25. Februar 2021
VPN Services between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Freedome Case
Providers of commercial Virtual Private Network services are expected to protect the privacy of their customers, but also to co-operate with law enforcement in legitimate criminal investigations in accordance with the law. In a case concerning a commercial VPN service, the seizure of VPN user logs was challenged in court by the service provider, a Finnish cybersecurity company. Drawing on this case and the reasoning adopted by the national courts, this paper explores the dual role of VPN service providers and the fine line between subscriber data and traffic data in Finnish law and on the European level. Ultimately, it is argued that uncontrolled and unlimited law enforcement access to VPN user logs would jeopardize privacy rights and the business interests of legitimate VPN providers, and that it might additionally lead to undesirable consequences for law enforcement interests.
Table of contents
- 1. Introduction
- 2. The Freedome Case
- 2.1. Basic Facts
- 2.2. Legal Questions
- 2.3. Relevant Law
- 2.4. Decision of the District Court
- 2.5. Decision of the Court of Appeal
- 3. Evaluation and Conclusions
- 4. References
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