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

s7r s7r at sky-ip.org
Thu Jul 3 00:54:32 UTC 2014

Hash: SHA1

On 7/3/2014 3:03 AM, Joe Btfsplk wrote:
> 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).
In the blockchain I saw a pretty good fed of BTC to his donation
address - folks in the community didn't turn back on this. With that
sum donated there he could arrange for a top lawyer, minimum. I don't
know what was the exact rate when he cashed those into FIAT anyway but
still it was something.

Probably all was needed to be done was to explain to that (those)
judge(s) exactly how Tor works, what it is and how is it not different
than running an ISP or simply NOT securing your wi-fi at home with a
password. As it was said in previous messages, this case has gone
terribly wrong for many reasons - but could have been easily won
without spending huge amount of money and without any fancy lawyers. A
basic newbie lawyer could have won this.

> There also could be other info which wasn't divulged.  I'm not
> saying there is - just could be.
Be sure there is. I feel the same way, it has to 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 there was NOTHING on those servers except Tor, those would have
been returned to him long time ago, from my point of view. I am just
saying and asking myself out of curiosity, I am not making
suppositions nor accusations and is none of my business - this should
be irrelevant, period.

> 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 you are doing illegalities and use Tor to keep you anonymous, and
you want to give back and run a relay, when you are convicted or
prosecuted you are not so because of that relay. But if you are law
abiding citizen going to work or doing some business within the legal
and social limits, and running a relay to support free speech,
innovation and freedom of information it's hard to ever be charged
with anything (hopefully) - I sincerely hope this is a legal error
because of lack of communication and it will not create a precedent.

> If that's what can happen, people should think twice & a 3rd time
> before ever risk running one.
They should think how to add more relays to the network and make it
bigger, faster, safer. With each new relay operator all existing relay
operators are stronger.

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