Logs Seized From F-Secure’s VPN Must Be Destroyed, Court Rules

upnorth

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Malware Hunter
Jul 27, 2015
4,365
In January 2019, Finland's National Bureau of Investigation seized logging data from F-Secure's FREEDOME VPN service to investigate an alleged crime. After a prolonged legal process, the Helsinki Court of Appeal has now ruled that the seizure of the logs was illegal. As a result, all of the seized logs must be destroyed.

When using the Internet, everyone leaves some kind of digital footprint and for most individuals going about their daily business, this could be as simple as their ISP-allocated IP address. To gain additional privacy, some people turn to VPN providers which exchange the user’s ISP IP address for one operated by the provider. The important thing here for those seeking the best levels of security is to ensure that the VPN provider has systems in place to prevent these two IP addresses from being linked. In basic terms, this means choosing a so-called “no log” provider.

Finnish security company F-Secure operates a VPN service known as FREEDOME which, according to the company, does not log what websites users visit but does create and store connection logs. When required to under the law, FREEDOME will hand over any data it holds in response to law enforcement or court requests, which is normal among all reputable companies. Back in January 2019, Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation (KRP) seized VPN logging data from FREEDOME in response to a legal request from the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt / BKA) in Germany. The BKA was investigating a “serious crime” and traced the perpetrator back to an IP address operated by F-Secure’s VPN service. By obtaining FREEDOME’s logs, the authorities wanted to get closer to the suspect.
 

MacDefender

Level 14
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Oct 13, 2019
688
Scary reminder of why “privacy policies” don’t always tell the whole story. The FreeDOME privacy policy says they only collect this kind of logging to monitor and enforce abuse. I believe that, but unfortunately any legal business also has to comply with legal orders from the country they operate in.
 
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