• Sweden edition
 
Study: more Swedes surf the net anonymously

Study: more Swedes surf the net anonymously

Published: 01 May 2012 15:05 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 May 2012 15:05 GMT+02:00

Swedes have become more inclined to surf the internet anonymously, in order to protect themselves from online surveillance, a new study shows.

Some 700,000 Swedes currently actively seek to hide their identity online by making use of anonymizer services, according to the survey by the Cybernorms project at Lund University.

The survey shows that around 200,000 Swedes aged 15-25-years-old habitually surf anonymously, making use of proxy services such as Relakks, Ipredator and Mullvad - this equates to 15 percent of the age group.

The researchers conclude that as internet usage and file-sharing is most common among younger Swedes, then the proportion of older users surfing anonymously is likely to be lower.

"We can't say for certain for other age groups, but a rough estimate, based on the recognition that other age groups don't share files illegally to the same extent, is that around 700,000 Swedes are currently paying for a service to conceal their identity on the internet," said Måns Svensson, PhD in sociology of law and the survey's project manager.

The figures came as a surprise however as a prior survey on the issue by the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) showed little change since 2009.

The European Court of Justice furthermore indicated recently that the controversial anti-file sharing IPRED law (named after the EU intellectual property rights directive) could be brought into force in Sweden.

The law allows for copyright holder organizations to obtain the identity of suspected file sharers from internet service providers, suggesting that the demand for anonymization services will increase.

"If the European Court's opinion leads to an intensified hunt for file-sharers, the indication is that the use of these types of anonymity services will expand even faster," Smith said.

The Lund University researchers concluded that file-sharing is the single most important factor in the growth in demand for online anonymity, but it has also been found to be expanding among other internet users.

Danny Aerts, president of the .se foundation which administers Swedish network addresses, estimates that the increasing level of surveillance on the internet is instrumental in the increasing popularity of anonymizing services.

"As surveillance increases, both from the government and from private actors such as Facebook and Google, so does demand (for anonymization services)," Aerts said.

"But I think it's good that anonymization services are available. Take the Arab Spring for example; then everyone in Sweden considers it a good idea that anonymity is possible. And it would be strange if that did not also apply at home."

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

17:52 May 1, 2012 by muscle
you can not stop filer sharing by strict laws. People will always ...ALWAYS find workarounds with such prohibitions. Take the example of Spotify, by charging small amount of monthly free, you get the music you need. If such services can be provided for movies and other software, may be it will work.
20:52 May 1, 2012 by gpafledthis
jeez !! american here - hey sweedie state !! You can rendition me back anytime you wish - BUT - promise to put me in one of your prisons !! Big Bad Swede State !! Police ought to run a "sting" create a false flag travel agency and offer free trip to Texas & Arizona to their "chosen people" !! Here we treat big mouths-bitc--rs-and various malcontents proper good !!
07:51 May 2, 2012 by Valdemaratterdag
Here's the important info from Relakks' own website:

"De uppgifter som svenska myndigheter kan begära förutom abonnentuppgifter(se ovan) är så kallade trafikuppgifter.

Dessa är omgivna av ett mycket starkare legalt skydd. För att bryta sekretessen för trafikuppgift måste brottet vara föreskrivet ett straff om minst två år i fängelse."

Translated:

"The data Swedish authorities may require addition of subscriber data (see above) is known as traffic data.

These are surrounded by a much stronger legal protection. In order to break the confidentiality of traffic data should the crime be prescribed a punishment of at least two years in prison."

In other words, you had better be sure that the nefarious deeds which you are in the process of committing constitute crimes less than two years in prison. Good luck.
Today's headlines
Police seeking missing Swede in London
Sofie Marie Jansson, who is currently missing in London. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
A Swedish Easter witch holding daffodils. File photo: TT

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter

In India, I'd notice Easter only from the traffic jam outside the churches, but here witches, egg hunts, and feathers mark the Christian holiday. The Local's Deepti Vashisht brings you the various shades of Swedish Easter. READ () »

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Chemtrails?: Shutterstock.

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe

A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. READ () »

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid
Fredrik Reinfeldt answers the constitutional affairs committee's questions. Photo: TT

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid

Sweden's prime minister on Thursday said Vattenfall itself, not its owners the Swedish state, had responsibility for the loss-making Nuon deal. READ () »

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer
Photo: TT

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer

A Swedish lawyer says the Swedish military may have broken the law when it raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

771
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com