Some legal trouble with TOR in France

Mike Perry mikepery at
Sun May 14 03:22:33 UTC 2006

Thus spake Olivier Barbut (olivier.barbut at

> Hello dear tor talkers,
> I'm running the tor router "mini", located in paris, france, and I 
> believe I have to share with you what happened to me last wednesday,the 
> 10th of May. My router was an outside gateway, doing request for tor 
> anonymous users.
> Last wednesday morning, at 7:45, three cops did knock at my door. They 
> suspected me to have downloaded some child porn videos. As I was waking 
> up, I understood it was tor-related. I did explain them I was a TOR 
> outside gateway, but they didn't knew about it. They searched everywhere 
> in my small home and took every support they could find: hard drives 
> they removed from computers, cds, disks, and then they took me to the 
> police station, at the child protection service, jailing me the whole 
> day while they was searching my hard drives and cds for traces of the 
> video they was looking for.

Do french police need a warrant or some form of approval to conduct
this sort of search? In the US they should require a warrant, and some
judge would have to approve that. A US judge exercising proper
dilligence should be able to realize that the search was not likely to
produce relevant evidence to the case in question, or so one would

Mike Perry
Mad Computer Scientist evil labs

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