[LINK] Ars: Tor node operator's second run-in with police
Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Fri Sep 21 16:45:55 EST 2007
Tor node operator after run-in with police: "I can't do this any more"
By Ryan Paul | Published: September 17, 2007 - 11:19PM CT
Alexander Janssen, a Tor node operator located in Germany, has shut down
his node after a second confrontation with police several months ago.
Law enforcement agents entered Janssen's home, handcuffed him, and
searched the premises. Janssen was informed that he was a suspect in a
bomb threat investigation involving an Internet forum. He was then taken
to the police barracks where he was interrogated. After Janssen was
released, a German state security official informed him that the
detainment was a misunderstanding.
Tor is an anonymizing proxy service that obscures the origin of users by
relaying traffic through various nodes on the network. The destination
server sees the IP address of the Tor exit node rather than the IP
address of the user.
[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_%28anonymity_network%29 ]
Unfortunately, this has made Tor exit node
operators the accidental targets of police investigations that involve
the Internet activity of users who rely on Tor to hide their identity.
Janssen's situation is not unique. Tor exit nodes were seized by the
German government last year during a child pornography investigation.
Early this year, Janssen also became a suspect in a child pornography
investigation as a result of traffic relayed by his Tor exit node. At
the time, Janssen was able to resolve the problem with a lawyer, but it
left him shaken.
His latest confrontation with German law enforcement agents was enough
to convince him to give up. "I've shut down my Tor-server," wrote
Janssen in a blog entry yesterday. "I can't do this anymore; my wife and
I were scared to death. I'm at the end of my civil courage. I'll keep
engaged in the Tor-project, but I won't run a server anymore."
Like the German government's recent law against hacking software that
inadvertently criminalized many computer security tools, the country's
attempts to harass Tor node operators reflect an unwillingness to
distinguish between a legitimate technical service and criminal
Security expert used Tor to collect government e-mail passwords
TOR anonymizing proxy servers seized in Germany on child porn charges
Roger Clarke http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au http://www.xamax.com.au/
Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre Uni of NSW
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