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Oops, there goes Presumption of innocence – or, collateral damages of danish internet surveillance plans

Posted on | February 27, 2016 | No Comments

This piece of PR by the danish police is advertising for the benefits of so-called sessionlogging
surveillance and logging of all internet session to be carried out by internet service providers.


It has already been criticized and ridiculed, for example in Henrik Kramshøjs article here (danish),  for a number of factual errors and
unfounded assertions, but also praised for entertaining elements like the IP number of “THE HACKER” being
(which happens to be an IP number owned by “DNIC-AS-00768 – Navy Network Information Center (NNIC),US”).

In addition to all this, and likely to go unnoticed, the document also does away with one of the principles of justice:
Presumption of innocence – or, “innocent unless proven guilty”.
In Example 3 we learn that internet surveillance is in the best interest of the citizen, because:
a citizen’s computer may have been used by third parties, to carry out attacks –
a pretty normal thing to happen, in a world of Windows, Malware, Botnets etc.

However, the citizen would not be able to prove her innocence (!), were it not
for the police’s surveillance that comes to the rescue and protects the citizen, by providing data of how the citizen’s computer has been used by the Hacker. Translation of the central argument:
“Without logging of Internet information, the police can not necessarily see whether
the citizen’s computer has been remote controlled. Logging therefore has a protective function.”

And voilá – as a little colateral damage of the technical debate –
there goes ‘Presumption of innocence’.
The citizen now has to prove her innocence – and should be grateful for being under surveillance.

As a side note, we should study whether surveillance on a global level now has to be seen in a very new light …


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