VPN Services Between a Rock And a Hard Place: The Freedome Case

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCybergovernance
Subtitle of host publication Tagungsband des 24. Internationalen Rechtsinformatik Symposions IRIS 2021 / Proceedings of the 24th International Legal Informatics Symposium IRIS 2021
EditorsErich Schweighofer, Franz Kummer, Ahti Saarenpää, Stefan Eder, Philip Hanke
Place of PublicationBern
PublisherEditions Weblaw
ISBN (Print)978-3-96966-452-0
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoEC publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternationales Rechtsinformatik Symposion IRIS 2021: Cybergovernance - Universität Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
Duration: 24 Feb 202127 Feb 2021

Publication series

SeriesEditions Weblaw II, Colloquium


ConferenceInternationales Rechtsinformatik Symposion IRIS 2021: Cybergovernance
Abbreviated titleIRIS 2021
Internet address


  • Virtual Private Network
  • criminal investigation
  • evidence
  • seizure
  • log
  • traffic data

Field of science

  • Law


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