[tor-teachers] tor-teachers - politics

Alison Macrina macrina at riseup.net
Thu Oct 22 21:38:52 UTC 2015

Linus Nordberg:
> Jens Kubieziel <maillist at kubieziel.de> wrote
> Wed, 21 Oct 2015 10:21:32 +0200:
> | I had my first contact with the police while running a Mixmaster
> | remailer (anonymous mails). Back then I got an invitation to talk to
> | them as a witness. While every lawyer tells you: »Don't talk to the
> | police.«, I decided to do so. I clearly had the impression, that while
> | they invited me as a witness, they treated me more like a suspect.
> | However I explained the techhnology and why I did it and the
> | conversation went well.
> | 
> | I had this kind of conversation again from time to time. While I talked
> | every time to another police officer there was one special person who
> | was computer literate and understood anonymising technologies. He always
> | attended those meetings and explained it to his colleagues in »police
> | words«. ;)
> | 
> | Later I heard that Roger and others had talked to LEAs in Germany and
> | offered our police station the same (Someone does a Tor talk). The
> | officers were really interested and supported me. However everything had
> | to go through the press office of our federal police (LKA) and they
> | turned it down. Later I talked to the head of this LKA and he told me
> | that they only accept official courses. He obviously had no interest in
> | that.
> | 
> | However a few years later I came in contact with the Cybercrime Unit of
> | the LKA. They saw Tor as a sole tool for criminals. So I talked to them
> | for several hours and explained the (good) use of Tor. In the end they
> | thanked me that I »opened their eyes« and said that they see Tor a bit
> | different now.
> | 
> | So from time to time I talk to police officers, detectives etc. and try
> | to convince them of the good uses. However at least here in Thuringia I
> | never had the chance to do something »official«.
> Good info, Jens. Thanks.
> I've been talking to several individuals employed by the Swedish police
> over the years. My experience is that they are generally interested in
> learning about Tor and while use of Tor might be an annoyance in some
> investigations it's at the same time a valuable tool for their work. I
> also share Jens experience with changing peoples perception of Tor.
> Here's a presentation (in Swedish) that I gave at a seminar hosted by
> the forensics department in Stockholm:
> https://svn.torproject.org/svn/projects/presentations/2012-05-24-Swedish-police-IT-forensics.pdf

Thanks Jens and Linus for sharing their experiences. I think it's
tactically useful to educate local police about Tor, and it's something
that mrphs and I intend to do as part of our exit relay project so that
we don't run into the same kind of pushback that we got during the pilot

But here's my fear: I don't know what the police are like in Sweden or
Germany, but in the US, they are hostile to vulnerable and marginalized
people. LFP works closely with those communities, so my fear is that
working with the police -- even when tactically useful for Tor -- can
damage the trust relationship we have with those people. I am struggling
with how to reconcile this!


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