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Swedish ISP raid prompts backlash

Workers suspended after Bahnhof bust

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A raid by Swedish authorities last week against Bahnhof, Sweden's oldest and largest ISP, has been hailed by Hollywood as a major blow against movie piracy. But questions have been raised about whether the 10 March raid, orchestrated by Swedish anti-piracy organisation Antipiratbyrån, and involving the seizure of data involving thousands of users, might have violated the country's strict data privacy laws.

The raid against the Stockholm offices of Bahnhof involved the seizure of four servers holding 23 terabytes of data. Reuters reports the servers housed 1,800 movie files, 5,000 software application files and 450,000 digital audio files. Reuters, liberally quoted a Motion Picture Ass. of America (MPAA) spokesman who described Bahnhof as a "haven for high-level internet piracy for years" and home of "some of the biggest and fastest servers in Europe".

Bahnhof said that it does not condone illegal file sharing. The ISP has reportedly suspended two staffers, suspected of hosting vast quantities on warez on its systems without management permission, pending further inquiries. Bahnhof has issued a statement (in Swedish) expressing concerns that data involving as many as 20,000 users was seized during the raid. The raid against Bahnhof is not the first anti-piracy bust in the country but it's reportedly the first to take place without any advance notice.

Reg readers inform us that the Swedish Data Inspection Board is to investigate alleged collection and computation of personal data conducted by the Swedish antipiracy office in connection with the Bahnhof raid. This remains unconfirmed since we were unable to reach anyone at the board for comment. Bahnhof chief exec Jon Karlung is yet to respond to Reg requests for an interview that might clarify the current state of play. ®

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