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New Swedish law does not affect Mullvad

24 March 2020  NEWS PRIVACY

Confused about Sweden’s new legislation on the covert surveillance of data? In short, it does not pertain to Mullvad VPN.

So what does the Covert Surveillance of Data Act do?

This law, which goes into effect on 1 April 2020, enables Swedish law enforcement agencies to digitally spy on criminal suspects located in Sweden. In order to do so, such agencies would first have to be granted authorization.

You can read a full overview of the Covert Surveillance of Data Act (2020.62) on our website.

If the act doesn’t affect Mullvad, why are you telling us about it?

We strive to educate people on how privacy is hard to come by in this digital age, and one way of doing that is to inform you of any new legislation that has an impact on individual privacy. This also helps us to stay up to date on how governments reason about privacy and the role that VPN providers play.

Privacy-invasive laws already exist (in case you forgot)

Let’s disregard the new law for a minute to talk about what’s been going on for years. Government agencies around the world already have the ability to survey traffic passing through their national borders or ISPs, and they do so systematically.

Even more concerning is that nearly all internet traffic passes through U.S.-based providers and is therefore susceptible to U.S. surveillance laws. This includes service giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

This fact, in combination with the use of subpoenas and gag orders which forbid recipients from talking about surveillance requests, allows the U.S. government to secretly force companies to grant complete access to customer data and transform the service into a tool of mass surveillance.

All U.S.-based providers are required to comply with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). You can imagine why we closely follow legislative developments in our own country of Sweden.

How you can boost your privacy game

Use Bridge mode

With the app’s Bridge mode, your traffic will be routed through two secure locations instead of one. You can even choose two separate jurisdictions. Read our guide on how to use Bridge mode.

Become a privacy ninja

Try some of our simple solutions to change your online habits and, as a result, improve your online privacy. Ninja mask is optional.

How Mullvad upholds your right to privacy

First and foremost, we do not store any user activity, and all traffic that passes through our servers is encrypted. Our company culture is strongly centered around security and privacy  from our developers all the way up to our board  and we are constantly refining it.

And with regard to the Swedish legislation that actually is relevant to us, our lawyers help us to stay informed and to adapt when necessary.