ISP liability and #09STOCKHOLM141

It is not only our infamous lobby organization Nepotia that wants to put an end to net neutrality in Sweden. The #09STOCKHOLM141 cable that was put on interweb by Wikileaks reveals a puppet-like behaviour by the Swedish Government concerning these issues.

What is at stake is nothing less than our tubes. ISP liability means that the Internet Service Providers are responsible for what packets of data that run through their infrastructure.

My fear is that ”ISP liability” will radically change internet in Sweden. It is conveyed in a scary language. The lobby organization Nepotia talks about ”responsibility” and ”business models”. What ISP liability means, and can not mean anything else, is systematic surveillance.

Let us take a look at #09STOCKHOLM141:

Now that the Enforcement Directive implementation will finally enter into force on April 1, and there will soon be a first District court decision in the Pirate Bay case — the Justice Ministry will turn its attention to other key issues, primarily the ISP liability issue and extra resources to investigative capabilities.

So, there was IPRED and nothing happened. There was the The Pirate Bay trial and nothing happened to files being copied between computers. Now, the Justice Ministry turn their attention to ISP liability and want something to happen,according to the cable . The lobby campaign of the industry, their ”front” being Nepotia, are timing this very well. A while ago they hired a Phd-candidate named Johan Axhamn to make a report about ISP liability to put some academic polish to cover up the industry demands.

The whole story is very gangsta-style when ventriloquized by the Embassy cables. One thing that the Swedish government needs to solve (crush) are the actual Internet Service Providers:

6. (SBU) Industry consultations/ISP liability: The GOS held a series of industry consultations in the summer/fall of 2008, with the explicit aim to discuss a voluntary industry agreement involving ISPs and right-holders organizations. Industry contacts reported that the ISP’s were not willing (they claim they are not able) to take on any action on a voluntary basis. The first round of consultations was concluded without results during the fall of 2008. The Justice Ministry is currently working internally in the GOS to get acceptance for a second round with a clear incentive for progress, i.e. threatening with legislation in the absence of a voluntary agreement. There is some resistance in the Center party led Ministry of Enterprise, Energy, and Communications, and negotiations are on-going at senior GOS-levels.

Lets ”threaten with legislation”. To me that sounds a bit like extortion. Either you start up your Deep Packet Inspection or we give you no choice but another law regulating your enterprise.

The ISPs of Sweden are really nice. We have a cutting edge fibre backbone and you can get a really fat pipe straight to your home for a reasonable cost. Sure, some of them don’t behave well all the time, for example Telia blocks some Skype in their wireless networks and tried to give Spotify a fast-lane in traffic management. But besides that, it is a real pleasure to surf the .se-nets.

The freedom of mere conduit, of well protected ISPs, is the fundamental material technology of freedom of speech in contemporary societies.

The US must withdraw their fingers from our fibres, and the lobby front organizations should be scrutinized more. Their inquiries and representatives smell like money, and when you can change laws with lollars, we sell out freedom of speech for some lousy entertainment.

The choice is still ours.

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