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[tor-talk] Do You Like Online Privacy? You May Be a Terrorist

From an article at:

February 1, 2012 in News

Public Intelligence

A flyer [1] designed by the FBI and the Department of Justice to promote
suspicious activity reporting in internet cafes lists basic tools used
for online privacy as potential signs of terrorist activity.  The
document, part of a program called âCommunities Against Terrorismâ,
lists the use of âanonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP
addressâ as a sign that a person could be engaged in or supporting
terrorist activity.  The use of encryption is also listed as a
suspicious activity along with steganography, the practice of using
âsoftware to hide encrypted data in digital photosâ or other media.  In
fact, the flyer recommends that anyone âoverly concerned about privacyâ
or attempting to âshield the screen from view of othersâ should be
considered suspicious and potentially engaged in terrorist activities.

Logging into an account associated with a residential internet service
provider (such as Comcast or AOL), an activity that could simply
indicate that you are on a trip, is also considered a suspicious
activity.  Viewing any content related to âmilitary tacticsâ including
manuals or ârevolutionary literatureâ is also considered a potential
indicator of terrorist activity.  This would mean that viewing a number
of websites, including the one you are on right now, could be construed
by a hapless employee as an highly suspicious activity potentially
linking you to terrorism.

The âPotential Indicators of Terrorist Activitiesâ contained in the
flyer are not to be construed alone as a sign of terrorist activity and
the document notes that âjust because someoneâs speech, actions,
beliefs, appearance, or way of life is different; it does not mean that
he or she is suspicious.â  However, many of the activities described in
the document are basic practices of any individual concerned with
security or privacy online.  The use of PGP, VPNs, Tor or any of the
many other technologies for anonymity and privacy online are directly
targeted by the flyer, which is distributed to businesses in an effort
to promote the reporting of these activities.


Does anyone have any opinions on how this will impact Tor and it's users
in the United States?

It seems to me that anyone wishing to use Tor to protect themselves,
especially at cafes, would start being unnecessarily harassed.

Take care,
Christopher A. Lindsey
Garuda LLC
PGP Key: AFD4E820 

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