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Re: Researchers could face legal risks for Tor network snooping

> A group of researchers from the University of Colorado and University of
> Washington could face both civil and criminal penalties for a research
> project in which they snooped on users of the Tor anonymous proxy network.
> Should federal prosecutors take interest in the project, the researchers
> could also face up to 5 years in jail for violating the Wiretap Act.

This is typical bullshit from cnet.com, combined with straw man arguments
and--how nice to decipher--sour grapes sentiment from some *commissioner* [I
am regarding the cnet.com writer as pawn/lackey].


    We understand that there are serious privacy concerns that must be ad-
    dressed when collecting statistics from an anonymous network [9]. Tor
    is designed to resist traffic analysis from any single Tor router [1];
    thus, the information we log -- which includes at most 20 bytes of
    application-level data -- cannot be used to link a sender with a
    in most cases. We considered the privacy implications carefully when
    choosing what information to log and what was too sensitive to store. In
    the end, we chose to log information from two sources: First, we altered
    the Tor router to log information about circuits that were established
    though our node and cells routed through our node. Second, we logged only
    enough data to capture up to the application-level protocol headers from
    the exit traffic that was relayed through our node.

where [9] is

    9. Sicker, D.C., Ohm, P., Grunwald, D.: Legal issues surrounding
    monitoring during network research. In: IMC`07: Proceedings of the 7th
    ACM SIGCOMM conference on Internet measurement, New York, NY, USA, ACM
    (October 2007)

is written in the PDF of the original. Notice also the

    Acknowledgements. We thank Roger Dingledine, Parisa Tabriz, and the
    anonymous PETS 2008 reviewers whose comments greatly improved the quality
    of this paper. This research was partially supported by the National
    Science Foundation under grant ITR-0430593.

in the PDF.

While the cnet.com tabloid-article seems on the other to manufacture a
completely different story/perspective ... I have not continued reading the
tabloid article from cnet.com past

    Some of Tor's users include pro-democracy dissidents, journalists and
    bloggers in countries like China, Egypt and Burma^1 who would otherwise
    face arrest and torture for their work.

written--oh dear--from the nth [with n >> 0. unfortunately ... tell me that I
am wrong] ignorant fellow of America of 9/11 and beyond.

I doubt also that the symposium has been hold in "Leuven, Belgium," maybe in
Leuven-the-new (Louvain-la-Neuve)? ... the two being different [30-40 minutes
by train if I recall correctly], in which Louvain-la-Neuve is a VERY good
politically emancipated too], high level university centre.

In fact, the PDF report is VERY interesting and highly constructive in its
review of facts. Though of course--given the situation--enlightening
people is
seen as a bad thing ... in given circles.

Kudos to the authors of the original PDF paper!

/Roy Lanek

    1. Burma, officially the Union of Myanmar--The United Nations accepts the
name Myanmar, since the UN allows its members states to be known by any name
they choose. (And let's skip: the People's Republic of China and the Arab
Republic of Egypt ... officially).