A new Finnish anonymity service UserVPN started its operation in the early hours of December 8th. The stated mission of the service is to protect Finns from the Swedish FRA espionage: "Keep the privacy you deserve. UserVPN offers encrypted connections over borders of Sweden to all over the world. This service protects headers and content of the user's traffic from internet mass surveillance. Traffic is routed to public internet as near destination as possible. This service is made possible by USR Networks comprehensive VPN environment in Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe where traffic is routed by geographical location of destination."
The service, owned by Turku based startup USR Networks, can be tested for a day with 1,30 euro SMS payment, and a month's subscription of 8,50 euros is payable with common credit cards and Internet banking. The service supports all Windows operating systems starting from Win2K plus Linux, MacOSX, and *BSD variants. UserVPN with its VPN technology and IP address replacement can be compared to the Swedish anonymity services Ipredator and Relakks, which are available for 5 euros / month. 3,50 euros monthly extra for the protection from Sweden's national espionage sounds reasonable and competitive. If the service turns out to be a success, there is hope that some Finnish operators might start offering similar anti-FRA solutions for their entire clientele, giving them a competitive edge against TeliaSonera, who – with Swedish state as its biggest owner – has declared its unwillingness to fight the FRA espionage in courts.