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Re: [tor-talk] Harvard student used Tor to send bomb threats, gets caught by old-fashioned policework

Developer Chris

On 20/12/2013 12:24 PM, Mirimir wrote:
On 12/19/2013 06:37 PM, Joe Btfsplk wrote:
This is going seriously OT, so I'll cease after this post.
Using Tor to make bomb threats is clearly off-topic for tor-talk.
Was anyone that's commented defending the guy for making bomb threats?
Was the focus on making bomb threats, or was it on how (seemingly)
easily they narrowed it down to a few individuals?
Nobody was defending him, but some of his technical mistakes were
pointed out, perhaps without suitable distancing. Mea culpa.

I didn't get the sense that the discussion was about making bomb threats.

Besides, what's legal in one country may be very illegal in another.
So when one says, "Using Tor (or any thing) for illegal porpoises,"
which country are we talking about?
"Legitimate use" is relative.

Point I got was, IF... you are using Tor in a freedom / no freedom or
life & death situation, there may be several ways to get caught, "nearly
caught," "hauled in & questioned for hours," "put on a watch list," etc.

If "bad people" using Tor can be tracked down (or narrowed to a few
individuals), what about "good people?"  Which is which, is often relative.
I totally agree with your points.

Upon reflection, it may have been tactics for dealing with police that
jimmymac@xxxxxxxxxx was referring to.

I haven't been following this conversation so please excuse me if I am covering old stuff here, but this situation is something I have been very concerned about since the silk road was busted. I found the excuses given as to how the silk road was busted as far far too flimsy.

My knowledge of TOR is severely limited but I have a major concern about TOR and the number of nodes.

Given the following...
    A bomb threat is considered a terrorist activity
    Tor was a US military project
Tor was funded until very recently by the US military (possibly still is under guises) As we have recently discovered The US/UK/Australian etc governments have no qualms in spying on everybody and everything and using illegal means to do so.
    The above lie outright.

Tor has very few nodes, what ~4k+ How many of those nodes are directly military, how many nodes have been subverted, by well, anyone with an interest in TOR and the know how (read military). A timing attack in my opinion is more than just feasible it is very likely.

If the FBI/NSA used TOR to track down this person, a potential terrorist. Would they be honest about it? Obvious answer NO!.

Is TOR safe?

Put it another way. If I was the military I'd be very keen on subverting TOR and then using every means at my disposal to deny that I had done so.

The very people TOR is designed to protect probably don't have enough knowledge of TOR to use it safely. I asked an acquaintance the other day, a technically wise person. "How many nodes do you think TOR has?" His answer "Oh I don't know, Millions!?"

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