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Re: [tor-talk] Illegal Activity As A Metric of Tor Security and Anonymity

On 06/25/2014 03:56 PM, Mark McCarron wrote:
> Basically, I keep a track of site numbers year-on-year, site
> availability from 3rd party monitoring and read comments on forums
> and chat.  From what I can gather, most of these sites were suspected
> of being honeypots due to their tendency to remove anything
> rape/violence related.  That is, they appeared sanitised in some way.
> Then all of sudden, they started disappearing.  Some were connected
> with major busts of hosting providers, others without any indication
> what happened.

I believe that most of the hidden-service sites that you allude to were
on Freedom Hosting. Also, recall that the Freedom Hosting operation
involved the deanonymization of many site operators and visitors. As a
result, many other sites were likely compromised in cascade.

> Whilst it may be good in some sense, it states that Tor is failing in
> its primary task of promoting freedom through anonymity.  In fact, it
> would seem that Tor is having the opposite effect, silencing everyone
> through fear.  Certainly, some of this comes down to poor security
> practices, but that cannot explain the scale of what has happened.
> So, the question remains, what is wrong with the Anonymity and
> Security of Tor?  The software is compromised in some fashion and we
> need to understand this.

You conflate "Tor" with hidden services. Hosting hidden services
securely is indeed a nontrivial endeavor. But that doesn't speak to the
anonymity that Tor provides for its users.

> Regards,
> Mark McCarron


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