[tor-talk] Tor Exit Operator convicted in Austrian lower court

Joe Btfsplk joebtfsplk at gmx.com
Thu Jul 3 00:03:53 UTC 2014

On 7/2/2014 2:21 PM, MacLemon wrote:
> Hey!
> On 02 Jul 2014, at 17:56, s7r <s7r at sky-ip.org> wrote:
>> Signed PGP part
>> On 7/2/2014 2:54 PM, MacLemon wrote:
>> The subject of this attracted my attention. Are we talking here about
>> a clear law, written black on white which states that it is illegal to
>> run Tor relays (or any kind of telecommunications proxy servers) and
>> that you are responsible for your user's actions, even if you provide
>> those services free of charge, therefor not required to collect any
>> data about your users? Is it actually a specific law which was
>> enforced here clearly stating that you cannot run Tor or open proxy
>> servers?
> No, absolutely NOT. Actually, the opposite is the reality. Austria has something commonly called the “Provider's Privilege” (non-legalese term) which states that a service provider is not liable for the data transported over said services. No matter if the service is a free or paid one.
> There is no law that I have ever heard of that prohibits running a proxy server or a Tor node in general or in particular. Providing an online service in Austria is mostly regulated by the Telecommunications law, E-Commerce law and data-protection law.
Playing Devils' Advocate:  If Austria's laws are so protective of ISPs 
in general, why was this gentleman convicted?
Unless he ignored the advice I've seen so many times, not to commingle 
your own internet traffic w/ the Tor relay traffic.

Even then, I wonder about a conviction, unless he had the worst lawyer 
in the world (which he may have).

There also could be other info which wasn't divulged.  I'm not saying 
there is - just could be.
Unless there was a REALLY bad ruling, in which case an appeal might have 
a good chance? of over turning it.
But I know nothing of Austrian law.

However, it seems strange that if he only was running a server & neither 
he / a roommate / house guest did anything illegal on a computer, using 
the same relay, how it ever got to a conviction.

If he nor anyone using the physical computer running the relay did 
nothing illegal, and he was still convicted (not just questioned or 
charged), that would seem to spell doom to other operators.

If that's what can happen, people should think twice & a 3rd time before 
ever risk running one.

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