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New law increases demand for anonymous web surfing

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New law increases demand for anonymous web surfing
11:27 CEST+02:00
Anonymous internet surfing has become more popular in Sweden as the country's new anti-file sharing measures come into force.

Demand for services offering anonymity, such as virtual private networks (VPN), has skyrocketed as internet users react to the new IPRED law which came into force in Sweden on Wednesday, Svenska Dagbladet reports.

There are a large number of both Swedish and foreign companies offering a range of services and tools to protect the integrity of Swedish internet users.

Many of the companies and services on offer are newly started and have fulfilled prior expectations that the reaction to IPRED would be immediate.

The Pirate Bay, one of the world's largest bit torrent trackers, is among the sites that offer "IPRED" protection.

Visitors to the site are invited to submit their email addresses to join the queue for invitations to make use of their IPREDator VPN service, which they write should be stable enough for launch next Wednesday.

Fredrik Strömberg at Yayabee AB, the company that owns Dold.se, which offers a similar anonymity service, told Svenska Dagbladet that the demand for its services in recent days has been huge and "above all expectations".

Dold.se is currently informing visitors to its site that its service, which can be bought for 449 kronor ($55) per year, is "overloaded".

Strömberg confirms that enquiries have come in from all groups in society and not only from activists or those with a significant computer interest.

"Mothers in families with children, old and young people, all types. All are cursing the recording industry. This is not good PR for them," Strömberg said to Svenska Dagbladet.

The Local reported on Thursday that internet use in Sweden dipped by 30 percent when IPRED came into force on Wednesday.

This figure was argued by some industry observers, such as Anti-Piracy Agency (Antipiratbyrån) lawyer Henrik Pontén, to indicate that the new legislation is working.

Others have expressed scepticism that the effects would be sustained in the longer term.

The new file sharing law is based on the European Union's Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) and allows courts to order internet operators to hand over details that identify suspected illegal file sharers.

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