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Some legal trouble with TOR in France

Hello dear tor talkers,

I'm running the tor router "mini", located in paris, france, and I believe I have to share with you what happened to me last wednesday,the 10th of May. My router was an outside gateway, doing request for tor anonymous users.

Last wednesday morning, at 7:45, three cops did knock at my door. They suspected me to have downloaded some child porn videos. As I was waking up, I understood it was tor-related. I did explain them I was a TOR outside gateway, but they didn't knew about it. They searched everywhere in my small home and took every support they could find: hard drives they removed from computers, cds, disks, and then they took me to the police station, at the child protection service, jailing me the whole day while they was searching my hard drives and cds for traces of the video they was looking for.

They did asked me if they was a way to trace back to the criminal who downloaded this child abuse video, but I told them "not in my knowledge" and "the tor network is designed to make this impossible, keeping no log of traffic".

At 19:00, having not found these video, having learned more about tor and confirmated I was running it, they freed me, giving me back my cds and hard drives.

It's sad the way some people use their freedom, e.g. participating in child abuse, but I'm still a strong believer in the necessity of anonymity on the internet.

As I asked them, they did assure me they accessed my hard drives read-only, using hardware write disabler, but I still prefer not to run it straight from the hard drive they had in hand for the whole day as I know cops are not that trustable. The "mini" router will be back in a few days. Not getting paranoid, but using paranoïa to make sane decisions !

Do you know if similar things did happenned to other routers ?

If you wants some more details, or have advice for me please ask and /or give.

Thanks everyone for making this possible !

Olivier Barbut