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The Internet Government Privacy

Swiss Government Backs Privacy Oriented ISP 109

Posted by samzenpus
from the eyes-on-your-own-screen dept.
judgecorp writes "The Swiss government owned telco Swisscom is pitching a "Swiss Cloud" operator which promises to keep customers' credentials private in the wake of the NSA spying scandal. Switzerland has strict privacy laws, with which the Swisscom cloud complies, and the operator now wants to offer that more widely."
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Swiss Government Backs Privacy Oriented ISP

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  • by larry bagina (561269) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:19AM (#45325625) Journal
    They used to have strict banking secrecy laws, too.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:17AM (#45326351)

      This. I am a dual citizen, USA and Switzerland, I live in the US. I had a bank account in Switzerland with less than $2k in it. Last year the Swiss bank closed out my account and sent me the funds. The Swiss government caved in to pressure from the US and changed it's banking laws. They will do the same thing with internet privacy.

      • by bsolar (1176767) on Monday November 04, 2013 @12:10PM (#45327037)
        Strict bank secrecy laws were not amended: to do that the government would actually need to change the constitution, since that's where this protection is defined. Every change to the constitution needs to be approved by popular vote, so even if the government caves in to the US requests, it has to actually convince the majority of Swiss voters to approve the amendments in the mandatory vote. What actually happened is that many Swiss banks got threatened with lawsuits in the US and decided that US customers were more hassle than they were worth it.
        • What actually happened is that many Swiss banks got threatened with lawsuits in the US and decided that US customers were more hassle than they were worth it.

          Small steps, but vitally important. If only others would follow this example.

    • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:47AM (#45326733)
      Wasn't one of Snowden's 'triggers' to his document releases the blatant rights violations of the Swiss at the behest of the NSA?
      • Actually it was the CIA. He witnessed a Swiss banker be turned into a CIA asset through someone getting him drunk and making him drive. So not only was this an immoral entrapment scheme, but it also sounds quite dangerous (what if he had crashed?). Of course, he should have not driven when drunk, but who knows how persuasive the CIA can get. For all we know they spiked his drink.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, and we saw how that turned out.

      FYI. The Peoples Republic of China has financial institution which say they will NEVER share your personal information with any western government or corporation without your explicit written permission.

  • by Moblaster (521614) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:20AM (#45325651)
    It's clear this is merely some darknet to protect the black market for Swiss chocolate smuggling. But at last my secret Toblerone stash will be untraceable. So I got that going for me.
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:29AM (#45325729)

    The nice thing about this is that short of invading, there's no way to pressure the Swiss to do anything that they don't want to do. They produce their own energy, they make a crapload of money, and every adult male owns an assault rifle (security of a free state, keep and bear arms, etc. etc.). They can afford to give the NSA the finger.

    • short of invading

      There's the issue.

      • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:37AM (#45325813) Homepage Journal

        There's the issue.

        What issue? [antiwar.com]

      • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:47AM (#45325941)
        That's a pretty hard sell. They're white, they don't have natural resources, and they are known for neutrality. In fact, that's one of the reasons that nobody tries to fuck with Switzerland. The value of having a neutral territory far outweighs the value of pursuing a particular agenda.
        • by cold fjord (826450) on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:02AM (#45326131)

          The value of having a neutral territory far outweighs the value of pursuing a particular agenda.

          The value of capturing a series of heavily defended localities adjacent to and in a mountain range tends to be outweighed by the cost of doing so. Rubble and ruin is a poor exchange for blood and treasure.

        • by cold fjord (826450) on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:48AM (#45326755)

          That's a pretty hard sell. They're white...

          The US has fought repeatedly against nations populated primarily by white people when there was cause. That includes Britain (1776, 1812), Germany (1917, 1941), Italy (1941), Spain (1898), France (1798), and the whites and white government of the Confederate States of America (1861). The US was ready to go to war for 50 years (1947-1991) against the largely white Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact (East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania) in Eastern Europe, and intervened in the Russian civil war (1918). There appears to be a problem with your race based theory. Too many people here have "brown on the brain." (We'll pass in silence over the wars in Asia.) The issue is the behavior of the nation in question, not the color of its population.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:42AM (#45325885)

      As a swiss guy (born and living here): you have some good point, unfortunately and sadly they are wrong.

      * Guns: Adult males (which are required to do military service) have a gun, but no ammo at home. No self-defence for us.
      * Energy: we produce some energy and sell it during the day to other countries. During night, we buy it back at a far lower price to fill up the dams. There is give and take, and economic mostly us as winners.
      * Crapload of money: yes there are some, like banks/etc. The common rabble doesn't. Life is very expensive here in Switzerland, except the iPhones.
      * Finger to the NSA: I'd wish, but but our ministers do *always* what the USA is asking, often in advance.

      So: no. We are USAs bitch like many, many others.

      (unfortunately I forgot my password, therefore: anonymous swiss coward)

      • (unfortunately I forgot my password, therefore: anonymous swiss coward)

        Your password is 228ghx!@.

        Kind regards,
        Swiss Federal Intelligence Service.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The nice thing about this is that short of invading, there's no way to pressure the Swiss to do anything that they don't want to do. They produce their own energy, they make a crapload of money, and every adult male owns an assault rifle (security of a free state, keep and bear arms, etc. etc.). They can afford to give the NSA the finger.

      Wrong, economic coercion works as well if not better than military invasion. Switzerland is a prosperous country because of the EU it trades with. EU has a lot of clout in Switzerland. That's how the EU managed to break the Swiss's famouse bank secrecy laws.

    • by mlts (1038732) *

      What can be done is to use the Swiss data center as a passthrough for encryption.

      That way, you have your site -> intermediate storage provider -> destination cloud provider, with both your site and the intermediate provider doing passthrough encryption. This can be changed with public key encryption to the intermediate providers only stepping in to decrypt data with their private key [1]. Encrypted data would just go directly from the client to the end cloud provider.

      That way, for data to be accesse

    • The nice thing about this is that short of invading, there's no way to pressure the Swiss to do anything that they don't want to do. They produce their own energy, they make a crapload of money, and every adult male owns an assault rifle (security of a free state, keep and bear arms, etc. etc.). They can afford to give the NSA the finger.

      Actually, there is a way to pressure them. Have foreign banks stop doing business with their banks. It's actually a very effective tool; one that is used on the North Koreans very effectively. It essentially cuts off access to their money which results in their rethinking what they are doing. We'd never do that to Switzerland but it is a little know but effective weapon.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:32AM (#45325761)
    Swisscom? I hear their privacy is...full of holes.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:45AM (#45325909)

    I notice there's a lot of suicides connected to telecoms.

    Kostas Tsalikidis, shortly after the Vodafone bugging of the Greek government was discovered.,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kostas_Tsalikidis

    Adamo Bove, committed suicide by throwing himself onto a freeway after finding out about 'Radar' (like an Italian Tempora):
    http://www.edri.org/edrigram/number4.15/italy

    Just out of interest, I noticed a senior Swisscom exec killed himself in July this year, shortly after the Snowden leaks, it could be unrelated and maybe it was related to his marriage breakup 4 years earlier, but worth digging in light of the other two deaths and the timing.

    I recall Snowden mentioned CIA's activities in Geneva from his days there, (getting bankers on drunk driving charges to gain leverage). Which puts a question mark in my mind about a Swisscom cloud:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/edward-snowden-describes-cia-tricks-2013-6

  • Swisscom (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Swisscom is the last company you would want to do this - I was working for one of the large banks here and to VPN from home to the office on Swisscom you had to have a static IP otherwise it was routed through Germany which wasn't good for Swiss banking secrecy.

  • by comrade1 (748430) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:47AM (#45325939)
    I live in Switzerland. I was never quite happy with the european cloud computing providers I found because they were based in places like the uk, france, etc. Eventually I did find a swiss company but they were small and not feature-rich (compared to aws). I've worked with swisscom in the past on tech projects and they are extremely competent. I look forward to see what they come up with. And related to this, I've been looking into investments that will take advantage of europeans moving their data back to europe and requirements/laws for purchasing non-u.s. networking equipment. I found some good investments for companies on the hardware side, and I think this might be a good investment on the computing side.
  • by argStyopa (232550) on Monday November 04, 2013 @10:53AM (#45326037) Journal

    ...or are all these proposals for 'new' 'secure' cloud and email systems probably doing nothing more than waking up the NSA that they can't just doze through bulk downloads of foreign-traffic data any longer?

    I mean seriously, the tyros in the NSA are probably *welcoming* the new challenge of some serious crypto to crack...and most of these new programs are going to be hacked and downloading again almost unhindered by lunchtime of launch day.

    • Even if the company can be trusted, still got to get the data through NSA-tapped pipes each way. NSA with their ability to easily coerce certificate signing by any of the US-based CAs, and a policy of getting companies to insert backdoors in products. And if they really want what's in the cloud, they can just have a deniable operative use the classic bribery or extortion techniques to get access.

    • by kermidge (2221646)

      "the tyros in the NSA"

      N.B. I don't think tyro means what you think it means, i.e., tyro is a beginner.

      As for the rest? Who knows? You could well be right.

  • by mark_reh (2015546) on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:03AM (#45326161) Journal

    the NSA and other spy agencies aren't able to get at their traffic? Swiss privacy laws protect against legal attacks, not NSA attacks.

    • So far the most effective NSA attack has been the $3 wrench; they put people in a room and tell them they need to comply or a man with a gun will put them in a metal box forever. Secret laws, secret courts, gag orders preventing you from even talking to a lawyer? These are fundamentally incompatible with the legitimate rule of law.

      • by kermidge (2221646)

        Or just as easily, invite a crusading congressman for a tour and while there show him what they have on him; he comes out being quite supportive of agency's programs. We had one example just a few months back, for those following the news.

  • by spacefight (577141) on Monday November 04, 2013 @11:40AM (#45326619)
    - the swiss had their fair share of privacy desasters - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_files_scandal [wikipedia.org]
    - the swiss also have their intelligence services
    - the swiss also have lawful interception
    - you still need to encrypt everything as your data in transit to Switzerland might be intercepted elsewhere

    Go dark. Now.

    Regards from Switzerland
  • ... is that it has so much foreign soil.

  • It costs, yes, real money, to keep your information private.
    witness the positive and contrapositve:
    1. the slow but steady growth of app.net, a paid subscription social web SERVICE/platform [handily the equal or better of /. IMO] that takes a bit of your money instead of of selling your ID-related data [no f**king ads for those of you who can read but not connect dots]
    2. the way all the "free" web services provided by Google, Farcebook, (and god knows what Twitter will suck out of you for the stockholder
  • I am surprised how many bought the simple "tax fraud heaven" formula their leaders were feeding them. Imagine, there is a country where the tax authority does not automatically know how much you make and how much you own. You have to declare it. And with in some limits, the tax authority must trust you. There are checks to make sure everybody plays fair. However, per default, the state does not assume that you are a cheating liar. Can you say the same about your country?

    And although this system can be ab

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