Pirate Party chief on trial for data leak

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(CS/mth) President of the Luxembourg Pirate Party Sven Clement on Wednesday goes on trial for data theft and violation of data traffic laws, after stealing the password to a medical database in 2012.

The incident dates back to January 2012, when a hacker gained access to over 48,000 medical files on licenced athletes in Luxembourg, after a patient had found the username and password to the database on a post-it stuck on their doctor's computer screen.

Photo: Serge Waldbillig

However, the suspect did not simply inform the “Service Médico-Sportif” of the problem, but chose to make the matter public.

In the wake of the incident, the Pirate Party said that the government is underestimating the dangers of large databases of personal information, while at the same time there were allegations that the password was stolen by a member of the party.

At the time, Clement said that this information could not be confirmed.

The government immediately filed charges against unknown, as it is obligated to in such a case.

In the spring of 2012, the homes of Clement and a suspect at cybersecurity team CIRCL, involved in checking whether the password in fact gave access to the database, were searched; private computers and other hardware were confiscated.

While charges against the CIRCL expert were dropped, Clement will have to face trial for data theft with aggravating circumstances, as well as violation of electronic data traffic laws at a Luxembourg City court.

Clement has denied the allegation that he stole information, saying that nothing was removed and the conditions constituting theft have not been fulfilled. The wrong person is going on trial, he added.

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