Hackerspace “Forskningsavdelningen” raided in Malmö, Sweden

Forskningsavdelningen means “Research Department” in English.

A Swedish hackerspace, located in the south-western part of Sweden in Malmö, was raided recently. The reason for the raid was said to be an un-licenced party being held at the premise, and suspicion of alcohol being served to minors.

Nothing strange here, the laws on alcohol are usually in place for a good reason.

But why the police came in with Computer Forensics analysts is another issue entirely. Are they qualified to deal with minors on a drinking binge? Or maybe they were there to sieze interesting equipment housed there? Among the seized items are wireless routers and antennae.

So far they have received no clear documents as to what crimes they may or may not have commited. There is a suspicion of “preparations for unauthorized computer access”, based apparently on the nature of the equipment found in the premise. Also found were two old machines for copying keys, and other lock-picking paraphenelia. Which, as i understand, are not illegal, as long as it is a hobby and not used to break in to anywhere. But i am not a lawyer so. They do mention in one of their posts that owning machinery for the copying of your own keys is perfectly legal.

Also, there were two other parties going on in the same block, which were not raided (probably because there were no computers there….)

This is a disturbing thing, really, because this could lead the way to other such raids, where a minor supposed crime is used as the way to get a search warrant, and then “oh, look, computers. And we just happened to have our computer experts from the FBI with us, how lucky!”. I’m just hoping that they don’t bring that to Finland, or instate rules such as “sneak and peek”-warrants, which would allow law enforcement to enter my house without my permission or presence and “look around for evidence”.

Paranoia 101.

Link to the page of the hackerspace, in Swedish. http://forskningsavd.se

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