Wikileaks ISP Anonymizes All Customer Traffic To Beat Spying

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by lotuseclat79, Jan 27, 2011.

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  1. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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    Wikileaks ISP Anonymizes All Customer Traffic To Beat Spying.

    Reference: Swedish ISP will anonymize all its users' traffic.

    -- Tom
     
  2. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    Awesome news, hopefully this idea spreads over more countries in Europe.
     
  3. katio

    katio Guest

    I doubt this will work out. This is basically evasion and could be answered by forcing any VPN provider who does business with a Swedish ISP to obey Swedish law, i.e. log at their end. If Bahnhof is running their own or use a 3rd party on in Sweden it's even simpler.
     
  4. nix

    nix Registered Member

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    The Swedes can't force a foreign VPN to log at their end. And the VPN would have to be foreign, as the strategy is useless if the VPN is subject to Swedish law.
     
  5. katio

    katio Guest

    I said it backwards but basically what I mean is that they can force a Swedish ISP to only do business with a provider that logs.
     
  6. nix

    nix Registered Member

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    I see what you're saying, but that would be difficult, and the implications tremendous. That would severely curtail international telecommunications trade, and could be considered anti competitive in the extreme.
     
  7. katio

    katio Guest

    Only the EU could intervene but given their policy on data retention do you think that's likely?
    Even if they do, will it be more than a slap on the wrist? And what's worse in their eyes, law evasion or antitrust violation?

    This is a political issue, I have my doubts the current government will let this happen without at least fighting against it.

    I'd happy to be wrong...
     
  8. nix

    nix Registered Member

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    Well, it is one thing to require an ISP to keep logs. Even in the U.S., that might be an epic battle. Here's a report from earlier this week:

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/02/20/internet.records.bill/index.html

    And it is another to require that an ISP only do brokered or subcontracted business with those that keep logs. Basically, that would require a global initiative, or entire swaths like EU would be barred from competitive practice. There will always be a country to provide privacy. It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to engineer the law to address this problem. It is, at best, a stopgap measure. Mike McConnell addresses the attribution problem as being worthy of an attempt to re-engineer the internet itself. It is clear that the EU and the U.S. government both realize that, ultimately, the law is simply not a reliable control mechanism when it comes to attribution.
     
  9. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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  10. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    Good read Tom, thank you.
     
  11. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

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    I live in Sweden and I can tell let you know that Bahnhof's vision is Great:thumb:

    They always think about their customers in first hand, and they are very hard and strict about their IP logging and privacy.

    I don't use Bahnhof, since they don't currently provide Fiber connection in my town at the moment. But they are expanding, and many users are jumping on to the Bahnhof bandwagon due to their strict view on Privacy and logging.

    And if I remember correctly, the EU decided that all European ISP's will be forced to log IP's for a minimum of 12 months due to an EU law, including Bahnhof.

    But if there is a Swedish law that will prevent Bahnhof of using the VPN and go around the EU directive, I still haven't found out.

    EDIT: BTW here are some images from (Pionen) wich is Bahnhof's Data Center.(Under ground)
    http://www.bahnhof.se/pionen/gallery/
    More info and a video from inside the Data Center: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2009/04/15/inside-the-james-bond-villain-data-center/
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  12. nix

    nix Registered Member

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    Great read.

    Mike Masnick, techdirt @ link.

    That about sums it up.
     
  13. emmpe

    emmpe Registered Member

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    There is currently no law in Sweden preventing ISP:s to route through a VPN. Bahnhof has already been offering this service as opt-in for some time, and I use it to obstruct the data retention that is now being implemented here after threats from Brussels - dodging the FRA mass surveillance for good measure. This "Anonine" service is quite okay, it comes at roughly $6 a month, it's stable, it doesn't noticeably affect speed and the third party provider doesn't log traffic. The DR directive applies to ISP:s, and to my understanding the term "ISP" hasn't been legally defined yet, so until someone files a lawsuit demanding traffic info to be turned over by Anonine this solution will work, I suppose. Luckily our current Minister of Justice isn't very bright and our MP:s generally a little stupid in IT matters.

    I agree that Bahnhof always has been in the forefront when it comes to defending their customers' interests, and those few times when they've been forced to back off they've never gone further than absolutely necessary. It's a pretty clever and far-sighted business concept that I guess will prove increasingly profitable for them.
     
  14. nix

    nix Registered Member

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    Anonine? Is that what they're using?
     
  15. emmpe

    emmpe Registered Member

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    Yes. I was rather skeptic at first, as the company providing the server, Portlane, used to make some bs claims on their homepage, but that seems to be corrected now. There is also a stand-alone Anonine service besides the Bahnhof-connected one at about the same price.
     
  16. katio

    katio Guest

    So much about:
    I guess that's a good thing. First they need to pass a law that forces not only ISPs but other service providers as well to log. This will take a while. Then when they think they succeeded Bahnhof can still move to an offshore provider.
     
  17. emmpe

    emmpe Registered Member

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    That would, in fact, be a very bad thing for Swedish customers, a betrayal even, as it would mean that domestic traffic as well would be subject to the mass surveillance initiated some years ago. I don't think Bahnhof will consider that option.
     
  18. katio

    katio Guest

    I'm not sure what you mean by that.
    also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_post_facto_law#Sweden
     
  19. nix

    nix Registered Member

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    Ok, I'm sorry. I'm on a learning curve here. So they are using Anonine. I didn't realize this. And Anonine is a Swedish VPN, but not an ISP, so not subject to the law. At least not yet, anyway. And the Swedes are depending on the technological inefficiency of the Minister of Justice to keep it like this. But that's not going to be long-term strategy, I assume. It seems as if the day will come when it is better to use a foreign VPN, in order to skirt domestic logging requirements. In fact, I'm of the opinion that eventually, such global networks will be the only workable solution. But you're of the opinion that this would be a betrayal of Swedish customers. Can you explain? Like katio, I don't understand why this is so, in this particular case.
     
  20. emmpe

    emmpe Registered Member

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    Well, there's not just data retention, there's also the full-scale wiretapping of all digital traffic crossing the borders that was decided upon by the parliament almost unanimously after some turmoil a couple of years ago. Maybe "betrayal" is too strong a word and maybe it would be no big deal if you're seen connecting to a foreign VPN, as long as you come back encrypted, but still it doesn't look like the Bahnhof way of doing things and I doubt that it would be appreciated by those who care about these things.
     
  21. katio

    katio Guest

    nix and me are talking of a VPN connection directly between the customer and the offshore provider. Anything else doesn't make any sense.

    They can do wire-trapping and retention as much as they like on encrypted traffic. Customers who "care" sure would like it, it's the ONLY way around data retention - if Swedish VPNs eventually are forced to log too.
     
  22. emmpe

    emmpe Registered Member

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    Okay, now I see what you mean, and I agree. I doubt, though, that this is what Bahnhof intends to do at the moment, and I don't think it's such a straightforward thing to achieve, as they would have to find a trustworthy partner abroad. Time will show.
     
  23. nix

    nix Registered Member

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    Here's a diagram of FRA intercept. It may have changed, but it gives an idea:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trafikdata-en.png

    So I understand why the perception exists that Bahnhof should prefer a domestic provider. But practically speaking, it makes little difference, I think. The traffic is quite difficult to efficiently parse, and Försvarets radioanstalt conducts domestic surveillance as well. The situation is the same in the U.S with NSA. FRA, NSA, what's the difference? If they don't get it here, they'll get it there.

    The only way to evade this kind of gross signals collection overreach is a consumer-driven encryption blackout. As for finding a trustworthy provider abroad, why not? I like what I know of Bahnhof, for instance. Doesn't the selection of any provider depend on analysis of publicly available information? One hopes that some truth emerges from known standards and the consensus of respected professionals who can be called to accountability, wherever they might be. And even then, the choice of a provider for sensitive information depends on one's political alignment and timing. Bahnhof appeals because it projects a certain cultivated aura. If their aura is an extension of a genuine desire to subvert intelligence collection, they won't care, in the end, where trustworthy partners reside. They will only care that their providers share their uncompromising commitment to freedom.
     
  24. emmpe

    emmpe Registered Member

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    Let's make no mistake - Bahnhof's in it for the money. No uncompromising commitment there. Yes, they stand out among ISP:s and they are my first choice, but in the end they're subject to the law of the land and dynamics of capitalism, and that's what they will adhere to in order to survive as a business. Whatever that may entail in the future.

    But it would really be great to have all traffic VPN:ed by default. Oddly enough Bahnhof hasn't yet notified their regular customers of their intention to do that.
     
  25. nix

    nix Registered Member

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    The fact that they're in it for the money is reassuring to me. It shows me they are competitive. Part of being competitive is being willing to go someplace, or do something, that your competitor will not, or cannot do. In this case, to challenge this invasive law.

    Jon Karlung, head of Bahnhof: "In order to keep the internet transparent and to have an open and free society, there are some values that have to be protected."

    It is clear, then, that they have have stated a commitment.

    How far, then, would Bahnhof go to protect these values? I'm not sure, but they're clearly headed in the right direction. Maybe it's better to ask, how far might they be forced to go?
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2011
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