William was raided for running a Tor exit node. Please help if

Naslund, Steve SNaslund at medline.com
Tue Dec 4 22:47:08 UTC 2012

As usual one or more of the stories out there is wrong.  It also says
the man was charged which he apparently was not.

Steven Naslund

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Painter [mailto:tvhawaii at shaka.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2012 4:37 PM
To: nanog at nanog.org
Subject: Re: William was raided for running a Tor exit node. Please help

Owen DeLong wrote:
> I strongly disagree with you.
> TOR exit nodes provide a vital physical infrastructure to free speech 
> advocates who live in jurisdictions where strong forces are aligned 
> against free speech. I'm sure most TOR exit node operators would 
> happily provide all the details they have if presented with an 
> appropriate subpoena.
> I really cherish this idea of privacy on the internet. It's a strong
tool for enabling democracy and freedom of speech.

Isn't William's problem because he used an IP address that was
registered to him on the Polish server?  If not, what am I missing?

SANS has chimed in via their latest Newsbites:

--TOR Operator Charged For Content Sent Through His Servers (November 29
& 30, 2012) An Austrian man who operated TOR servers has been charged
with distributing child pornography. Authorities detected the images
passing through the servers maintained by the man. Police seized 20
computers and other equipment from William Weber's home. TOR is an
acronym for The Onion Router, a project developed by the US Naval
Research Laboratory that allows people surf the web anonymously. It is
often used by political dissidents, journalists, and law enforcement
officers, and has also been used by criminals. The offending images were
being distributed by a server in Poland and sent through Weber's
servers. Weber operated exit servers; traffic from these nodes can be
traced back to the servers' IP addresses. While the authorities became
"friendlier" after understanding where the images came from, there is a
precedent for holding TOR operators liable for content that passes
through servers they operate. The Electronic Frontier Foundations
acknowledges the risk that accompanies operating exit nodes and advises
that "it's best not to run your exit relay in your home or using your
home Internet connection."
[Editor's Note (Ullrich): IMHO, the TOR operator acted like a transit
ISP/NSP in this case.
(Hoan): In many countries it is not illegal to run a Tor exit node.
However, for anyone considering, or are already, running a Tor exit node
you should familiarise yourself with the Electronic Frontier
Foundation's Legal FAQ on the topic at

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