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Re: German data rentention law

Roger Dingledine schrieb:

> A fine question. Hopefully as we learn more about what ISPs will
> log,
The EU directive

originally defines what data has to be retained.

An interesting term in that document seems to be 'communication'. With
respect to pure access/service providers, that could be a specific
login session, a TCP connection or every single packet. Every single
packet seems to be practically impossible. Every TCP connection
doesn't make sense either, as 'the bad guys' would just use a
connectionless protocol.

The german law contains therefore:
(4) Internet service providers retain:
1. the assigned IP address of each user per dial-in session.
2. the unique identifier of end point of the originator of the
communication (e.g. phone number, DSL)
3. begin and end timestamp of each dial-in session.
Of course, additionally they have to have the possibility to correlate
that to the name and address of the customer.
So this part (logs at ISPs) is pretty much harmless with respect to
Tor, as it 'only' eases finding the operator of an exit node.

As already said, much more difficult is the part about anonymizing
services, which brings us right to the still missing 'technical
That will define the specifics: who is exempted (e.g. WLAN hotspots in
hotels are said to be exempted, WLAN hotspots at airports not), what
format has to be used for transmitting the data to law enforcement,
what precision the timestamps must have, what 'immediate response' to
a request from a law enforcement actually means, what availability the
systems for data retrieval must have and so on...
Most of that will be defined first by the European Telecommunications
Standards Institute. Then the german agency, which has to supervise
the implementation of the law, will adopt that directive. That is
expected to happen in spring 2009.
Curiously, the telecommunication service providers in germany
now have to log stuff, but know nearly nothing about the technical
implementation and that is even worse for small service providers or
private persons.
The conclusion is more or less: nobody knows for sure if Tor relays
have to log or not. It seems, that some courts will have to decide that.