Yesterday, Sweden voted for a new wiretapping law that gives the police the power to listen in on all traffic crossing the Swedish border – without a court order! this is reminiscent of the Great Firewall of China, and even Germany hasn’t gone that far. Obviously this is bad news for Sweden, but why is it bad for you?
11 302 ms 26 ms 27 ms level3-117311-s-b3.telia.net [184.108.40.206] 12 184 ms 410 ms 205 ms ae-11-11.car1.Stockholm1.Level3.net [220.127.116.11] 13 * 210 ms * ae-4-4.ebr2.Dusseldorf1.Level3.net [18.104.22.168]
In my own case, my provider (NextGenTel) routes at least some of its traffic through Stockholm. Which means it’s crossing the border to Sweden, and can be listened in on by the Swedish police. Who can’t be trusted.
Which should be a reminder for everyone to use more encryption. Encrypt your mail. Use SSL where you can. And encrypt your IM sessions: If you are using Pidgin or Miranda IM, you could install plugins for Off-The-Record messaging (pidgin) (miranda).
And if you’re saying “I have no secrets”, reconsider that statement considering you lived in a country like China. You would have secrets there. And what if your traffic gets routed through a country like that, and somebody reads it? You might just end up on some no-fly list for saying something ironic about a major global power to your girlfriend. And because encryption requires everyone you communicate with to take part it’s hard to get critical mass, and it will be too late by the time you need it.