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Julf schliesst anon.penet.fi

Es scheint, dass die staendigen Angriffe gegen Johan Helsingius,
die in dem ekelhaften Observer-Artikel vom 25.8. gipfelten, nun ihr Ziel
erreicht haben :-(

Unter der URL <http://www.penet.fi/press-english.html> kann man folgende
aktuelle Presseerklaerung von Julf lesen:

                                PRESS RELEASE

Johan Helsingius closes his Internet remailer

Johan Helsingius from Helsinki has decided to close his Internet remailer.
The so-called anon.penet.fi anonymous remailer is the most popular remailer
in the world, with more than half a million users.

"I will close down the remailer for the time being because the legal issues
governing the whole Internet in Finland are yet undefined. The legal
protection of the users needs to be clarified. At the moment the privacy of
Internet messages is judicially unclear."

The idea of an anonymous remailer is to protect the confidentiality of its
users identity. The remailer itself does not store messages but serves as a
channel for message transmission. The remailer forwards messages without the
identity of the original sender.

Finland is one of the leading countries in Internet usage. Therefore all
decisions and changes made in Finland arouse wide international interest.

"I have developed and maintained the remailer in my free time for over
three years now. It has taken up a lot of time and energy. Internet has
changed a lot in these three years - now there are dozens of remailers in
the world, which offer similar services.

I have also personally been a target because of the remailer for three
years. Unjustified accusations affect both my job and my private life", says
Johan Helsingius.

He surmises that the closing of the remailer will raise a lot of discussion
among the Internet community. "These remailers have made it possible for
people to discuss very sensitive matters, such as domestic violence, school
bullying or human rights issues anonymously and confidentially on the
Internet. To them the closing of the remailer is a serious problem", says

Child porn claims proven false

Last Sundays issue of the English newspaper Observer claimed that the
remailer has been used for transmitting child pornography pictures. The
claims have been investigated by the Finnish police. Observers claims have
been found groundless.

Police sergeant Kaj Malmberg from the Helsinki Police Crime Squad is
specialized in investigating computer crimes. He confirms that already a
year ago Johan Helsingius restricted the operations of his remailer so that
it cannot transmit pictures.

"The true amount of child pornography in Internet is difficult to assess,
but one thing is clear: We have not found any cases where child porn
pictures were transmitted from Finland", Kaj Malmberg says.

Ground rules need to be clarified

There are several large network projects going on in Finland at the moment,
such as the TIVEKE project run by the Ministry of Communications and the
Information Society Forum project run by the Ministry of Finance. Johan
Helsingius is participating the work of these projects. Projects assess the
political and social issues of networks and the impact of these issues in
the long run. These projects also need the support of daily, practical work
to help short-term decision-making.

Johan Helsingius is now taking an initiative in the development of the daily
network rules. He wants to set up a task force to discuss the practical
problems related to ethical and civil rights issues in connection with the

"I will try to set up a task force which will include Internet experts
together with representatives of civic organizations and authorities. The
task force could take a stand on issues such as the networks practical
operation methods and the misuse of the network. I hope that the results of
this task force will support the development of the network", he says.

For further information, please contact

Johan Helsingius
Oy Penetic Ab
tel. +358 0400 2605
e-mail: Julf@Penet.FI


Johannes Kroeger		<jkroeger@squirrel.owl.de>
Send me mail with subject "send pgp-key" to get my PGP key