A Swedish ISP has lost its battle to keep the personal identities of some users a secret. Bahnhof, which doesn’t consider piracy a serious offense, previously refused to hand over the details of suspected copyright infringers to the police. Now, however, the Administrative Court in Stockholm has handed down a ruling which will compel it to do so in future.
As large ISPs become more closely aligned with the entertainment industries, the days of providers strongly standing up to blocking and disclosure requests appear to be on the decline. For Swedish ISP Bahnhof, however, customer privacy has become a business model.
In recent years the company has been a major opponent of data retention requirement, launched a free VPN to protect its users’ privacy, and put on a determined front against the threat of copyright trolls.
Back in May 2016, Bahnhof reiterated its stance that it doesn’t hand over the personal details of alleged pirates to anyone, not even the police. This, despite the fact that the greatest number of disclosure requests from the authorities relate to copyright infringement.
Bahnhof insisted that European privacy regulations mean that it only has to hand over information to the police if the complaint relates to a serious crime. But that went against a recommendation from the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS).
Now, however, the battle to protect customer privacy has received a significant setback after the Administrative Court in Stockholm found that Swedish provisions on disclosure of subscription data to law enforcement agencies do not contravene EU law.
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