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Something quite bizarre just happened on Twitter: the Swedish Minister of Justice went out of his way to lash out at the ISP most known for privacy in Sweden, criticizing the ISP for following the direct orders of the European Court of Justice instead of agreeing to covert illegal wiretapping. The Minister of Justice criticized the ISP for “preventing investigations against severe cases of child porn”. The CEO of the ISP responded in the only way possible: “we cooperate with the police, but we also follow the law and due process”.
The Twitter exchange started with Jon Karlung, CEO of the Swedish ISP Bahnhof stating that Sweden really isn’t allowed to place any data retention requirements on ISPs, per the European Court of Justice’s no-bullshit verdict on the matter: “The Member States may not impose a general obligation to retain data on providers of electronic communications services.” Yes, that’s the direct wording of the headline of the verdict of the European Supreme Court, and Karlung is stating rather dryly that the new bill trying to do this anyway will just head straight for the shredder.
The Minister of Justice (!) in Sweden immediately took to criticizing Bahnhof for adhering to this Supreme Court ruling, instead of giving the Police anything they may ask for. No, you’re really not reading this wrong: the Minister of Justice, the person ultimately responsible for the letter of the law of the land, is criticizing an ISP in public for not assisting the Police in breaking the law in doing covert mass surveillance. Politicians are really behaving bizarre these days when it comes to the most fundamental of civil liberties.
Here’s the Twitter exchange in