• Sweden's news in English

US ISPs block hacker probes: Swedish police

Oliver Gee · 7 Feb 2012, 10:18

Published: 07 Feb 2012 10:18 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“The problem is that the internet is an international phenomenon and legislation is national. It’s not limited to Sweden though, it is Europe. And because most big internet providers are US based, we all have the same troubles dealing with them,” Anders Ahlqvist, IT-crimes specialist of the national police, told The Local.

As The Local reported on Saturday, Swedish group Cyberforce, part of the Swedish branch of "hacktivist" collective Anonymous, quickly claimed responsibility for a cyber attack on the websites of the Swedish government on Saturday as part of protests against anti-piracy regulations.

“According to intelligence material, the hackers’ goal was to reach the authorities through such mediums as Twitter conversations, (FRA and the national police) but none of the authorities knew of the attacks,” Ahlqvist told Sveriges Radio (SR).

The hackers succeeded in shutting down the government through a so called ‘overload attack’ where someone sends so much information that the system collapses. Now a police investigation is underway, however the work will not be quick.

“If we want information, we have to provide a subpoena from the US court, and a formal request through Sweden’s department of justice. It is extremely time-consuming, and very many of the cases are not possible to investigate," Ahlqvist said.

"Conversely, the US faces the same problems when dealing with European courts.”

This is not the first time that the government and authorities have been attacked online, other examples in Sweden including the Pirate Bay court case, and the Julian assange rape case.

The fact that the government site went down says something about the level of safety, according to Ahlqvist.

“It unfortunately showed that the overload attacks actually work, time after time. The routines need to be looked into so that they work better,” he told SR.

Story continues below…

Ahlqvist claims the attacks do nothing to tarnish Swedish reputation, rather, that it is a worldwide legislative problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

“We need more international agreements for a smoother system otherwise the bad guys will just keep on winning," Ahlqvist told The Local.

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

16:17 February 7, 2012 by byke
Dear Mt Oliver Gee (AKA The Local Bullshitter)

What a load of old sh*t you have written.

US ISP's are not blocking anything.

They simply require a court document before handing over any sort of private information. Otherwise what you are proposing in your article is not much different to wiretapping. Or illegally monitoring people outside Sweden's borders.

So in regards to your headline "US ISPs block hacker probes" I think its quite clear that your title is deliberately misleading and borders dangerously on sensationalism and by doing so could find yourself accountable under Swedish law by making unfound claims against other nations which would apear to be untrue.
18:41 February 7, 2012 by Opinionfool
If it happened, when it has happened, in the opposite direction the US authorities has demanded foreign ISP divulge users identities. One recent case being the personal details of Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir whose Facebook details were accessed by the FBI in connection with Wikileaks' leaking of the US Embassy cables.

Shame on the US for not showing reciprocity. Shame on the Swedes for needing their government web sites to be hacked in order to give them a wake-up call.
23:21 February 7, 2012 by bethrichardson
Opinionfool - While there may have been a couple of cases where the US was able to get the information they needed, there ahve been millions - literally - of attacks on government sites and personal sites where the US was unable to get the information they needed from the government in question. Should we act the same way and block Sweden from getting the info they need? No, I don't think so. But to say we get what we demand is a joke.

And Byke, chill! We all know that the US courts take forever to get the info needed, and to chase down hackers you have to be able to move fast or they will simply move their domain to another ISP. We DO need to have better ways of working together to crack down on these criminals. If an American police officer can arrest someone based on reasonable cause, this same idea of "reasonable cause" should be enough to give the basic info so that they can launch a comprehensive investigation.
12:08 February 8, 2012 by byke

Laws are different all over the world, but breaching human rights and privacy without proof of crime is a farce.

The internet was never designed to be used for political policing.

In regards to DDOS, how is this any different to many people rallying together to protest ? (In a virtual mannerism?) yes it can cause an overload but it does nothing to destroy or remove.

But does this justify demanding information on citizens where no burden of proof has been submitted to allow governments to obtain information regarding citizens who may not even be citizens or fall under the laws of a nation who accuse?
14:29 February 8, 2012 by Roy E
@byke - The internet was never designed to be used for political policing.

That's certainly true, but that's exactly it will end up being used for. Control. freaks aren't going to let little things like principles and rights get in their way.

Bravo to the US ISP's.
Today's headlines
Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available