Monday, December 10, 2012

Austrian Tor node operator's home searched in child pornography investigation

An Austrian man's home was recently and his computers seized in an investigation related to child pornography distribution. His involvement concerned the operation of Tor on his computer, which allowed others to hide their Internet activity by having their data encrypted and transmitted through others' computers.  Mr. Weber, likely to be charged with child pornography crimes, never actively possessed such files if this is true, though they may have been sent through his computer.

In the Tor network, files are transferred along a randomized path, ultimately becoming unencrypted at the last node just before making it to the intended destination. As such, it would appear to investigators as though the files actually originate from that exit node though the computer operator has no knowledge of the files or their content.

In a blog post, Weber explained that he runs Tor in order "to make it possible for the not so privileged folks to have uncensored access to the internet, without fear of government prosecution."

Firearms and marijuana were also found and taken after Weber was asked to open his safe and he complied.


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