Tech Facts

The number of extortion letters to Internet users is falling sharply


The internet provider Bahnhof kept an eye on how many threatening letters that law firms send to Swedish internet users for alleged pirated content. And the number has decreased greatly in recent times.

  • 70 percent fewer applications to PRV than at the same time last year
  • Top lawyer at Njord Law Firm charged with gross fraud
  • The blackmail letters require internet users to pay thousands of kronor

Read more: The threatening letters from Njord Lawfirm, Ramberg & CONTRA PIRACY to Swedish file sharers – this is what the letters look like

Significantly fewer applications from law firms to PRV

The extortion letters require internet users to pay thousands of kronor for alleged pirate downloads of films and series via the internet. In 2017 and 2018, tens of thousands of letters were sent to residents in Sweden from law firms such as Denmark Njord Law Firm.

The letters state that the recipient must pay in order not to risk ending up in court. It is unclear how many people actually produced the wallet, but it is likely that many were intimidated into paying – despite the fact that there is not a single confirmed case where the law firms actually went to court.

Bahnhof has regularly collected public information from the Swedish Patent and Registration Office on how many applications have been received for the disclosure of postal information to Internet users.

So far this year, 28 applications have been received by the Patent and Registration Office. At the same time last year, the figure was 92 applications, which means a decrease of close to 70 percent.

Read more: Njord Lawfirm does not receive personal data – Danish court stops

Top lawyer at Njord Law Firm charged with gross fraud

There is still an imminent risk that law firms will increase in number during the second half of the year. But there is something to suggest that they want to work a little cautiously in the future. Namely, an indictment against Njord Law Firms’ top lawyer Jeppe Brogaard Clausen for sending out blackmail letters.

An indictment that concerns gross fraud and which in the worst case (for Jeppe) can result in eight years in prison. This is reported by the Danish newspaper Berlingske here.

It is unclear whether the law firms intend to increase the number of inquiries to the Patent and Registration Office during the second half of the year.

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