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(Huffington Post)   FBI halts investigation against child porn site on TOR network because they can't figure out how to track it down, even though people behind TOR have offered to help   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 58
    More: Fail, FBI, porn sites  
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4688 clicks; posted to Geek » on 15 Jun 2012 at 11:35 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-15 11:03:51 AM  
You design a network to help those who are circumventing anti-censorship laws in their country, and you are biatching that people are using it in that way?

Isnt that the whole point of the Tor network?
 
2012-06-15 11:19:10 AM  
This smells like a "now's a good time to get careless, wouldn't you say Tor using pedos?" article.
Why would the Feds ever admit this publicly?
 
2012-06-15 11:39:45 AM  
They saw someone important attached to it.
 
2012-06-15 11:39:50 AM  

cman: You design a network to help those who are circumventing anti-censorship laws in their country, and you are biatching that people are using it in that way?

Isnt that the whole point of the Tor network?


FTFA: Reilly said the TOR Project regularly instructs law enforcement agencies on how Tor works and how to exploit vulnerabilities in the service to unmask sites suspected of engaging in illegal activities.



legendary: This smells like a "now's a good time to get careless, wouldn't you say Tor using pedos?" article.
Why would the Feds ever admit this publicly?


FTFA: the FBI halted a child pornography investigation, according to recently released documents obtained through a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act request.


Just sayin'.
 
2012-06-15 11:46:24 AM  
Crap, how many Star Wars: The Old Republic (TOR) users are currently being swept up in FBI searches due to the same acronym?
 
2012-06-15 11:47:04 AM  
I knew those Jawas were up to something. They weren't stealing droids outside Anchorhead for nothing.
 
2012-06-15 11:47:27 AM  
Reilly said the TOR Project regularly instructs law enforcement agencies on how Tor works and how to exploit vulnerabilities in the service to unmask sites suspected of engaging in illegal activities.

And 90% of its users just lit their drives on fire.
 
2012-06-15 11:49:55 AM  
On the one hand that's bad... but on the other hand I'm very glad to hear that TOR works as it's supposed to being that political dissidents use it to escape detection and circumvent internet filters and such.

That's the nature of freedom... you have to take the good with the bad.
 
2012-06-15 11:56:29 AM  

mongbiohazard: but on the other hand I'm very glad to hear that TOR works as it's supposed to being that political dissidents use it to escape detection and circumvent internet filters and such.


Although their rep just said they're happy to help the government
 
2012-06-15 12:02:20 PM  
Godfarkingdammit Huffington post, was it really necessary to have the phrase "child porn" in that article's URL? Now I have to go have yet another awkward conversation with the super creepy IT guys.

/the IT department smells like B.O.
//and they never shut up about ponies.
///it's creepier than it sounds, OK?
 
2012-06-15 12:03:55 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: mongbiohazard: but on the other hand I'm very glad to hear that TOR works as it's supposed to being that political dissidents use it to escape detection and circumvent internet filters and such.

Although their rep just said they're happy to help the government


There's a difference between using TOR to access uncensored information, and using TOR to get kiddie porn. TOR obviously doesn't want the kiddie porn dark nets.
 
2012-06-15 12:07:38 PM  

verbaltoxin: HotWingConspiracy: mongbiohazard: but on the other hand I'm very glad to hear that TOR works as it's supposed to being that political dissidents use it to escape detection and circumvent internet filters and such.

Although their rep just said they're happy to help the government

There's a difference between using TOR to access uncensored information, and using TOR to get kiddie porn. TOR obviously doesn't want the kiddie porn dark nets.


For sure, but look at the wording she used:

the TOR Project regularly instructs law enforcement agencies on how Tor works and how to exploit vulnerabilities in the service to unmask sites suspected of engaging in illegal activities.

So they show them how it works and how to exploit it. It's not them getting requests from investigators and reviewing for illegality and complying. There isn't any reason to assume that they'll only use this knowledge to hunt down pornographers.
 
2012-06-15 12:09:48 PM  

verbaltoxin: HotWingConspiracy: mongbiohazard: but on the other hand I'm very glad to hear that TOR works as it's supposed to being that political dissidents use it to escape detection and circumvent internet filters and such.

Although their rep just said they're happy to help the government

There's a difference between using TOR to access uncensored information, and using TOR to get kiddie porn. TOR obviously doesn't want the kiddie porn dark nets.

If the information is out there, even with the intent to catch child abusers, does that not endanger political dissidents at the same time? You can't teach people to only use something in ways you approve of.

"The road to hell is paved with the best of intentions" and all that.
 
2012-06-15 12:09:54 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: Reilly said the TOR Project regularly instructs law enforcement agencies on how Tor works and how to exploit vulnerabilities in the service to unmask sites suspected of engaging in illegal activities.

And 90% of its users just lit their drives on fire.


Half of 4chan is now making a run for the Mexican border.
 
2012-06-15 12:11:03 PM  
I've got really mixed feelings about this.

I loath child pornography and the vile people who create it. Taking advantage of children is one of the few things that I can not ever find a reason to allow.

At the same time, data is just 1s and 0s. The internet doesn't care, or even know, whether your 1s and 0s are disgusting images or freedom fighter communications. Giving the government the ability to track one inherently gives them the ability to track the other.

Ultimently, we have to decide if we want to live in a world where we accept that horrible things will happen in exchange for freedom or in a world where the government decides what is right and wrong for all of us on everything.
 
2012-06-15 12:12:33 PM  
Last night while channel surfing I saw a reality TV show where undercover police create a loud disturbance to attract attention then make a public display of leaving an unlocked car with the keys readily visible in a high crime area. They then closely monitor this car which has been extensively modified to allow the police to record what happens inside it. When someone attempts to access the vehicle or its contents the police swoop in and arrest them.

I have no idea what made that memory pop into my head as I read this story........
No idea at all......
 
2012-06-15 12:14:10 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: So they show them how it works and how to exploit it. It's not them getting requests from investigators and reviewing for illegality and complying. There isn't any reason to assume that they'll only use this knowledge to hunt down pornographers.


For any of these open source projects one would assume our government hires some guys to work on them. Like some guy at the NSA's job is to just contribute to TOR and built up rep in the community. So he can sneak in backdoors or even just explain how the hell it works to the rest of the office.

If you really want to move shiat off the grid:

1. Encrypt data
2. Toss it onto a USB key
3. Hide the USB key in something
4. Obtain next day air FedEx box.
 
2012-06-15 12:17:15 PM  

Duck_of_Doom: I knew those Jawas were up to something. They weren't stealing droids outside Anchorhead for nothing.


And don't get them started on the younglings.
 
2012-06-15 12:20:21 PM  
It won't be long before anonymous proxy tools like TOR are made illegal, sooner if it really catches on in the illegal torrent community.
 
2012-06-15 12:21:32 PM  

cman: You design a network to help those who are circumventing anti-censorship laws in their country, and you are biatching that people are using it in that way?

Isnt that the whole point of the Tor network?


So child porn is a "censorship" issue to you?
 
2012-06-15 12:34:29 PM  

Mr.Tangent: sooner if it really catches on in the illegal torrent community.


That is where I first heard of it
 
2012-06-15 12:35:13 PM  

Gunther: Godfarkingdammit Huffington post, was it really necessary to have the phrase "child porn" in that article's URL? Now I have to go have yet another awkward conversation with the super creepy IT guys.

/the IT department smells like B.O.
//and they never shut up about ponies.
///it's creepier than it sounds, OK?



cache.io9.com
Creepy pony pic
 
2012-06-15 12:36:07 PM  

Gunther: Godfarkingdammit Huffington post, was it really necessary to have the phrase "child porn" in that article's URL? Now I have to go have yet another awkward conversation with the super creepy IT guys.

/the IT department smells like B.O.
//and they never shut up about ponies.
///it's creepier than it sounds, OK?


Tell them: "Do you really think a child porn website would identify child porn in the URL?"
 
2012-06-15 12:36:57 PM  

liam76: cman: You design a network to help those who are circumventing anti-censorship laws in their country, and you are biatching that people are using it in that way?

Isnt that the whole point of the Tor network?

So child porn is a "censorship" issue to you?


You dont consider pictures that are banned for their content censorship?
 
2012-06-15 12:39:52 PM  

Ed Finnerty:
FTFA: Reilly said the TOR Project regularly instructs law enforcement agencies on how Tor works and how to exploit vulnerabilities in the service to unmask sites suspected of engaging in illegal activities.


Note to self: stop using Tor.
 
2012-06-15 12:39:54 PM  

HK-MP5-SD: Last night while channel surfing I saw a reality TV show where undercover police create a loud disturbance to attract attention then make a public display of leaving an unlocked car with the keys readily visible in a high crime area. They then closely monitor this car which has been extensively modified to allow the police to record what happens inside it. When someone attempts to access the vehicle or its contents the police swoop in and arrest them.

I have no idea what made that memory pop into my head as I read this story........
No idea at all......


What's even more outlandish is how usually this kind of thread already has a few hundred posts between the save the babby types and a few creepy troll accounts by now, I wonder where they all are instead...
 
2012-06-15 12:40:09 PM  

liam76: cman: You design a network to help those who are circumventing anti-censorship laws in their country, and you are biatching that people are using it in that way?

Isnt that the whole point of the Tor network?

So child porn is a "censorship" issue to you?



At it's core, yes. We might agree that this form of censorship is for the best, but it is a case of the government going after people who are sharing documents. In this case the documents are reprehensible and illegal, though the same might be said about subversive literature by citizens in a country which bans anti-government media.
 
2012-06-15 12:40:34 PM  
I always hear people saying about how TOR is the answer to the governments increasing march against the freedom on the internet. How if we don't want to be tracked, followed, spied on, we should just all move over to TOR.

Now if this article is correct, TOR is vunerable just like the rest of the internet, only that the government simply need to learn how to find the exploits. So, in short, is there no way to prevent government intrusion whilst still maintaining some sort of internet like the one we have now?
 
2012-06-15 12:40:53 PM  

LarryDan43: They saw someone important attached to it.


They realized that every single user was an FBI informant, snitching on each of the others.
 
2012-06-15 12:45:45 PM  
I suspect the most accessible and potentially effective attacks on the darknet communities are direct attacks on site software vulnerabilities (hack the site and gather user info like Anonymous has done) and social engineering scenarios. In the latter category, the old engage-the-perps-in-commerce method is one, but I recently ran across a web-based TOR portal service, providing access to tor "hidden services" via the non-tor web. I would be very suspicious of that kind of portal as a front for the Feds collecting IPs and connecting them to illegal activities in the darknet.
 
2012-06-15 12:51:19 PM  

Tom_Slick: Mr.Tangent: sooner if it really catches on in the illegal torrent community.

That is where I first heard of it


but probably still a tiny minority of the torrent community.
 
2012-06-15 12:51:47 PM  
Reilly said the TOR Project regularly instructs law enforcement agencies on how Tor works and how to exploit vulnerabilities in the service to unmask sites suspected of engaging in illegal activities.

Huh, and here I would've expected the developers of anonymizing software to fix known vulnerabilities, not instruct other people how to exploit them. I'd be feeling pretty nervous if I was a political dissident right now.
 
2012-06-15 12:51:58 PM  

cman: liam76: cman: You design a network to help those who are circumventing anti-censorship laws in their country, and you are biatching that people are using it in that way?

Isnt that the whole point of the Tor network?

So child porn is a "censorship" issue to you?

You dont consider pictures that are banned for their content censorship?


They aren't just "circumventing anti-censorship laws" they are hiding the tracks and working with people who are molesting chidren. This "content" isn't created in a vaccuum. Narrowing this down to "censorship" downplays the criminal connections that innate to creating these pictures.
 
2012-06-15 12:55:20 PM  

ha-ha-guy: So he can sneak in backdoors


Tor is open source, explicitly to keep people from easily adding back doors. It doesn't matter who committed the change in the code or how strong their rep is in the community, if it's a vulnerability, it's going to get spotted sooner rather than later.

The sound of one hand clapping: TOR is vunerable just like the rest of the internet


"just like"- not so much. Tor is vulnerable to certain exploits, but those exploits are wildly different than the sorts of exploits the rest of the Internet is vulnerable to. Everything is exploitable. There are a number of well documented ways to sniff Tor traffic. It's not 100% reliable, and it becomes less reliable the more Tor nodes you run.

Heck, I used to keep a Tor node running on my network. I never used Tor, but I helped route traffic.
 
2012-06-15 12:56:41 PM  

Kaiku: Huh, and here I would've expected the developers of anonymizing software to fix known vulnerabilities


There are certain vulnerabilities that are simply unfixable. If you set yourself up as an exit node, you're going to be able to get a huge amount of information about the traffic going on a section of the Tor network. There's really no way around that except to have as many exit nodes as possible. The bigger the network gets, the more difficult it is to exploit.
 
2012-06-15 01:03:03 PM  

Gunther: Godfarkingdammit Huffington post, was it really necessary to have the phrase "child porn" in that article's URL? Now I have to go have yet another awkward conversation with the super creepy IT guys.

/the IT department smells like B.O.
//and they never shut up about ponies.
///it's creepier than it sounds, OK?


It shouldn't be an issue. If they like ponies I'm sure they'll "check" the link first.
 
2012-06-15 01:04:32 PM  

legendary: Why would the Feds ever admit this publicly?


I was thinking more along the lines of setting up the argument that things like Tor should be outlawed because Bad People use them.

It's easier to sit back, whine that it's impossible to catch a group of people most everybody alrady hates and wait for Congress to start throwing poorly conceived bills around in righteous outrage than to just do your damn job right in the first place. Plus you don't have to get picky about legitimate users' rights. Just attack everybody and take it all down at once.

I'm going with "this is a lead up to a THINK OF THE CHILDREN" moment.
 
2012-06-15 01:16:41 PM  

Splinshints: legendary: Why would the Feds ever admit this publicly?

I was thinking more along the lines of setting up the argument that things like Tor should be outlawed because Bad People use them.

It's easier to sit back, whine that it's impossible to catch a group of people most everybody alrady hates and wait for Congress to start throwing poorly conceived bills around in righteous outrage than to just do your damn job right in the first place. Plus you don't have to get picky about legitimate users' rights. Just attack everybody and take it all down at once.

I'm going with "this is a lead up to a THINK OF THE CHILDREN" moment.


In 2008 the NY Attorney General's office used child porn as a reason to control and restrict Usenet despite 99.9997% of the 3.7 billion available Usenet articles being free of sexual abuse imagery.

So while one should be 100% in support of getting CP offline and getting pedos into prison, it could be a prelude to criminalizing anonymity to "protect children."
 
2012-06-15 01:21:10 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: mongbiohazard: but on the other hand I'm very glad to hear that TOR works as it's supposed to being that political dissidents use it to escape detection and circumvent internet filters and such.

Although their rep just said they're happy to help the government



Yeah there is that.

I'm less worried about political dissidents here where our speech problem is generally getting shouted down by wealthy interests with millions of dollars to drown out all other messages. I'm not happy they would take that stance, but they may not have much of a choice or they might run in to trouble with lawmakers who will think they're actively trying to help child porn producers... I'll be more concerned though if that "we're happy to help the government" also includes the governments of Egypt, Iran, China, Myanmar, etc., which I'm assuming it doesn't....

Oh fark, who am I kidding? These days? Of course it does.
 
2012-06-15 01:38:02 PM  

liam76: cman: liam76: cman: You design a network to help those who are circumventing anti-censorship laws in their country, and you are biatching that people are using it in that way?

Isnt that the whole point of the Tor network?

So child porn is a "censorship" issue to you?

You dont consider pictures that are banned for their content censorship?

They aren't just "circumventing anti-censorship laws" they are hiding the tracks and working with people who are molesting chidren. This "content" isn't created in a vaccuum. Narrowing this down to "censorship" downplays the criminal connections that innate to creating these pictures.


In what way are the people who create TOR working with child molesters? By that logic you might as well say that Boeing was working with the 9/11 hijackers to attack America.

TOR is open source anonymity software originally started by the Navy meant to help political dissidents around the world avoid government oppression. Those are the folks they work with, and that's what it's used for. Yes, unscrupulous folks also use it to hide other less altruistic activities, but so what? How does Tor being misused make it different than ANY other tool mankind has ever created? People use their cars to run over and murder their lovers sometimes, people kill each other with kitchen knives or hammers...
 
2012-06-15 02:10:16 PM  

mongbiohazard: HotWingConspiracy: mongbiohazard: but on the other hand I'm very glad to hear that TOR works as it's supposed to being that political dissidents use it to escape detection and circumvent internet filters and such.

Although their rep just said they're happy to help the government


Yeah there is that.

I'm less worried about political dissidents here where our speech problem is generally getting shouted down by wealthy interests with millions of dollars to drown out all other messages. I'm not happy they would take that stance, but they may not have much of a choice or they might run in to trouble with lawmakers who will think they're actively trying to help child porn producers... I'll be more concerned though if that "we're happy to help the government" also includes the governments of Egypt, Iran, China, Myanmar, etc., which I'm assuming it doesn't....

Oh fark, who am I kidding? These days? Of course it does.


Unlikely, considering that it was originally developed by the U.S. Navy and (if I remember correctly) several of the current developers are active members of the EFF.
 
2012-06-15 02:16:45 PM  

legendary: This smells like a "now's a good time to get careless, wouldn't you say Tor using pedos?" article.
Why would the Feds ever admit this publicly?


They will whine to Congress that they need more powers and we need less freedom.
 
2012-06-15 02:23:28 PM  
ansuz07: At the same time, data is just 1s and 0s.

Thinking of things at a high level here.

Theoretically, you could create any image possible (including images that have never actually existed) just by using a few array loops.

Given an infinite amount of processing time, and time to filter down to just relevant images (IE, you're going to generate a lot of trash images). You could produce anything, be it kiddie porn, beastiality, or your high school teacher naked. It's all 1s and 0s.

// From a lower level, what are they going to do when 3d modeling hits the uncanny valley and they can generate photo-realistic images without any kids, horses, dogs, robots, trees, etc, being harmed?

// I only ask because lesbian dwarf albinos are hard to find.
 
2012-06-15 02:39:24 PM  
No doubt TOR should have the means to assist valid government inquiries. But instructing the FBI on how to exploit vulnerabilities themselves?


Well, Hoover would love it. Let the dissidents believe they have a safe haven - makes it easier for him to keep tabs on them.
 
2012-06-15 02:58:33 PM  

defiancecp: doubt TOR should have the means to assist valid government inquiries


If it has the ability to assist "valid" government inquiries it has the ability to assist invalid ones. It also forces the Tor team to play world cop and pick through what is "valid" and what isn't based on jurisdictional boundaries and moral choices. How do you provide a system free from government coercion so that oppressed dissenters in one place can communicate safely while governments in another can enforce their laws?
 
2012-06-15 03:05:06 PM  

LarryDan43: They saw someone important attached to it.


FTA: well-known to be an illegal marketplace for items such as illegal drugs, guns

My guess: that someone was the CIA
 
2012-06-15 03:27:45 PM  
www.nndb.com
 
2012-06-15 04:07:11 PM  
So, It's Likely to Kill Rogue,Offensive, or "Adult" Deemed sites that exist only on the tor network?
 
2012-06-15 04:27:02 PM  

cefm: Crap, how many Star Wars: The Old Republic (TOR) users are currently being swept up in FBI searches due to the same acronym?


That was my first, very confused, thought.
 
2012-06-15 04:42:45 PM  

lordargent:

// I only ask because lesbian dwarf albinos are hard to find.


You should check the lesbian eskimo midget albino student union. They have over 400 people.
 
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