Joachim Breitner

Afraid of the German Police

Published 2006-09-10 in sections English, Digital World.

Recently, a few hosted servers in Germany were taken by the police, some of which were running the TOR anonymizer (see,, both German). As I'm running one on my server, this worries me, as I am quite dependent on this server, especially now that I am in Ghana, my server in Munich and my backups behind a DSL line with anachaic little upstream bandwidth.

I feel I should stand bold and keep running my TOR server, but in this case I'm a coward, so I disabled it. Sorry.

For the uninitiated: TOR is a network of servers you can freely use to conceal the origin of your internet activities. This is invaluable for people with oppressive governments (more oppressive than the German one in this case); think China. Unfortunately, as with all technology, this can be used for bad things. The original reason for the police to seize the servers was, according to the news, child pornography. But they should know that a TOR server never knows both origin and target of a connection, and thus is useless for them!



IIRC i read, that they actually DID know what TOR is and how it works and nevertheless took the servers...

So, yeah, I'd be scared too, even if it shouldn't be that way...

#1 Lucas (Homepage) am 2006-09-11
Hi, that might be the (real) reason they took the servers -- to scare people who run Tor servers.

If you want to minimize the likelyhood that your server will be seized, you can run a middleman node (but that probably won't stop them anyway, it seems)...

Though I understand that the server is important for you, it's still sad to see servers being taken down because of their scare tactics... That's just what they wanted to achieve, I guess.

The right to have anonymity and privacy is a basic human right, if you ask me, and everyone should be able to protect it.

#2 Uwe Hermann (Homepage) am 2006-09-11
Yes, it really feels like admitting defeat...

I was consiering to hire a second (cheap virtual) server to have a secondary DNS server, and maybe a fail-over mail server. If I come around to do that, then I'll put TOR on that, as I don't rely on it. But that's just an idea right now.
#3 Joachim Breitner (Homepage) am 2006-09-11
<strong>Trackback:</strong> <a href="">Nicht einfach. Sozusagen schwierig.</a><br />Deutsche Strafverfolgungsbehörden haben zehn Server des Anonymisierungsnetzwerks TOR beschlagnahmt, berichten die Geier von El Reg. Das ist schlecht, denn jeder sollte das Recht haben, im Netz unterwegs zu sein, ohne Spuren zu hinterlassen. Dem Bericht eines nicht direkt Betroffenen, der...
#4 (Homepage) am 2006-09-12
<strong>Trackback:</strong> <a href="">Anon-Server beschlagnahmt: ULD legt Beschwerde ein</a><br />In Deutschland wurden in den letzten Wochen mehrere Anonymisierungsserver beschlagnahmt, die dem tor- oder AN.ON-Netz zugehörig waren. Betroffen sind unter anderem auch Server des CCC und des ULD.

In einer Pressemitteilung wendet sich das ULD nun an
#5 si tacuisses (Homepage) am 2006-09-15
<strong>Trackback:</strong> <a href="">Willkommen im Polizeistaat</a><br />Über die Beschlagnahme der TOR-Server (siehe heise und Golem) habe ich inichts geschrieben, da ich es zwar für unschön, aber ein Versehen hielt. Inzwischen sehe ich das anders, da ich heute folgenden Artikel gelesen habe: AN.ON-Server des ULD beschl...
#6 Jan Schejbal (Homepage) am 2006-09-15
The Independent Centre for Privacy Protection, who's ANON mix server has also been confiscated, has just published the formal complaint against the confiscation order. German language: [[ PDF]]
#7 Markus (Homepage) am 2006-09-19

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