Monday, August 14, 2006

Relakks, It's Sweden

I perused the Digg Security page and read news from Sweden's Pirate Party. They've teamed up with a Swedish company called Relakks to provide a subscription VPN service.

Pay 5 EUR per month (or 50 EUR per year) and you get access to a PPTP VPN hosted by Relakks. (There's a FreeBSD port of a PPTP client that should work with Relakks.) According to their legal page:

If Swedish authorities can prove beyond reasonable doubt that they have a case for demanding subscription information from RELAKKS (they have to be of the opinion that if convicted the user will be imprisoned – fined not enough).

RELAKKS then have to hand over the subscription information entered by you (but that’s all). RELAKKS do not store any subscribtion information about you except what you entered yourself when signing up for the RELAKKS Safe Surf service.

For Swedish authorities to force RELAKKS to hand over “traffic data” including your RELAKKS IP at a specific point in time, they will have to prove a case with the minimum sentence of two years imprisonment.

Regarding inquires from other parties than Swedish authorities RELAKKS will never turn over any kind of information.


Just recently Slashdot featured a thread on a fairly lame and non-revolutionary way to try to avoid Google tracking one's searches. (I think this is probably as good, if not better.) It reminds me of MegaProxy too, except Relakks is a true VPN for all services (theoretically).

I'm wondering if we're starting to see some resistance to the idea that we "have no privacy anyway."

I might give this Relakks a try, to see what they allow outbound.

Has anyone seen something like this before, on a subscription basis for any takers?

15 comments:

Tim B said...

Sweden is becoming the on line equivalent of a Swiss Bank Account. I suppose this was inevitable.

LonerVamp said...

One trend I see amongst "non-expert security" sites (kinda like a lot of the news posts on Digg's security section) is focused on maintaining security for people who aren't otherwise criminals or have something illegal to hide. From evading school limitations to corporate web filtering or obfuscating P2P/IM IP reporting to anonymous web browsing...this has been a fairly quietly growing market segment. In some sense, blame the RIAA and network admins for that.

Freedome and privacy are pretty important to people, obviously. Usually people don't want to think about it...I mean, how long have we used telephone technology and somewhere someone has always been able to listen in, even if just to troubleshoot the systems. The general public would rather just not think about it and live with the ignoring of that reality. But with the RIAA suing people based on P2P IP addresses and quite obvious blocks on certain programs or websites on campuses and corporate environments, people can't just ignore network-based privacy issues. Not when they butt up against them or read about them regularly now.

Uncue said...

iPhantom

They are based in the states. Relakks looks like a better solution for securing one's privacy once they sort out their capacity issues.

John Ward said...

Man... with such a great setup, I am suprised there are no "Frankie Goes to Hollywood" jokes...

Anonymous said...

Neomailbox
They offer a similar service, but aimed at anonymous web browsing (stunnel->HTTP proxy)
... based in the Netherlands and logs are deleted after 7 days

Anonymous said...

Strange - no discussion of the EFF's TOR project here.. encrypted traffic from your TOR endpoint through the virtual TOR network, random drop-off's each time. If performance is not what you require, TOR and the services listed above may be for you.

TOR: http://tor.eff.org/overview.html.en

and Dr. Kaos and company released a new TOR embedded live CD - SAMAEL, which builds on their prior Anonym.OS project.
kaos.theory: http://kaos.to/cms/

dco said...

I decided to test Relakks and unfortunately they know nothing about security or
privacy. After you set up an account (using https) with a username and password,
they immediately send me an UNENCRYPTED email repeating the username and password.
Yup! So anyone on the Internet remotely able to read traffic now knows my username
and password. Sadly, since Relakks uses https to set up the account, I asssumed
they understood the basics of security and I used a username and password I use
on most of my financial accounts, so now I have to change all of them. I have told
Relakks to cancel my account and not charge my credit card.

As we all know, security is only as good as its weakest link. It is too bad that Relakks
decided to try to solve one internet security issue without bothering to find out about
all the other issues....

By the way, by publishing my username and password (by which anyone can obtain private
information about me), they are susceptible to various worldwide laws on not protecting
private information.

Anonymous said...

The Relakks serice SUCKS!. I have been trying to get in touch with their so called customer sevice repeatedly but they do not answer emails and this is the ONLY way to contact them. Download speed is shite, people need to the "reliability" of this company. Since two weeks back I have been unable to even connect to them. Stay away from these people

Anonymous said...

No need to worry about security, their 'service' does not work for long enough at a time to allow you to do anything real with it. Except . . . .
Their so-called 'service' actually worked properly for a very few days immediately before my first month's fee ran out. I paid a month's renewal. It failed immediately. They won't respond to emails, even to requests for refund of the rip-off fee. We'll have to see what Visa says about that.

pcs said...

I’ve already disputed the charge on my renewal. It seemed to stop working about 9 days ago. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted!

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious that a VPN placed in sweden will give bad response times to distant countries. I use Relakks and live in Sweden and it works great for me.

Anonymous said...

Hello, if you are running torrent throught relakks you will be guaranteed the maximum speed at all times, same speed as your isp announces, the important thing is that the torrents need uploaders, nothing relakks can be responsible for. the speed is 100 % at all times, please think before you post comments about this excellent service, 99 percent of you are a bunch of m,orrons...

Anonymous said...

the anonymous moron above obviously has no clue what its saying,relakks is one hell of a rotten service

Anonymous said...

Relakks is slighly unreliable but if you are close on the network it's very very fast. So I've been happy with them.

Gustaf said...

Relakks is the GREATEST SERVICE I HAVE EVER TESTED..!!!

IT WORKS VERY FINE INDEED!! AND THE SPEED IS 100%!!

BUT THEY HAVEN'T REPLIED ME YET THOUGH.

RELAKKS DOESN'T SEND USERNAME AND PASSWORD TO EMAIL. YOU SEE IT ONLY ONCE WHEN YOU ARE REGISTERING AND THATS ALL YOU HAVE TO WRITE IT DOWN SOMEWHERE..ENCRYPTIN IS 128 BIT.. AND WORKS FINE ALL THE TIME!!