Saturday, September 15, 2007

A general warning when communicating with me

Or any other Danish person.

Today, new laws steps into effect in Denmark, that leads to all emails and text-messages getting stored by internet and phone providers. All phone calls from Danish phones and web-browsing from Danish computers (through Danish internet providers) also get registered.

This is an anti-terror measure.

Of course, it's entire ineffective, since the law only governs within Denmark, so email accounts in other countries (e.g. gmail, hotmail, yahoo etc.) are not stored, even if owned by Danes. And within Denmark, it can easily be bypassed.

The law is not as wide sweeping as some seen in the US - Danish police/intelligence agencies cannot get access to this data (which is gathered and stored by the providers) without a court order. Still, it's open for abuse, and a very bad step towards less privacy.

Unfortunately there is widespread support for these laws among politicians. Only the hard-core socialists (Socialist Folkeparti) and the communists (Enhedslisten) voted against it.

The union for programmers and systems developers (Prosa) is very much against this law, and has created a free CD containing some freeware to help people annonymize their internet usage. An image of it can be downloaded here (page is in Danish). Alternatively, I suggest installing Tor.

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