Some legal trouble with TOR in France

france-info at france-info at
Sun May 14 15:10:50 UTC 2006

I am living in France and working for some French security agency. Please understand that I may not identify myself. Working for a security agency does not mean that I approve all their actions, even those that I MUST do.

Since about 5 years, French services are trying to control the "anonymous" French based services. It includes TOR, and some remailers.

About 4 years ago (I don't remember exactly, and I am at home now, I haven't my documents with me), we visited the operator of the remailers FROG and AZERTY. We suspected him to be also the webmaster  of the website CAMELEON, but it is another story.
We seized his computers, disks of course, etc, and arrested the man. Then we told him "You have a choice between 2 options: You accept to work for us, it means concretely to give us your remailers' keys and to forward the remailer emails to us, or you will go to prison for threat against the national security. Just a few months, the time we check all your computers, make an audit on your disks, etc".

After 30 minutes, the guy gave us his remailers' keys, and accepted our offer. He then re-installed his remailers, and all the traffic was sent to us too. I remember that we asked him to NOT send us the garbage that the remailers automatically send! Then our computers processed the messages, using the remailers' keys. Of course we could not decypher all, if Frog/Azerty was :"in the middle" we couldn't do anything. But when these remailers where the first or the last one, it was very very interesting...
I don't know now if these remailers are still operated, I am working in another service.

About TOR now: I MAY not say all what I know, as the case is currently investigated by our services and I don't want to get into trouble! Just know that France's policy is to NOT allow ANY remailer or anonymous service run from France, UNLESS the French special services can control it. This is a NO exception rule.

The only recommendations that I can do to the TOR users, is to NOT use any French-based TOR servers in entry ou exit.

People here and there are generally against the US gov and say that he "violates their rights". I don't know a lot about the US gov. But what I know about the French gov, and the instructions our services receive a few times by week, make me sure that the French citizens' rights are perpetually violated, about phone tapping and internet.

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