Hidden Services Hosting and DMCA

Moritz Bartl tor at wiredwings.com
Sun Jun 13 03:54:41 UTC 2010

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your valuable input. What you are saying implicates that
there might be forces interested in investigating what I am hosting. In
a way, you need to compare it to any ISP hosting illegal content without
knowledge. In the case of hidden services it might be harder to
determine the ISP, in the Internet today it is trivial. Regardless of
that, in the end I am just an ISP. If they put so much work in finding
the source, and the source turns out to be me - as in an ISP -, what
else is there to do other than contacting me? I will do everything I can
to shut down illegal services, not only because I am forced to by law,
but because I feel it is the right thing to do. The hosters I deal with
all agreed to forward abuse to me based on DCMA (or the appropriate
country specific equivalent), and I approached them with a commercial
partnership background.

If I were to defend the idea, I could say that if you tried to find the
source of a hidden service, personal servers with worse/less regular
uptime on a residential line would be much easier to track down.

> Of course, you can try to simply ignore these orders due to the fact
> that you're German and they're not likely to extradite you over them,
> but you'll probably lose your server, and you might have trouble
> entering the US at a later date then.

Sad as it is, if that's what it takes, I'm up to it. My education spans
carefully crafted rights, and if these rights are no longer guaranteed,
I will, I want to, stand up for them. I will never *ignore* any orders,
but I will carefully examine the legal basis of the inquiry. I've been
maintaining a fairly high bandwidth Tor exit for years now, and I know
how to deal with abuse. The worst thing that happened was a murder case
investigation, but it was no problem to clear it up without any
interruptions of my Tor node.

I have contacted enough cooperating ISPs outside the US if that turns
out to be necessary (and I hope to find more through this project). This
specific server at Softlayer is paid for on a monthly basis. I will not
provide decryption keys, and luckily I am not forced to do so. If I
were, I would not consider doing this. I have closely looked at
(somewhat) related incidents in Germany, and all charges have been
dropped for lack of evidence if the respective disks were encrypted, in
all cases.

I feel that this discussion is on the brink of something off topic, but
the implications are something that definitely need to be clarified in
any case, no matter how I decide.

Speaking to the list: I understand that most of you are skeptical about
this venture, and you have all the right to be. You should be. But don't
just give up one me, tell me about it. Especially with the current
political situation, I see a market around Tor, and you should not
misconceive that. Commerce is not all bad.

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