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Swedish man locked up for porn surfer extortion

A Swedish man who sent bills to thousands of alleged porn surfers and threatened to publish their names if they failed to pay has been sentenced to two and a half years' jail for extortion.

Swedish man locked up for porn surfer extortion
A Swedish man has been sentenced to prison. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/SCANPIX

The 42-year-old, who had acquired the Swedish rights for streaming videos on a foreign website, sent bills to people he claimed had watched the clips, demanding payment ranging from tens to hundreds of euros.

For those who refused to pay, he raised the amount and threatened to call the police or publish their names on an online “porn blacklist” detailing which videos they had watched and then refused to pay for.

He admitted to 31 cases of aggravated extortion and to 526 cases of attempted extortion. The offences took place in 2012 and 2013.

“The district court has determined that the plaintiffs were subjected to aggravated extortion in the cases where it is proven that they received a bill of this kind,” a court in Malmö, southern Sweden, said in a statement on Monday.

The man told the regional daily Sydsvenskan in 2013 that he had earned millions of kronor (hundreds of thousands of dollars) legally through his website from users who had agreed to the prices mentioned in its terms and conditions.

Although users never left their contact details on the site, he was able to trace them through a list of IP addresses he bought from Sweden's largest internet service provider.

HACKING

Suspected hackers show porn on Swedish station billboard

Commuters in a southeast Swedish city were briefly roused from their wintry routines by a public display of pornography at a bus stop outside the central rail station, officials said on Friday.

Suspected hackers show porn on Swedish station billboard
The screens at Kalmar station began suddenly showing porn images. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
For about 15 minutes on Thursday afternoon, during maintenance of an interactive display in the city of Kalmar, the usual adverts and videos were replaced by explicit images from a pornography website.
   
“We got information from a bus driver that someone had put pornographic imagery on one of our displays,” Karl-Johan Bodell, traffic director at Kalmar's regional public transport company KLT, told AFP.
   
The screen at Kalmar's central station in Sweden's southeast was quickly switched off — and will remain off until the cause is uncovered.
   
Local media reported that hackers were to blame and Bodell conceded that hacking was “the first thing that comes to mind”, but stressed that the cause had not yet been confirmed. 
   
KLT said the company supplying the display was conducting an investigation into what had caused the switch and how they might prevent future incidents.
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