

Of course we need law enforcement. Please point out to me who said we didn't. The problem lies in the mechanics that are supposed to make sure that nobody the police is supposed to 'catch' manages to actually become a member of the police.

In my opinion, management, be it of a corporation, a state or law enforcement, is more often than not corrupt. Such laws give these people more power over the people making law enforcement just another tool for the criminals to use.

THIS is the real danger of a police state. They are using our best weapon against us. THIS is what we must be sure to never allow.

The RIAA is a good example of how this whole thing is going wrong. Remember, all our laws are built upon a set of morals. We say it is wrong to kill. Therefore, manslaughter, murder and the like are covered by our laws. Yet quite a few 'modern' societies think its okay to have a death penalty.

In RIAA's case they argue that copying their products and making them available for free is theft. Many people might agree with that sentiment at first glance. Without wanting to get into semantics, the real problem her elies in the fact that an estimated 20% or more of our nations' populations participate in breaking this law.

The question now is thus: Morals are what we feel is right or wrong to do unto each other in our society. 20% or more of us feel its their right to download entertainment content. At what point will moral conform to public opinion? Is something wrong when 100% of the people do it? Is it wrong when 50% do it? 49%? When?

The whole system is fucked up. The system is being abused. That's just a hard fact. We are not against the system, we are against the abuse.

Re:What does "help the police" mean? (1)

cowbutt (21077) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120797)

In an ideal world, we wouldn't need police. People would be nice to each other and crime wouldn't happen.

...and in those circumstances, we wouldn't need laws or governments to enforce them which is... anarchy.

Re:What does "help the police" mean? (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120815)

"the thin blue line between freedom and anarchy"

Are you sure you meant to pick those two words?

Re:What does "help the police" mean? (1)

stjobe (78285) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120959)

"You can't handle the truth!"

Good one, Colonel Jessep! :)

But the same EU won't sue France for... (4, Insightful)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120511)

...the three strikes law!
Wow!
Equality was the name of EU, wasn't it?
Sweden should show the middle finger to EU.
Its a pity it doesn't have any Rush Limbaughs there, one would be enough to shout hoarse about swedish nationality and violation of the same.
If i were the PM, i would take EU's action under advisement and in Brussels directly question the French about 3-strikes law which violates EU laws...

Re:But the same EU won't sue France for... (2, Informative)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120527)

Well, to be fair, the EU has no case (yet) to sue France for the three strikes law.

Re:But the same EU won't sue France for... (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120627)

Access to internet is a Fundamental Right as per EU.
The 3-strikes law directly violates a Fundamental Right.
The EU can and should sue France to overturn this law... but i don't think the French PM would overturn it, as he is very much enamoured of an ex-singer and an ex-model so much as to publicize it on 'net.

Re:But the same EU won't sue France for... (2, Informative)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120767)

Access to internet is a Fundamental Right as per EU.

A parliamentary amendment that said this was passed earlier this month, but that definitely does not mean that "the EU has decided so" -- new amendments mean the Commission has to approve the whole telecom package again before it can become a real law.

Re:But the same EU won't sue France for... (1)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120873)

OK, one, Nicolas Sarkozy isn't PM. The PM is François Fillon, Nicolas Sarkozy is the omnipresident*.

And two, nope, internet access is not a Fundamental Right as per EU. Not yet. Hopefully soon enough, but the process to make it legally binding is not over yet.

*OK, actually he's the president, but he's such a hyperactive control freak who gets involved in everything, that he's been nicknamed "omnipresident". Incidentally, that's why you never heard of François Fillon: even the French sometimes forget he exists.

Re:But the same EU won't sue France for... (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 4 years ago | (#28121025)

He's the President?
I thought the French PM's were all powerful in a parlimentary democracy, and since he is sooo visible i thought he was PM...
Sorry about the the mistake. Really it was!
Who the hell is this Fillon guy?

Re:But the same EU won't sue France for... (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120553)

Pirate Party!

Re:But the same EU won't sue France for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28121043)

Don't talk about things you don't understand.

The EU suing countries happens all the time. It's just that you are not aware of it. As far as Sweden/France equality is concerned, is it so difficult for you to understant that they won't sue just after the fact but try to solve the matter by discussing it first? France will be sued after some years, if they don't adapt their legislation.

sue a country? (2)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120523)

isn't sweden a soviergn country which can make it's own laws? i guess they would have made agreements when joining the EU and possibly face being kicked out if they don't comply, short of that whats the EU going to do besides cry? you can't invade sweden, they are just as nuts as the swiss.

Re:sue a country? (2, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120533)

If a country agrees to join a confederation, it must at some point forfeit some of its autonomy to the ruling body. If it doesn't like that deal and wants to secede, there are remedial actions [wikipedia.org] that may be taken to restore sovereignty.

Re:sue a country? (1)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120725)

It wouldn't take a war to leave EU, mostly because EU doesn't have any real military power. It's just that no country just wants to let go of the benefits of staying in.

For the UK... (4, Funny)

Aldric (642394) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120899)

The benefits seem to be getting to subsidize public projects in other countries and uncontrolled immigration. I'm all for us leaving the EU and resuming war with France.

Re:sue a country? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120741)

The swiss have so much jewish gold they can do anything they please. See incest [wikipedia.org] .

Re:sue a country? (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120839)

Err, yeah, because that's what a 'union' is; a group of discrete and disparate entities all doing their own things with no overall direction or commonalities and without joining forces on issues...

(hint: the 'U' in 'EU' stands for 'Union')

I want Prozak to write an article on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120531)

In his customary wordy and circular style.

Normal procedure (4, Informative)

pinky99 (741036) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120547)

As an European citizen I just want to point out to all non-EU friends of /. that this is just a completely normal and standard procedure - it doesn't depend on which law or which country, but if a European law directive is not formed into national laws by the governments/parliaments, the EU automatically sues the non-conforming member states. Happens all the times, on all issues, punishment is normally the fine for each more day passing by.

Re:Normal procedure (0, Troll)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120637)

And if the citizens of Sweden don't kick the EU out, I'll rightfully consider them to be cowards. Any country that abrogates it's sovereignty in this manner isn't a country, but a vassal state, in subservience to a higher ruling power.

Thank god I don't live in the EU.

Re:Normal procedure (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120691)

how very american of you

Re:Normal procedure (1)

wdef (1050680) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120779)

Maybe he's from the old South. States in the US used to be non-federated until they handed some of their key powers to the Federal Gov in Washington DC. Lincoln fought the Civil War largely to stop a group of them leaving.

Re:Normal procedure (2, Funny)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120721)

...in subservience to a higher ruling power.

Thank god...

Oh! That's +5 Funny! Thanks for that...

Re:Normal procedure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120901)

+5 this guy! Very nice.

Re:Normal procedure (2, Informative)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120787)

Any country that abrogates it's sovereignty in this manner isn't a country, but a vassal state, in subservience to a higher ruling power.

And how did "the country" receive the prerogative to rule upon people that a supranational entity like EU doesn't have? Conversely, if EU doesn't have the right to meddle into people's sovereignity, what gives "the country" the right to do that? EU is just one rung higher to a state, it's no less or more evil as your or my government. We're all vassals in subservience.

Re:Normal procedure (0, Troll)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120951)

Yeah, unlike the states of america who would never erm... what's the word... 'unite' I think it is... and lose their complete autonomous sovereignty to the over governing federal government.

This is just what happens in the world. People unite and join forces. You can't be part of something bigger than you, while refusing to be part of it.

Re:Normal procedure (0, Troll)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120997)

Thank god I don't live in the EU.

Yes let's all thank god you don't.

And Sweden was the one that proposed the law (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120567)

The interesting thing is that Sweden was one of the 4 countries that proposed the law (together with Ireland, France and the UK). It really drove its adoption hard, even though the first drafts of the text proposed by these countries were completely unworkable.

It took almost two years before the final text was drafted. The current version is much more readable and understandable than the first version. In the end a couple of unlikely countries took the lead in drafting the text. Even though some of these countries weren't very positive on the idea of having a data retention law, the civil servants sat down to create something that was what their political masters wanted and was technically realizable in practice.

Things that were for instance excluded were the requirements to log on a per packet basis the source and destination or to identify for http which adresses were visited.

How do I know? I was there and took part in the negotiations in the EU Council Working Group from day one to day last.

mod dowN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28120803)

do, or indeed what LUBE OR WE SELL 7he bottoms butt development. BSD do, or indeed what volume of NetBSD

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120841)

isn't sweden a soviergn country which can make it's own laws? i guess they would have made agreements when joining the EU and possibly face being kicked out if they don't comply, short of that whats the EU going to do besides cry? you can't invade sweden, they are just as nuts as the swiss.

European Directive (European Law 101) (4, Informative)

yogibaer (757010) | more than 4 years ago | (#28120859)

Under the EU treaties a european directive has to be implemented as national law by all members to whom it is adressed, normally within a year after it has been passed, member countries can be excepted from this rule, so that they have more time to implement it as a national law. Bu they do not have a choice after that. The strange and noteworthy thing is, that a european directive as such has a direct effect for all member countries (regardless of national implementation) and courts, especially the higher courts, should consider it in their rulings. The national implementation is only an integration in the respective national legal systems.What happens here is nothing unusual, its standard procedure "On 1 May 2008 1,298 such cases open before the Court" s.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Directive So: nothing to see here, move on.
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