[tor-talk] Silk Road taken down by FBI

Roger Dingledine arma at mit.edu
Thu Oct 3 03:58:54 UTC 2013

On Wed, Oct 02, 2013 at 11:17:08PM -0400, Jonathan D. Proulx wrote:
> :https://blog.torproject.org/blog/tor-and-silk-road-takedown
> In many ways this is (or should be) a PR win for Tor.
> 1) No technical vulnerabilities were used (AFAWK) - this should be welcome
> news to Tor users
> 2) Traditional police work still works - this should be good news to the
> law and order folks that traditional methods still work and no
> extensive digital survailance state is needed.
> Note I'm only anecdotally familiar with Silk Road so no personal
> opinion on wether he should be praised or flogged, I do think in a
> "dear legislator please don't ban privacy" kindof way point 2 is
> important. 


Our various Tor talks have long tried to explain that Tor doesn't
magically make "old-fashioned police work" obsolete, e.g.
"But remember that this doesn't mean that Tor is invulnerable. Traditional
police techniques can still be very effective against Tor, such as
investigating means, motive, and opportunity, interviewing suspects,
writing style analysis, technical analysis of the content itself, sting
operations, keyboard taps, and other physical investigations. The Tor
Project is also happy to work with everyone including law enforcement
groups to train them how to use the Tor software to safely conduct
investigations or anonymized activities online."

Too many police groups I've talked to just expect to have a newfangled
technology thing where you push a button and out pops the name of your
criminal. They all want it and it really screws up policy when they ask
for it, since when legislators hear it they also think it's a great idea.


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