One of Sweden’s leading newspapers, Aftonbladet, hosts a web-TV show called “Brottscentralen” (translates to The Crime Central) where they report news related to crimes and also try to help the police in their investigations. When the show reports how the Swedish minister of justice, Beatrice Ask, wants to raise the max penalty for computer related crimes from two years to six years, they bring up Gottfrid Svartholm Warg’s case as an example without having done the proper research.
It’s Brottscentralen’s reporter Hanna Aler Sjöqvist who didn’t bother to do her homework regarding Gottfrid’s case. She starts off by wrongly stating that Svartholm was sentenced to one year in prison for hacking into Nordea (Swedish bank), Kronofogden and Skatteverket (the Swedish tax department). None of this is true however, except for the part about how Gottfrid received a one year prison sentence in Sweden. First of all, Hanna Sjöqvist should have known, that after anakata’s appeal, the court cleared him of hacking into the Swedish bank Nordea. Not a good start here, but it gets worse.
Also Svartholm was never sentenced for hacking into either Kronofogden or the Swedish tax department ‘Skatteverket’. He was really sentenced for hacking into the profit-driven company Logica, where the two Swedish authorities hosted some of their data.
Hanna Aler Sjöqvist goes on by saying that Gottfrid stole 10000 protected identities and that statement is….. wait for it……. also FALSE!
In reality it was Swedish social security numbers that was retrieved from Logica and in Sweden these numbers are public information also when it comes to people with protected identities. Instead it’s the names and addresses related to these numbers that’s considered the secret information. These names and addresses was never stolen from Logica and Gottfrid was never charged for stealing such information.
The host of the show later asks Hanna Aler Sjöqvist if crimes related to hacking has become more and more common and she responds by saying that a security expert told her that even if you only browse the Internet for ten minutes, there is so many who collects information about you that it has become a big problem.
She doesn’t understand that this type of data collecting she speaks of is a common procedure done by most corporate websites today, including all the big names like Facebook, Google and even their own website aftonbladet.se. While some might find this to be considered unethical it isn’t in any way related to hacking or hackers, it’s related to corporations who tracks their visitors/users so they are able to target their advertisement and provide customized content.
For those who understand Swedish, you can find the part of the show where they talk about Gottfrid at Brottscentralen’s website.
You can aslo send an e-mail to Hanna Aler Sjöqvist (firstname.lastname@example.org) asking her why she didn’t do the proper research before talking about Gottfrid’s case. If you want to use twitter you can tweet at them using @Brottscentralen. Tag your tweets with #freeanakata. PLEASE DO NOT send any messages you’ll regret later and try to be polite. Any stupid stuff will just reflect badly on the Free Anakata movement. Thank you!