Swedish Internet Law Helps Encryption-Makers

STOCKHOLM -- Business is booming for encryption-makers and VPN services in the wake of Sweden's new anti-piracy law.

According to English-language Swedish news site The Local, companies are being flooded with requests for encryption technology since the nation's IPRED law went into effect last week.

Swedish tech firms and international companies are offering anonymous user protection. This includes notorious BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay, which launched its own IPREDATOR VPN service. According to a report Wednesday, more than 100,000 people have signed up, 80 percent of them Swedes, said Pirate Bay co-owner Peter Sunde.

Fredrik Strömberg of the company Yayabee AB, which offers an anonymity service through Dold.se, told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet demand has skyrocketed the past week. And it's not merely the 20-somethings one would associate with file sharing.

"Mothers in families with children, old and young people, all types," he told the paper. "All are cursing the recording industry. This is not good PR for them."

In related news, Swedish Police raided two apartments and arrested three men last week all accused of file sharing copyrighted material. The arrests were part of joint international effort to end an illegal file sharing ring, with raids also conducted by police in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain and the USA.

TechDirt posted a snide commentary on the increase in protective service business: "This, once again, points out that near total pointlessness in playing 'Whac-A-Mole' over file sharing. It just becomes an endless game where each side continues to elevate itself, and it makes it that much more difficult in the end for the entertainment industry to do what it will inevitably be forced to do anyway: start building business models that embrace file sharing.

"But the further they push users of such services underground, the more and more difficult they'll find it to embrace these services down the road. Each attempt to knock out these services or their users only comes around to backfire on the industry itself."