[tor-talk] Carnegie Mellon Kills Black Hat Talk About Identifying Tor Users -- Perhaps Because It Broke Wiretapping Laws

Joe Btfsplk joebtfsplk at gmx.com
Tue Jul 22 16:14:02 UTC 2014

On 7/22/2014 3:30 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140721/11362227955/carnegie-mellon-kills-black-hat-talk-about-identifying-tor-users.shtml
> Carnegie Mellon Kills Black Hat Talk About Identifying Tor Users -- Perhaps
> Because It Broke Wiretapping Laws
> from the questionable-legality dept
> There's some buzz in security circles today after it came out that a session
> at the upcoming Black Hat Conference entitled "You Don't Have to be the NSA
> to Break Tor: Deanonymizing Users on a Budget" by Michael McCord and
> Alexander Volynkin (both of whom work for Carnegie-Mellon University and
> CERT) had been pulled from the conference at the request of CMU.
> A Black Hat spokeswoman told Reuters that the talk had been canceled at the
> request of lawyers for Carnegie-Mellon University, where the speakers work as
> researchers. A CMU spokesman had no immediate comment.
Wiretapping?  Please.  Web sites (that want to) & their 3rd party 
associates (trackers) track users from one end to the other.

More speculation.  A good question is, *who requested* that the Carnegie 
Mellon *lawyers* make a request to Black Hat to cancel the talk on 
identifying Tor users?

We must ask, did Carnegie Mellon really think Tor Project would sue 
them?  Hardly.
Did they think the gov't would sue them on behalf of Tor Project? No.

Which entities would have the most to lose if this Tor weakness was exposed?
Which entities are most interested in cracking Tor?
That possibly resulted in certain people stopping their Tor use and / or 
the weakness being patched, so possibly not as much valuable user info 
was available?
The Disney Co?  EFF.org?  Amazon?  No, not likely.

In any good investigation, detectives follow motive & money. *IF*... the 
gov't is or could be involved in something (/not saying they are here, 
but could be/), then the "means" is *almost always* there, if it's 
important enough.  As we saw from Snowden's documents the incredible, 
unbelievable things they were able to do (at incredible expense & manpower).

Whether the gov't was involved in the talk being cancelled *aside*, we 
can't forget that the programs detailed in Snowden's document, have NOT 
stopped, or even slowed down.
Yes, officials appeared before Congress (more than once).
Yes, they were caught in bald faced lies (perjury?).
*No, nothing was done* / no action taken by anyone, to reign in or slow 
down these programs (which literally cost a fortune in taxpayers' money).

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