Newspaper bomb threat traced to police

A bomb threat which emptied the offices of a newspaper in Luleå in northern Sweden last week has been traced to the town’s police headquarters.

Last Wednesday the offices of the Norrländska Socialdemokraten (NSD) newspaper in Luleå were evacuated after the newspaper received a bomb threat via email.

The police were called to investigate, taking with them specially trained bomb-sniffing dogs, but by Wednesday evening investigators concluded the threat was a hoax.

But the story took a new twist on Monday when it was revealed that the IP-address associated with the threatening message is affiliated with police headquarters in Luleå.

“We’re now looking at all of our internet terminals, around 35 of them,” Norbotten police spokesperson Roger Jönsson told the TT news agency.

The police have several possible explanations: that the police’s network was hacked, that the message’s IP-address was wrong, or that the threat was sent by someone from within police headquarters.

“I’m not aware that the Swedish police (network) has been hacked, not in the last year, in any case. But it’s true, even the Pentagon has been hacked,” said Jönsson, referring to the headquarters of the US military.

The matter has been reported to the Swedish National Police-related Crimes Unit (Riksenheten för polismål). In addition, four investigators from the National Investigation Department (Rikskriminalen) are also working on the case.

Jönsson explained that police are now prioritising three things, including confirmation that the IP-address from the owners of the newspaper, Norrköpings Tidningar. From there, the IP-address must be connected to a computer, and then on to the person who used the computer.

Finally, police will look into whether or not their network has been hacked.

“As soon as we know something more we’ll be sure to go public with it,” said Jönsson, adding that some computers may have had several users.

According to Jönsson, the threat wasn’t sent in an actual email, but rather was delivered through on online tip form on the newspaper website.

However the threat, which arrived in the form of an email at 8.39am last Wednesday, was very clear, stating that the offices of the newspaper would be blown up at 2.35pm that afternoon, according to the newspaper.

Four hours after the threat was received, employees at NSD started to evacuate the building. But by 8.45pm police gave the all-clear.

“It feels unpleasant and unnecessary,” said NSD editor in chief Anders Ingvarsson at the time.

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Google News to return to Spain after seven-year spat

Google announced Wednesday the reopening of its news service in Spain next year after the country amended a law that imposed fees on aggregators such as the US tech giant for using publishers’ content.

Google News to return to Spain after seven-year spat
Google argues its news site drives readers to Spanish newspaper and magazine websites and thus helps them generate advertising revenue.Photo: Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

The service closed in Spain in December 2014 after legislation passed requiring web platforms such as Google and Facebook to pay publishers to reproduce content from other websites, including links to their articles that describe a story’s content.

But on Tuesday the Spanish government approved a European Union copyright law that allows third-party online news platforms to negotiate directly with content providers regarding fees.

This means Google no longer has to pay a fee to Spain’s entire media industry and can instead negotiate fees with individual publishers.

Writing in a company blog post on Wednesday, Google Spain country manager Fuencisla Clemares welcomed the government move and announced that as a result “Google News will soon be available once again in Spain”.

“The new copyright law allows Spanish media outlets — big and small — to make their own decisions about how their content can be discovered and how they want to make money with that content,” she added.

“Over the coming months, we will be working with publishers to reach agreements which cover their rights under the new law.”

News outlets struggling with dwindling print subscriptions have long seethed at the failure of Google particularly to pay them a cut of the millions it makes from ads displayed alongside news stories.

Google argues its news site drives readers to newspaper and magazine websites and thus helps them generate advertising revenue and find new subscribers.