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Pirate Party Launches Commercial Darknet 661

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the nothing-to-see-here dept.
CrystalFalcon writes "The Swedish Pirate Party has launched a commercial, high-capacity darknet, on an unprecedented scale and bandwidth. This service lets anybody send and receive files anonymously without being tracked or traced. 'There are many legitimate reasons to want to be completely anonymous on the Internet,' says Rickard Falkvinge, chairman of the Pirate Party. 'If the government can check everything each citizen does, nobody can keep the government in check.'"
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Pirate Party Launches Commercial Darknet

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  • Rock On Dude (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:45AM (#15908522)
    The nightmare of the *AA and my pipe dream. When's it coming to the states and where do I sign up?
  • Net Neutrality (Score:3, Insightful)

    by comrade k (787383) <comradek.gmail@com> on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:46AM (#15908527)
    I think this is an awesome idea, but how will it work with the looming lack of net neutrality?
    • Re:Net Neutrality (Score:4, Insightful)

      by frosty_tsm (933163) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:51AM (#15908546)
      It's in Sweden. Net Neutrality doesn't directly affect it.
      • Re:Net Neutrality (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        US. law applies everywhere, apparently.
        • by Analogy Man (601298) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @08:01AM (#15909521)
          Democratic: Representative government where the people have free access to information about the government and the goverments access to information about citizens has checks and balances.

          Authoritarian: Government based on manipulation of power where access to government information is limited and access to citizen information by government is unfettered.

          Ask yourself which direction the US government is heading.

      • Re:Net Neutrality (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mr_mischief (456295) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @09:23AM (#15909995) Journal
        Not outside the US, no.

        Inside the US, though, the customers of large US telecom companies may be firewalled off from the service by the very people they are paying for Net access. If not that, they may be slowdd to a trickle of traffic.

        If I was paying for access to "The Internet", and my service provider wasn't giving me access to everything I could legally access, then I'd be getting ripped off, wouldn't I?

        So for the rest of the world US net neutrality laws don't matter so much. For those of us in the US, they matter a great deal, even when the traffic starts overseas.

    • Re:Net Neutrality (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:59AM (#15908564)
      As far as I understand the "lack of net neutrality" would only effect US* users of the aforementioned darknet. AFAIK for networks outside the US the net remains neutral**

      *Yes yes I know or packets traversing across a US network segment.
      **Neutral until the Telco's lobby the US administration to reign in them darn foreigners. After all its their divine right to extort money from those who have made a successful internet business.
  • Important note... (Score:3, Informative)

    by RyanFenton (230700) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:46AM (#15908528)
    ...The cost of the service is 5 euros per month,...

    It looks like it is at least a quasi-commercial darknet.

    Ryan Fenton
    • by Propaganda13 (312548) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:54AM (#15908551)
      FTA: "We got Dugg pretty hard and expect Slashdot to come visiting at any time now."
      • Welcome! You're late. :-)
      • by Chabil Ha' (875116) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @07:48AM (#15909457)
        I think that there's something to be said here about that. To me it says that /. users are too lazy to go forage for their own articles and instead go cherry pick them off of digg. Why? Because the digg community picks the stories, not a handful of select people. If /. wants to continue to do things that way, I have no bones about, it's just interesting that the /. model lags behind other sites.

        The one thing that I think /. has over digg is the discussions and moderation system. I was reading the comments over at digg and I felt like I was in a room full of 3 year olds (insert joke here). At least here I feel like the least meaningful and mature comments carry more relevancy than most of what I read over there.
        • Not trying to burn Digg, but every time I've had any discussions there, I always assumed I was talking to HS kids. The mental picture I have of every poster there is some under-16 Apple/Xbox 360 fanboy or Linux/Windows newbie. If there are more mature people there, I haven't been able to tell from their posts.

          The mod system is pretty sad there too. If you post in a topic about Apple, XBox, or any other popular "community", and your post is even neutral (not fanboyish), it will be modded down instantly. That
    • by Harodotus (680139) *
      While I have not of course RTFA, I would thihnk that charging comercially for the service is nessesary to keep it from becoming a spammer tool.
      • by Jugalator (259273)
        And of course also to pay for the bandwidth. One of the points with it is to reduce the bandwidth loss one will see in e.g. TOR, which comes with absolutely no guarantees of high bandwidth proxies, and is actually very slow for many P2P services. But solving that problem costs a lot of money. On the other hand, that makes this solution centralized, which opens up a large box of security issues on its own, like requiring a trusted single third party, additionally easily targettable by an organization.
      • by 70Bang (805280) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @04:25AM (#15908917)

        There's very little in the actual document which isn't in the published article when it comes to cost.

        ...I would thihnk that charging comercially[sic] for the service is nessesary to keep it from becoming a spammer tool...

        Have you been living on Gilligan's Island?

        5eu/month is, as pointed out in the FA, at the current exchange rate: $6.359.

        Before Scotty Richter was castrated, he was bringing $2M into his office, yes, two million U$ monthly. And he wasn't the king of the mountain.

        Can you explain how $6.359/month going to make a spammer think twice about using the service? Particularly when you consider the anonymity. No more looking for open proxies & relays.

        They pay far, far, far more than that to set up shop in China, then send all of that crap back to the US. Most spam originates from the US as the 2003 U-CAN-SPAM law[1] basically gave them free reign, but the big boys still rely upon China.

        Here are the top 200 spammers responsible for 80% of the crap which is dropped in your inbox. [spamhaus.org]
        Some of these guys (e.g. Ralsky) have substantial setups in their basements or an office (when they-he aren't|isn't getting caught running around in nothing but a black thong -- yes, there's a picture of it in an anti-spam archive.

        But seriously. How do you think ~$6/month is going to stop a spammer. I'm not trying to present a loaded question here. I really do want to know your perspective on this because you may have insights no one else has considered.

        The only way I can see this not becoming a spam haven is if there's a volume limit for that price and you have to pay $x/volume for each increment after that.

        I'm all ears.

        _______________________________
        [1] Very effective, wouldn't you say? Has your volume of spam decreased (without human intervention to separate the wheat from the chaffe?)
        • by aiken_d (127097)
          Spammers use free and hijacked services because they get shut down a lot. Suppose some spammer can get 10,000 emails out using a commercial darnket before the account gets TOS'd. Even if they can get 100,000 emails out before having to spend another $6, that still destroys the economics of spamming.

          Unless you're suggesting that the darknet is soft on spam and won't shut down spammer accounts.

          -b
  • by viniosity (592905) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:48AM (#15908538) Homepage Journal

    Basically, this gives users the advantage of a Swedish IP address from anywhere in the world.

    That's what I call massaging the numbers!

    (Unfortunately,) I'll be here all week. Be sure to tip your waiter.
  • Question? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cherita Chen (936355) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:48AM (#15908539) Homepage
    If it is commercial, couldn't the company' records be subpoenaed (in a worst case scenario) by state/local/etc authorities? If so, I would think that would spell even worse trouble for a user.
    • Re:Question? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by kickedfortrolling (952486) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:50AM (#15908544)
      I think part of the point is that sweedish law gives much higher burdens of proof for requesting such info. TFA gives some interesting (but maybe unreliable given US law's recent incursions) info about the law they rely on
      • Read The FAQ (Score:5, Informative)

        by tmk (712144) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:30AM (#15908640)
        Short version: They keep only records who is customer, not about his traffic. https://www.relakks.com/faq/legal/ [relakks.com]

        Legal

        RELAKKS is a company incorporated in Sweden. The service is basically a Swedish broadband subscription offered over the Internet. This means that the legal framework mainly consists of the The Electronic Communications Act 2003 389. What will this mean if:

        Swedish authorities or,
        Other organization or individuals demands access to information protected by RELAKKS?


        RELAKKS Safe Surf enjoys the strongest legal protection possible under Swedish Law because of the service type (pre-paid flat-rate service). This means that RELAKKS do not have to keep an ordinary customer database (to be able handle transactions etc.). This is of importance if forced to hand over information.

        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 - fined not enough). .

        RELAKKS then have to hand over the subscription information entered by you (but that's all). RELAKKS do not store any subscribtion information about you except what you entered yourself when signing up for the RELAKKS Safe Surf service.

        For Swedish authorities to force RELAKKS to hand over "traffic data" including your RELAKKS IP at a specific point in time, they will have to prove a case with the minimum sentence of two years imprisonment.

        Regarding inquires from other parties than Swedish authorities RELAKKS will never turn over any kind of information.

        The combination Swedish high-tech encryption and the strongest legal protection give you true access to Internet, safer and speedier then ever before.

        For more information about Swedish Telecom Law: The Electronic Communications Act 2003:389
    • Re:Question? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Alpha830RulZ (939527) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:58AM (#15908557)
      Quite possibly, but the facts that its: 1) a different country, with a separate legal system that seems to deliver what the US constitution promises 2) A European Union country, which has demonstrated a much less media industry friendly policy and 3) a different judicial system, so that US laws don't apply, and US legal precedents won't have much weight suggest to me that it will offer quite a bit of protection. A terrorist might get caught up in the legal web, but the RIAA will have their costs raised by a couple of orders of magnitude, and Jesus, that's alright with me (cue guitars...)
    • Re:Question? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dcapel (913969) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:01AM (#15908566) Homepage
      Records? What Records?!
      • Re:Question? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mwvdlee (775178) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @06:15AM (#15909164) Homepage
        Perhaps the records that Relakks claims only need to be handed over when there is a possibility on 2+ years imprisonment under Swedish law?

        There are records, Relakks implies so themselves. It's just that Relakks claims to not hand them over readily.

        Considering how effective the *AA's have been at getting access to private information based solely on completely meaningless evidence (a screen printout with filenames that look like copyrighted material), I have to wonder how easy it would be for the Swedish *AA-a-like to make up a bogus claim which could potentially get somebody imprisoned for 2 years.
        • by BlackCobra43 (596714) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @07:01AM (#15909279)
          Relakks will hand over SUBSCRIPTION information ( that's all they keep). This means the Riaa gets "Why yes, John Doe uses our subscription-based internet service". This isn't a crime. If the RIAA sucessfully obtains this they have ALREADY got you on copyright infringement with OTHER evidence.
        • by brunes69 (86786)
          I have never understood this really.

          If a darknet wants to provide indemnity for it's users, then why don't they just disable all logging of information on the darknet? If there ar eno records, then none can be supenaed.

          It would be pretty trivial to design a system whereby it is proveable that any given packet *did not* originate from within Relakks, but stil not know from where it did originate. Such a system would provide them protection from lawsuits and also protect their customers identities.
    • Re:Question? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mincognito (839071) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:01AM (#15908567)

      If it is commercial, couldn't the company' records be subpoenaed (in a worst case scenario) by state/local/etc authorities?

      Records? What records?
      • by dcapel (913969) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:08AM (#15908587) Homepage
        Re:Question? (Score:2)
          by dcapel (913969) on Tuesday August 15, @02:01AM (#15908566)
        (http://wot.narg.googlepages.com/)
        Records? What Records?!

        Re:Question?
          (Score:2)
          by mincognito (839071) Alter Relationship on Tuesday August 15, @02:01AM (#15908567)
        (http://thegreennotebook.blogspot.com/)

          If it is commercial, couldn't the company' records be subpoenaed (in a worst case scenario) by state/local/etc authorities?

          Records? What records?

        Ok, you are either copying me (your post id is one larger) or that is plain SCARY.
        • by mincognito (839071) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:29AM (#15908634)
          Re:Question? (Score:2) by dcapel (913969) on Tuesday August 15, @02:01AM (#15908566) (http://wot.narg.googlepages.com/) Records? What Records?! Re:Question? (Score:2) by mincognito (839071) Alter Relationship on Tuesday August 15, @02:01AM (#15908567) (http://thegreennotebook.blogspot.com/) If it is commercial, couldn't the company' records be subpoenaed (in a worst case scenario) by state/local/etc authorities? Records? What records? Ok, you are either copying me (your post id is one larger) or that is plain SCARY.
        • by monoqlith (610041) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:33AM (#15908655)
          In the late 17th Century, Newton and Liebniz came up with Calculus almost simultaneously. [wikipedia.org]

          Now, in the 21st century, we have 'dcapel' and 'mincognito' with identical, +1 Insightful Slashdot posts simultaneously.

          I call that progress.

          It's now time for you two to sue the pants off of each other for copyright infringement.

          Ready, set, call your lawyers...now!
          • Re:Question? (Score:3, Informative)

            by gkhan1 (886823)

            Actaully, this is not true. Newton developed Calculus WAY before Leibniz did, he was basically done in 1671 and it took Leibniz more than a decade longer (even though it is his notation and words we use today). The point is that Newton didn't publish until much, much later, so this remarkable mathematical technique that would change how people do mathematics forever was known only to him. The remarkable thing about that story isn't that they came up with it simultaneously (they didn't), but that they did it

        • Re:Question? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by evilviper (135110) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:46AM (#15908693) Journal
          Ok, you are either copying me (your post id is one larger) or that is plain SCARY.

          In other words...

              DUPE! DUPE! DUPE!

          Okay, everyone can mod him down (-1 Redundant) now, for being a fraction of a second slower than you to submit.

          You should be happy that this is nothing major. I heard an American sniper tell a story of when he was assigned to kill a Vietnamese sniper. The American's bullet went straight down the scope of the Vietnamese sniper's riffle, and killed him. If the American had pulled the trigger just a bit slower, it would have been the other guy telling the exact same story.
    • Re:Question? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:32AM (#15908648) Journal
      Quick translation from their Security FAQ:

      What do this law [of Swedish electronic communication; 2003:389] say when it comes what Swedish government agencies or others request access to the information protected by RELAKKS?

      When it comes to Swedish law enforcement agencies, RELAKKS has the same rights and obligations as a regular ISP with two important differences.

      1. RELAKKS uses advance payments, which implies RELAKKS does not need to follow a traditional subscriber register. This is of great importance due to what kinds of customer information RELAKKS can disclose.

      If Swedish agencies can prove beyond reasonable doubt that they have legal support in requesting the user information from RELAKKS (the penalty has to in this case be greater than fines), RELAKKS need to disclose the subscriber details you as a user has submitted.

      2. RELAKKS does not save customer details beyond those you have given yourself when signing up for the service (you can also change these details as long as you're a paying customer). If you don't proceed using the service, RELAKKS will delete your user account.

      The details Swedish agencies can request beyond user account details (see above) are so called traffic information. These are protected by a much stronger legal protection. To disclose these, the crime needs to have a penalty of at least jailtime in two years.

      I understand it that it's business and laws as usual here too, of course, but if they're enforced of leaving out user details, I wonder what exact differences their unconventional subscriber register has compared to a regular one. They don't seem to go into detail of that, and I'd guess that is the most interesting part here.
    • Re:Question? Answer. (Score:3, Informative)

      by grrowl (953625)
      If it's a truly anonymous darknet, they won't keep 'subscriber linked to ip accessed this resource'-type records. Even if the US or any other overzealous country or power subpoenaed or stole the records to prosecute, they won't know which subscriber did what and when.

      So the minimum of records they would have to keep is who's subscribed and paid, and even with only a handful of people on the service, there's no way anyone could prove beyond reasonable doubt that a specific person did it, and I don't think sw
    • Hey idiots: "Records? What Records?!"
      Har har har--I'm laughing too, but:

      If Swedish authorities can prove beyond reasonable doubt that they have a case for demanding subscription information...RELAKKS then have to hand over the subscription information entered by you.

      Granted--I can type in any old crap I want when registering but my actual actual IP address sounds like it's logged:

      For Swedish authorities to force RELAKKS to hand over "traffic data" including your RELAKKS IP at a specific point

  • by appleprophet (233330) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:57AM (#15908556) Homepage
    I am very skeptical. My question is, how can they afford that much bandwidth? Given that their target market consists largely of P2P users, how can they tunnel all of a heavy bittorrent user's encrypted traffic for only $6.50 a month? It sounds to me like they should get into the ISP business or file hosting business instead...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Perhaps you should stop basing your price estimates on what you're currently paying in USA. I currently pay roughly $10 per month for my 100 Mbit line, both directions I might add. Though I rarely get to use it all unless I'm using a domestic server.

      Feels nice though to grab a DVD from Usenet in about 15-20 minutes.
    • They just have a local copy/cache of piratebay.org
  • by D14BL0 (880565) <drug DOT against ... AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:59AM (#15908562) Homepage
    This new political party is sure to cause a bit of panic all over the world, due to the extreme, overrated hype of piracy.

    Not all piracy is a bad thing. I mean, software these days is seriously overpriced. You could teach yourself some very basic programming skills (Visual Basic, for instance), and create a program that'll do exactly what the $100+ equivilant does.

    So of course people will pirate it. Why? Because it's rediculous to pay for something like that.

    Then there's music. Just to let you know, piracy HARDLY hurts the musician. Considering that 90% of the sales go to the record company before the artist ever sees a penny, they're really not "losing" much at all.

    Then again, sometimes piracy is a bad thing. Especially for the movie industry. Millions (if not billions) of dollars go into the making of a movie. While, yes, theater sales bring in tons of cash, DVD releases are also a huge factor in a movie's income. Downloading a movie hurts people a lot more than downloading music.

    Piracy has become such an overrated "controversy" lately that it's unbarable. Look at the price of blank CDs. Did you know that you have to pay a "piracy tax" for these? Yep. All because some higher-ups think that an extra buck or two will help save a movie studio or a record company. It's batty. What if I just want to burn copies of pictures from my family vacation? Now I've gotta pay the MPAA and RIAA some extra cash for something that they don't deserve? Get real.

    All these corporations think that they're helping people by attempting to foil piracy. Yes, they've got their hearts in the right places, but they're doing it all wrong. "Right track, wrong train" is a good saying for this. They really need to clean up their acts when suing people. I mean, they've gone so far as to sue old ladies who can barely turn their computer on, yet let huge pirates go unnoticed.

    Why's this?

    Because if they let big pirates continue doing their thing, then they get to keep on making more and more money with the "piracy taxes" and suing people left and right for WAY more than the material they've pirated is worth. They're letting people go to keep themselves in the game, which is horrible.



    Also, just a little side note, to anybody who thinks the RIAA or MPAA might be knocking on your door. Go ahead and go to court, but bring up the fact that an IP address is not a person. Since your IP is the only log they have of the download (even if they have the MAC, that'll only ID a computer, not a single person), you'll win in court. And they'll lose out on a bunch of money for the court date, as well. Two-for-one, if you ask me. =D
    • by patio11 (857072) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:12AM (#15908598)
      I run an independent software vendor (gross sales to date: $250 -- hey, its a hobby and if you're going to make fun do better first). It took me approximately 50 hours to write the software which I sell and the program's complexity approaches that of Notepad. Perhaps some people with far, far too much free time would say its ridiculous to pay me $25 when they could just spend the 50 hours themselves. Fine, I understand that -- then bloody write the thing yourself. In reality, everyone who comes up with that lame excuse spends 45 seconds trying variations on Google of crackz, serialz, and whatnot to find the latest Chinese hacker group to have broken my just-enough-to-keep-honest-men-honest registration scheme, and then 600 of them hit my web server in a day.


      Thats not enough for some cheeky bastards, though. After people have gotten their latest crackz, I get a surge of search results from Google for things legitimate customers never search for (e.g. Name of the Program V 1.0 download). I lost $10 last time I got the hacker surge because I bid on my own program name as an AdWords keyword and the "its not stealing, its copyright infringement!!!1" crowd literally picked my pocket for a quarter a click.

      • by bayankaran (446245) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:45AM (#15908688) Homepage
        its ridiculous to pay me $25 when they could just spend the 50 hours themselves...

        One of the issues I have with smaller shareware apps is the price - rather than $25 for your app, if you cut the price to say $10 more people will be tempted to pay rather than look for a crack/serial. And I am writing from experience.
        • by patio11 (857072) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @03:28AM (#15908794)
          I did due diligence before I opened my little business. First, the demand curve for software doesn't fit what you might think from a microecon 101 textbook. Price is a signal of quality, and $10 software is "crud" whereas $25 software which accomplishes what you are setting out to do is worth actually getting out ye olde credit card. The other wrinkle is that advertising costs money and its impossible to make money at the $10 price point if you advertise. For example, during my last week I made roughly half of my sales through Google AdWords, at the cost of roughly $10-15 per sale depending on the campaign. I then get $25 and split $1 with Paypal, leaving me with money in my pocket. Google will not decrease my CPC just because I charge less for my product.
          • by RajivSLK (398494) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @05:14AM (#15909035)
            You left out some important information; what's the name of your product? what does it do? and where can I download the crack?
            • Seriously though. He's complaining about the cost of google adwords, and he's leaving out the cheapest form of advertising available, Slashvertisement. I think that a lot of people think Google Adwords are way more important than they are. I may have in my 10 years on the internet clicked on 20 ads. And 99.9% of the time I don't even read them. I imagine that most people are the same. He'd get much better value for his time/money if he just linked to his program in his sig, and posted a bunch of stuff
          • I can't speak for others, but only for myself: I recently paid for an interesting Firefox plugin that cost $5. It's a handy looking plugin that I might never use, but at that price, since it had clearly had a lot of work, I was happy to reward the author. In fact I've never used it, but I don't mind. But for $25, I would only pay that after spending some time investigating the software to decide if it's really worth the money. And usually, I don't have the time to do that, so I don't buy even if it woul
      • by modeless (978411) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:48AM (#15908700) Journal
        This is why the Internet needs a workable micropayment scheme. $25 is far too high a price for software of the complexity you describe; $.25 is more like it. If people could send you a quarter hassle-free and without minimum per-transaction overhead eating your profits alive, it wouldn't even be worth their time to try and search for a crack. You could be earning $150 in a day (your 600 hits figure) instead of $25 once in a blue moon.
  • Darknet? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Matt Perry (793115) <perry,matt54&yahoo,com> on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:59AM (#15908563)
    I wasn't quite sure what a Darknet was so I had to read the wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]. According to wikipedia it's a network where "users only connect to people they trust". If that's the case then that's different than what the linked article in the /. summary is talking about. According to it this is "a new Internet service that lets anybody send and receive files and information over the Internet without fear of being monitored or logged." If anyone can connect, I can't trust them all. It would only take one person within the web of trust to ruin it for everyone. Besides, if data eventually has to make it to me then there's always a way to locate the destination and source.

    This article seems like BS.
    • Re:Darknet? (Score:5, Informative)

      by man_ls (248470) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:10AM (#15908595)
      I think the point is that it's (1) based in Sweeden, (2) encrypted end-to-end, (3) as anonymous as you want it to be based on the information you provide to them, and (4) fairly strongly protected legally in the jurisdiction it operates in.

      1 and 4 being pretty big for USians who are using it...2 for people whose ISPs filter. 3, dubiously so, as at some point they have your credit card saying that you have an account although I suppose that, if they don't store your tunnel account with your CC number, they have no way of getting to you personally.

      It doesn't matter if someone nefarious is on the same link-local segment sniffing all your traffic, if they can't identify through technological means who you are, and can't compel the provider through legal means either because they didn't keep that information or just won't give it over.
  • by Aceticon (140883) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:09AM (#15908591)
    After all these years of the US government exporting moralistic and lobby-built laws (soft drug prohibition, "ethernal" copyright, etc), it's nice to see somebody trying to export their society's (swedish) values of respect for freedom and privacy, even if their current crop of mainstream politicians seems to be in the pockets of the US admistration.

    On the other hand, i expect that if the Relakks service becomes popular expect laws to be passed soon in other countries to curtail access to it.
  • by gronofer (838299) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:40AM (#15908679)
    I'm impressed with this idea, and particularly with one of their statements:
    The only way to enforce today's unbalanced copyright laws is to monitor all private communications over the Internet.
    This is one of the reasons I'm opposed to copyright myself.
  • by cliffski (65094) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @02:49AM (#15908705) Homepage
    "There are many legitimate reasons to want to be completely anonymous on the Internet"
    And copying a King Kong DVD rip is not one of them. Its sad when people take the legitmate point about anonymity that you might need for political organisations, journalists and whistle-blowers, and just use it as an excuse to facilitate warez and music copying.
    And calling yourselves the 'pirate party' is just plain insane. Whats wrong with "the consumer rights' party? or do they realsie thats way too hypocritical.
    • by kfg (145172) * on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @03:30AM (#15908798)
      Whats wrong with "the consumer rights' party?

      When I was a kid we had these things called "people." I miss them. Nice folk; and a good many of them were producers.

      KFG
    • by GroeFaZ (850443) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @03:49AM (#15908836)
      And calling yourselves the 'pirate party' is just plain insane. Whats wrong with "the consumer rights' party? or do they realsie thats way too hypocritical.

      According to the rest of your rant, 'honest' should come to your mind instead of 'hypocritical', because you don't perceive them as a "consumer rights party" anyway, or do you? It's an ironic statement on how they are perceived, playing with their underdog image. And people like you, obviously, would never see anything else than the "pirate" part, which is exactly why they are important, to constantly challenge such views.

      Furthermore, I think the name is well chosen regardless, because can "The Consumers' Rights Party" get any more boring and non-descriptive? "The Pirate Party" is concise, provoking (to some), and easily remembered.
    • by Troglodyt (898143) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @04:27AM (#15908921)
      Piracy is not what the party is about, it's a name they picked to be noticable.
      The consumer rights party would be a stupid name, as it would infer some capitalist values and the party does not take a stance in questions like that.
      Everyone please read! http://www2.piratpartiet.se/international/english [piratpartiet.se]
      The party is here to counter the police state we are turning into with Bodström giving the lobbying organisations whatever they want, and to put a stop to the silliness of patents and eternal copyright.
    • Actually, the pirates are motivating a lot of investment in the technology to protect identity online. Privacy activists care deeply about these issues and study them in mostly academic ways, but developing a user experience that will be seamless enough to be used by many people requires a lot of actual user testing. Pirates are performing a valuable service in their way, regardless of the ethical implications of unauthorized and uncompensated copying.
  • Governmental power (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Colin Smith (2679) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @03:21AM (#15908782)
    Actually a lot of it comes from the ability to devalue the currency by printing money on demand.

    The police, intelligence services, military industrial complex for instance have to be paid. You can do that by raising taxes, or by printing more money. Raising taxes is the obvious way to do it, but how popular are you going to be if you increase income and sales taxation? You'd be out at the next election.

    Well, you control the printing presses, so just print more money, pay the services and suppliers with this new money, you can do what you like then without raising taxation and pissing off the electorate. Unfortunately, money like any commodity is subject to the laws of supply and demand so if you increase the amount of money around, each dollar becomes worth less and you have inflation, though you can easily deflect that blame on to others; Oil suppliers, employee wage demands, greedy retailers etc.

    If the government was unable to print money (actually to borrow it) on demand, it's power to wage war, to pay for expensive surveillance etc would be very severely curtailed because it would have to raise taxation to pay for these services.

    If you really want to limit the power of governments, then you have to remove or reduce their ability to create money on demand. If you're a libertarian for instance and really believe in small government then move your savings out of your local currency and into some other commodity; Property, gold, silver, shares etc.

     
  • Latency? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hippo (107522) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @04:34AM (#15908941) Homepage
    I see lots of posts about bandwidth, which is fine if you're planning to use this service to copy large quantities of data, but for any other use latency is more important.

    This won't be much use for me if it makes the latency of my VPN connection to my employer so slow that typing into VNC becomes useless. At the moment I get ~20ms ping times from home to work (somewhere in the UK to somewhere else in the UK) and typing via VNC over a VPN is just as good as if I were at work. I've had times when the latency went up and it rapidly becomes impossible to type at normal speed because you can't correct your mistakes as you go.

    Has anyone got any figures for latency for this ISP?
    • Re:Latency? (Score:3, Informative)

      by stinerman (812158)
      I've regularly been getting pings to pptp.relakks.com in the 150ms range.
      This is from Dayton, OH using Roadrunner as my ISP.

      If you're going to use this for any sort of interactive application, you may want to look elsewhere.
  • Er... (Score:4, Funny)

    by aiken_d (127097) <brooks AT tangentry DOT com> on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @04:58AM (#15908995) Homepage
    A portion of the subscription fees will go towards the Pirate Party's work in changing the copyright and privacy laws and making the service obsolete.

    I applaud their honesty, but I'm not convinced on this "you pay us monthly, and we'll destroy the service" business model.

    -b

  • PPTP tunnel ? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @05:22AM (#15909045)
    Reading FAQ on their site it appears they use PPTP tunnel. While it's quick and easy to setup for clients, looks like it has some security flaws, quoting Poptop page about PPTP security (http://poptop.sourceforge.net/dox/protocol-securi ty.phtml):

    "PPTP is known to be a faulty protocol. The designers of the protocol, Microsoft, recommend not to use it due to the inherent risks. Lots of people use PPTP anyway due to ease of use, but that doesn't mean it is any less hazardous. The maintainers of PPTP Client and Poptop recommend using OpenVPN (SSL based) or IPSec instead."

  • by bananaendian (928499) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @05:31AM (#15909070) Homepage Journal

    The claim that this service provides anonymity and immunity to logging is only true in a very limited sense! This is basically a simple one level proxy which keeps access records which the authorities can get their hands on if they "suspect" a crime is being committed. Sweden is signator to various levels of intellegence sharing deals on international crime and terrorism so none of the Swedish laws on privacy have effect if some outside government presents "reasonable suspicion" of a crime being committed. And no, you don't have to be a terrorist or kiddy pron baron to be concerned here - tyrannical governments have been known throughout history to use any means to available to them suppress and oppress their citizens...

    Tor [eff.org] on the otherhand can claim to provide a level of true anonymity because of the 'onion routing' concept. A potential adversary would have to infiltrate the network with enough fake nodes to get to both the input end (to get the ip) and the the exit node (to get the traffic) and then do some traffic analysis to match these two together in order to figure out who is doing what. This being very resource intensive, such capability would only be available to the highest levels of intellegence gathering and even then only for a limited set of survaillance targets.

  • The service is provided by the Swedish high-tech company Relakks, which offers a neutral IP on top of your existing ISP service through a strongly encrypted VPN connection. Basically, this gives users the advantage of a Swedish IP address from anywhere in the world.

    So, how long until Ma Bell and Pa Cable make it against their TOS to connect to an "unauthorized" VPN provider (whereby darknet VPNs are conviently never authorized)? Of course they would only do this after a little "helful nudge" by the DOJ.

    Serioulsy - the idea is great, but using a service like this is basically like putting a big "HEY, I AM OVER HERE, COME ARREST ME AND THEN DO AN UNLAWFUL SEARCH OF MY HOUSE!" sign on your roof.

    The sad sad thing is - a few years ago I would take a comment like this owrth a grain of salt and offer up some tinfoil to the potser. Nowadays I feel like it could actually happen.

  • by SQLz (564901) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @08:38AM (#15909739) Homepage Journal
    This is just down right, unamerican. 'If the government can check everything each citizen does, nobody can keep the government in check.' Its the governments job to watch over us and make sure we follow the teachings of jesus.

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