Tor Servers Seized in Germany

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 11, 2006
Updated • May 13, 2013

More than ten dedicated servers have been seized by the German police last Thursday. Some servers were running a version of the popular anonymising software Tor (The Onion Router) which leads to the conclusion that those Tor Servers were most likely configured to run as Exit Nodes as well as normal nodes. As you may know a request by a user runs through different Tor Servers with each only knowing the adjacent servers but not the starting node (you) and the destination. Only the last node in the chain knows the destination.

The raid has been justified by the fact that those end node IPs did appear on forums that were spreading child pornography. You may think that the states attorney simply did not know that those Tor servers were merely the exit node but this is not the case. What needs to be discussed now is whether the seizure of those tor servers was done deliberately to crack down on anonymity services in Germany and the European Union, or if the states attorney simply wanted to be thorough by seizing the servers.

The only information that can be retrieved from an analysis of server logs is the previous node the requests were routed through. If that node is not located in Germany or the European Union, or a country that cooperates with law enforcement requests, there is no way of finding out anything about the people who made the initial requests. Even if they would find the next server in line, they would have to repeat the process several times over and by then, may not succeed anymore because server logs may are certainly deleted eventually.

Is that good, or bad? Public Opinion is really sensitive when Child Pornography is mentioned and it is really easy to turn the opinion so that legal actions look to be illegal in nature.

"Why would someone want to hide their tracks if he is not doing something illegal?", a common question from those who choose not to think, here is the answer:

Every step on the web is tracked nowadays and if you are really unlucky even released to the public, AOL anyone? Some of my visitors live in countries without freedom of speech (all European countries have no freedom of speech as well but this is a different topic) and anonymizers like TOR are their only way to find independent information and participate in discussions,  without fearing the worst.


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  1. Tobey said on September 12, 2006 at 6:58 pm

    I smell something too :) And I also don’t like it.

  2. JS said on September 12, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    You said: “Why would someone want to hide their tracks if he is not doing something illegal ?�, a common question from those who choose not to think.

    Bravo. I get sick of hearing people make uneducated, poorly-thought-out comments like “I’m not trying to hide anything.”

    People forget that one has a right to privacy and just because you value your privacy (personal, financial, etc) does NOT mean you are doing anything wrong or illegal.

    People in the U.S. need to get their head out of the sand… our Freedom (in just about every area) is almost gone.

  3. Martin said on September 11, 2006 at 2:09 pm

    One interesting link for the “I’ve done nothing wrong” crowd –>

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