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Re: German data rentention law

Am 19.10.2008 um 17:06 schrieb krishna e bera:

On Sun, Oct 19, 2008 at 01:45:22PM +0200, Dominik Schaefer wrote:
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.

The data retention law seems to be partly an attempt to
make private operators do the government's work of law enforcement.
However, suppose the technical implementation is something like requiring ISPs to allow wholesale teeing of the pipes as is now done at AT&T in the USA,
at government/taxpayer expense.
Then we will not know whether some or all of the data is logged.

This will not (legally) happen. Germany has an old tradition of data protection, and as I wrote before, until now the ISP are _not_allowed_ to keep the exact same data, which the new data retention law requires them to store. It's a clear contradiction by different laws. There is a pending lawsuit against the data retention law going on, and if the storage is legal at all, it will be under very strict conditions.

Further, what prevents European (or Chinese etc) data spies from cooperating with American data spies, enabling monitoring both ends of most connections?

The work of intelligence services is a complete different story. In most countries it is already possible for investigators and intelligence services to intercept the communication of suspects. And they don't need Tor logs for this. If they have a suspect person, they intercept his/her access line and the destination server and they might time-correlate the connections. So, Tor logfiles are irrelevant for them.

We cannot divide the world in logging and non-logging areas. Just in areas were we _know_ about logging, and areas where we don't know about it, what doesn't mean that they don't log! I would still trust a node more that is located in Germany and is affected by the data retention, but where I know there also (still) exists one of the strongest data protection laws, and the data is not easily accessed, than a node located in China, where they officially even don't have censorship, but of course they will log the hell out of every bit, if they are technically able to.

Regarding the improvement of Tor: I would suggest to assume that _every_ node is compromised more or less, and that there are different likelihoods between two nodes, that they will cooperate. These pairwise likelihoods could be estimated (same country, same legislation, same provider, good relations between countries and so on...) and be used for circuit building in a way that this likelihood is minimal for the circuit. The location of the client and the final destination should be included in this calculation. But to be honest: I'm not sure that it is worth it.



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