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Carrots in Their Ears, Broccoli in Their Socks

The staggering incompetence of Swedish court magistates is - staggering.

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There's probably nothing that annoys the IT-savvy more than watching 'legal eagles' stumble over fundamental IT concepts and obvious insights - as if they're total strangers to the entire terrain.

One of Sweden's appeals courts - Svea hovrätt - handed down three absolutely astounding rulings.

Ruling #1: smalltime Swedish ISP Black Internet are forbidden from providing bandwidth for any of the following 'domains'.


'That's a nutball ruling, an incompetent ruling', writes Rick Falkvinge. But it's harmless: the latter two 'domains' don't even exist anymore. But that didn't stop the geniuses in the court from ruling on them anyway.

'TiAMO' (Fredrik Neij) and 'Anakata' (Gottfrid Svartholm) are further forbidden to have anything to do with these nonexistent sites. 'They evidently didn't feel it necessary to first investigate how TPB was built up', comments Falkvinge.

And although the ruling is pointless, the trend is very dangerous. The Swedish courts evidently think it's OK to undermine mere conduit, despite EU commerce law explicitly guaranteeing its immunity.

EU legislation states explicitly that 'carriers are never responsible for what is transported'.

'It's obvious the Swedish courts have carrots in their ears and broccoli in their socks when it comes to information security and Internet issues.'
 - Rick Falkvinge

The third ruling is however very dangerous. The third ruling forbids ISP Portlane from providing openbittorrent.com with broadband until their pending case is heard in the lower court.

'These magistrates show how dangerous incompetent courts can be', writes Falkvinge. 'A tracker's totally unaware of what it's conveying, perhaps more so than postal services are. A tracker is pure infrastructure. These magistrates have just forbidden a bit of infrastructure because someone complained it was being used for illegal purposes.'

[Those who followed the lower court trial of The Pirate Bay may remember how chief prosecutor Håkan Roswall admitted he should be going after the BitTorrent users who actually distributed the allegedly 'illegal' materials - but because that was so difficult, he'd go after the carrier instead.]

'The highways, the mail, the telephone networks can all be used to commit crimes', writes Falkvinge. 'Or more correctly: I'm convinced they are. But no court anywhere would dream of forbidding parts of a telephone network or the highways to stop crime, because in those cases they understand the concepts involved.'

'It's obvious that the Swedish courts have carrots in their ears and broccoli in their socks when it comes to information security and Internet issues.'

'This undermines our confidence in our system of civil rights. People learn that courts rule in favour of those with the money. That's what's happening right now.'

'What are we supposed to do about our incompetent courts?'

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Rick Falkvinge: Vad ska vi göra åt våra inkompetenta domstolar?

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