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German TOR Servers Seized 427

Posted by Hemos
from the sometimes-being-an-AC-is-abad dept.
mrogers writes "Servers participating in the TOR anonymizing network have been seized by public prosecutors during a child porn crackdown in Germany. TOR provides anonymity for clients and servers by redirecting traffic through a network of volunteer-operated relays; the German prosecutors may have been trying to locate an anonymous server by examining the logs of the captured relays."
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German TOR Servers Seized

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  • Re:legal basis (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 11, 2006 @08:48AM (#16080200)
    Axis of evil, 9/11, terrorists, paedophiles, pirates, political opposition. That should cover it.
  • Re:legal basis (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ice.Saoshyant (993846) on Monday September 11, 2006 @08:52AM (#16080223) Homepage
    Child porn. Apparently, the IPs of some of those servers were found on the logs of child porn web sites.

    The excuse to seize the servers relies on the cops wanting to find any data of those web site users, which they won't, because of the way Tor is built.

    Sad day for annonymous Internet, as more of the crap side of humanity uses services like Tor, and people who do need it, like people in China, are the ones burned.
  • by RyanFenton (230700) on Monday September 11, 2006 @08:55AM (#16080240)
    I wonder how the law is worded in Germany - is the crime posession (in which case stray banner ads in your browser cache would be just as criminal), or is the crime the intentional act? The catch is that if the crime is over intentional act, then that law is a thought crime law, which is also bad - though it does protect against automatic guilt for detection.

    Sexual crimes against children are some of the most monsterous things mankind can do - and they do occur with a very high frequency, and they are worth detecting and stopped at every opportunity. But like most conceptual wars on horrible things, it collateral damage can go out of control when unchecked. Here's hoping that this guy is innocent, and that his case can at least set some boundries on law are acceptable in this horrible issue.

    Ryan Fenton
  • Re:legal basis (Score:4, Insightful)

    by computational super (740265) on Monday September 11, 2006 @09:01AM (#16080271)
    So if you aren't trading child porn, you are fine. Are you worried?

    Of course, comrade. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

  • Re:legal basis (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FooAtWFU (699187) on Monday September 11, 2006 @09:04AM (#16080293) Homepage
    If someone seized my computers, I'd be kind of upset. I sort of use them every once in a while, you know?

    How long would they be gone? Would I ever get them back? Can they at least clone the disks for me so I can have my data back?

  • Re:legal basis (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nuskrad (740518) on Monday September 11, 2006 @09:08AM (#16080305)
    So if you aren't trading child porn, you are fine. Are you worried?

    But the people who had their equipment seized WEREN'T trading child porn (or at least, they've not been arrested or charged with that). They were just running a Tor node, which is perfectly legal, and something I do. So yes, I am worried.
  • Re:I use tor (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Monday September 11, 2006 @09:24AM (#16080369) Homepage Journal
    ``Only downside to using tor for IRC is that some idiots have gone and gotten some tor nodes glined (ie banned).''

    That's kind of the problem I have with tor. In the absence of better identifying information, how else do you fight abuse than by throwing the baby (good tor users) out with the bathwater (abusers using tor)? The same applies to whole networks that operate from behind NAT or proxies, etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 11, 2006 @09:25AM (#16080371)
    It is a fine example because even though someone may have accessed a child pornography server through that TOR node, lots of other users who had not been involved in the case would have had their connection information seized as well if the server had kept logs.
  • Re:legal basis (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joshetc (955226) on Monday September 11, 2006 @09:28AM (#16080383)
    I walk in my room to find my computer was stolen
    Me: OMG My computer was stolen
    My Friend: If there was no child porn on it you are ok
    Me: What the fuck are you talking about? My COMPUTER IS GONE

  • Re:legal basis (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alcmaeon (684971) on Monday September 11, 2006 @09:32AM (#16080405)

    running tor on a server is NOT the reason these people were targetted.

    I disagree. Running TOR is exactly the reason they were targeted. There may be nothing illegal about running TOR, but there is no denying the chilling effect of the government seizing people's computers on the kiddie porn pretext. The fewer people running TOR, the fewer people who can freely criticize governments--any governments, not just those in China.

  • Re:legal basis (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Achromatic1978 (916097) <robert@chrBOHRom ... minus physicist> on Monday September 11, 2006 @09:37AM (#16080428)
    You should have considered the consequences of your actions when you configured your computer to allow other people to route data through it, knowing that some of that data could be something of a criminal nature.

    If you're not prepared to wear the results of your choices, don't make them. I'd have little sympathy in this case.

  • Re:legal basis (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jorgensen (313325) on Monday September 11, 2006 @09:46AM (#16080486) Homepage
    Sounds like a good reason to perform backups... (unless they've been seized too)
  • Re:legal basis (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alcmaeon (684971) on Monday September 11, 2006 @09:48AM (#16080498)

    Sad day for annonymous Internet, as more of the crap side of humanity uses services like Tor, and people who do need it, like people in China, are the ones burned.

    Did it ever occur to anyone that protecting governments--all governments, not just those in China--from opposition is the very reason for taking actions like this?

    Think about it: do kiddie porn and terrorism really affect more people in the world than say, domestic violence, or alcohol abuse, or even theft? Do kiddie porn and terrorism affect more people than lack of food, lack of sanitary water, low wages, or disease? Do kiddie porn and terrorism affect more people than hurricanes and tsunamis? Do kiddie porn and terrorism affect more people than war, cluster bombs, or unexploded mines?

    Ah, but where are government resources spent: fighting the scourge of kiddie porn and the battling terrorists lurking under every bed.

    The point of these "fights" against kiddie porn and terrorism are to get people accustomed to giving up their rights and, sure enough, even in the U.S. our rights are rapidly being eroded. A supreme Court Justice from even 30 years ago would hardly recognize the U.S. today.

  • by CreatureComfort (741652) * on Monday September 11, 2006 @09:50AM (#16080504)

    Or doing the only thing that they can under the circumstances?

    As long as we're coming up with and condoning police actions that are 1)useless in accomplishing their stated goal, 2)harassing innocent citizens that have broken no laws, and 3)designed to imtimidate society and quell anything that might reduce police power and control... well, they could have gone in and shot the guys operating these TOR nodes. Would have been just as effective as confiscating their computers in finding out who the kiddie porn people were, and as an added bonus, those dirty anonymizers would never do that again.

  • Re:legal basis (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Monday September 11, 2006 @09:56AM (#16080533) Journal
    I don't need TOR to criticize my government.

    Yet.

  • log(0) (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday September 11, 2006 @09:59AM (#16080547) Homepage Journal
    Why do anonymizers keep logs? A perfect anonymizer would keep no logs, be stateless, offer no sign of a transaction once closed. That probably wouldn't actually work, or be maintainable. But why not logs only to Flash, overwritten with random data after every transaction is completed? Transient encrypted logs useable only within the transaction, with the key deleted along with the rest of the log?
  • Define Child (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 11, 2006 @10:02AM (#16080561)

    Sexual crimes against children are some of the most monsterous things mankind can do - and they do occur with a very high frequency...


    Is taking nude photos of a girl who is 17 years and 11 months old some of the most monsterous (sic) things mankind can do? According to Albert Gonzalez it is. Is it monstrous to take nude photos of a woman made up to look like a young girl? Maybe your age limit should be 21 years to be sure.

    The current withchunt on pedophiles fails to make a distinction between act against a 5 year old, and those of a seventeen year old. A Seventeen year old can be accepted in the army and carry a gun, but is not mature enough to make decisions about their own bodies. Makes sense to me...
  • Re:legal basis (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Alphager (957739) <florianhaas&fsfe,org> on Monday September 11, 2006 @10:04AM (#16080573) Homepage Journal
    As long as we don't know that the prosecutors knew that it were tor-servers with no information whatsoever on them, it is just standard-procedure:
    1.found childporn-forum
    2.get the logfiles from the forum
    3.get your hands on every machine mentioned in the logfiles to find additional evidence
    It is important to note that the servers were siezed after a judge autorized the siezure. Once they notice that they cannot gain any info from the servers, they will be returned.
  • by zenthax (737879) on Monday September 11, 2006 @10:09AM (#16080621)
    Sexual crimes against children are some of the most monsterous things mankind can do - and they do occur with a very high frequency, and they are worth detecting and stopped at every opportunity.
    I'm thinking abusing the trust and power the public citizenry has place in your hands is one of the most monstrous things mankind can do and it does occur with a very high frequency
  • Re:legal basis (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Monday September 11, 2006 @10:10AM (#16080628) Homepage
    I dunno where you live, but I don't need TOR to criticize my government.

    Translation: You're neither important nor dangerous enough.
  • by Teun (17872) on Monday September 11, 2006 @10:15AM (#16080665) Homepage
    What if China took over countries for fun and made them 'communist' to make them better? We would cry foul pretty quickly.

    Tibet, anyone?

  • Re:legal basis (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Coco Lopez (886067) on Monday September 11, 2006 @10:22AM (#16080712)
    Your reasoning would make phone companies and ISPs equally culpable. I agree with you, but I'm just not sure you thought it through.
  • by value_added (719364) on Monday September 11, 2006 @10:33AM (#16080776)
    Sexual crimes against children are some of the most monsterous things mankind can do - and they do occur with a very high frequency, and they are worth detecting and stopped at every opportunity.

    When I read words like these, I have to wonder if there is a purpose to such self-righteous posturing, or whether the poster expect everyone to share that leap of faith and assume it's relevant to the article or subject.

    Hate to disturb any heads that might have been nodding in unison, but what the hell. A reasonable estimate is that 99.99% of the crap that would/could be found is the same crap that's been shovelled and re-shovelled through usenet as far back as I remember. Have a look some time. The only real crime to be found (with rare exceptions) is the crime you would commit by looking (i.e., downloading) and that crime, as far as I'm concerned, is a very technical one. As for everything else -- provocative, lewd, in bad taste, shameful -- I can think of lots of words, but an organised police hunt to track down a bunch of wankers downloading pictures protects no one and is a misplaced effort at best. If you're looking for likely targets of people who do, in fact, commit real crimes against children, you might start by looking at families -- aunts, uncles and close relatives. Those folks rarely take pictures, however, let alone publish evidence of their crimes for everyone on the the internet to share.

    I'm reminded of something I heard not too long ago on a show hosted by that emotional snow-job of a wanna-be-anchor by the name of Anderson Cooper. He was speaking with some law enforcement officer who informed him with requisite officiousness that there were "over 100,000 child pornography sites" on the internet. Shit, you'd think with that many we'd all be tripping over them every day! But we don't. Go figure. The veteran reporter's reply was "Gee, I didn't know that."

    Journalism at it's finest.

    What does exists, to varying degrees, is the content from a bunch o teen modelling sites (many in the US) and a few websites here and there that are most likely run by Russian mafia that belong in the provocative, lewd, or in bad taste category (depending on one's jurisdiction, religeous affiliation and/or degree of interest in prurient matter). Criminals? Most likely, at least the Russian ones. But no monsters.
  • Re:legal basis (Score:5, Insightful)

    by demigod (20497) on Monday September 11, 2006 @10:42AM (#16080854)
    You should have considered the consequences of your actions when you configured your computer to allow other people to route data through it.


    1. Routers are compters.
    2. Internet backbone routers are configured to allow other people to route data through them.
    3. All Internet backbone routers must be seized to stop child porn.
    4. We must have no sympathy for the TELCOS or the loss of the Internet. "It's for the children"®

  • by Eli Gottlieb (917758) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <beilttogile>> on Monday September 11, 2006 @10:48AM (#16080902) Homepage Journal
    Again, I beg to differ. There is indeed an objective moral difference between IRC and child porn, even when both break rules. Child porn hurts and exploits children, while IRC prints text on a screen.

    Let's count the victims, shall we?
    Child Pornography: X children, where X = however many were told they'd never see Mommy and Daddy again if they didn't do as they were told. Or whatever evil shit child pornographers do to get the kids how they want.
    IRC: Nobody.

    Lo and behold, an objective difference clearly emerges between IRC and child pornography. I don't see why you're so innured to arbitrary rules when you could apply objective morality for yourself.
  • by MrNaz (730548) * on Monday September 11, 2006 @10:50AM (#16080920) Homepage
    Any particular reason that you think browsing disturbing images should be a crime? I agree, it'd make you a sick whacko, but since when did we decide to lock up all sick whackos even if they didn't actually do anything? I think I must have missed something while I was on safari in Iran...
  • Re:legal basis (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fred_A (10934) <fred AT fredshome DOT org> on Monday September 11, 2006 @10:52AM (#16080931) Homepage
    I dunno where you live, but I don't need TOR to criticize my government.
    That's obviously because you're not very good at it.
  • Re:legal basis (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shadowlore (10860) on Monday September 11, 2006 @10:59AM (#16080991) Journal
    It is a classic "Four Horse Men" manuever:

    If Tor users include Kiddie Porn, then Tor must be bad and eliminated. Especially if it interferes with policework. So start associating the two and eventually people will be happy to make other people give up their rights.
  • Re:legal basis (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IAmTheDave (746256) <basenamedave-sd@ ... COWom minus city> on Monday September 11, 2006 @11:10AM (#16081087) Homepage Journal
    Exactly - anything that is not in direct government control - or directly viewable by said government - is a haven for child pornographers. Don't you know anything?
  • Re:legal basis (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 11, 2006 @11:22AM (#16081202)
    Once they notice that they cannot gain any info from the servers, they will be returned.

    HAAAAAAAAHAHAHAH! That's hilarious.

    5 years from now, once the machines are basically worthless, they'll be "returned" with severe damage and missing hard drive.
  • by nasch (598556) on Monday September 11, 2006 @11:34AM (#16081314)
    The theory is (you're talking about child porn right?) that the consumers of it create demand. Going after them reduces demand and helps keep this from happening to kids. I don't know if it works or not, but if it does it's certainly an appropriate strategy IMO.
  • Re:legal basis (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ford Prefect (8777) on Monday September 11, 2006 @11:36AM (#16081331) Homepage
    There is some controversity on this siezure, as there are rumors that the prosecutors knew that they won't find anything on a tor-node. It is important to note that none of the tor-nodes-owners has been charged with anything; running tor on a server is NOT the reason these people were targetted.

    A machine connects to a child porn website. The website server records its IP address. The police obtain the server's logs, locate the suspicious machine and are informed by its owner that it's a Tor node.

    Should the police:
    1. Instantly believe this explanation, and eliminate this machine from their enquiries without a further word; OR
         
    2. Seize the machine, and check it over to make sure that the owner's excuses are indeed true, and that the machine isn't compromised or running other data-relaying software or whatever on behalf of an elusive child pornographer.

    If it is a 100% legitimate Tor node, then the police won't find anything untoward. But the police still have to check - because otherwise, "I was running a Tor node, honest guv'nor!" could become a standard get-out-of-custody-free card for anyone else whose computer is under investigation.

  • Re:legal basis (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Intron (870560) on Monday September 11, 2006 @11:45AM (#16081395)
    Do you mail your letters in clear envelopes?
  • Re:Define Child (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Catbeller (118204) on Monday September 11, 2006 @11:48AM (#16081426) Homepage
    A seventeen year old can legally carry a rifle and shoot people, and be shot in return, if they join the armed forces. You can kill, but you can't have sex. The comparisons are endless.

    And if everyone who had crossed the age-limit lines in real life were actually identified and arrested, over half the damned country would be in prison.

    This kiddie porn scare is the witchhunt of our times. No actual numbers, just fear, accusation and intimidation.

    And to put some gasoline onto the fire here, I say with fervor that those who chase the pedophiles are almost certainly pedos themselves. I mean who else has the biggest kiddie porn collections but the kiddie porn crusaders? Think about it. Kick in a door of a righteous preacher and he's always closeted with the demons he rails most against.
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Monday September 11, 2006 @11:49AM (#16081435)
    Of course.

    And that basic point empowers to do anything they want to anyone.

    I'm sure that child pornography is so terrible, that you really would be okay to shoot them-- and by extension anyone who had anything to do with them.

    And what is so fantastic about this is- you can SEND people these particularly illicit images and then bust them for having it on their computer if you time it right! Given just a few seconds of access to any computer- you can load it up with these illicit images and then bust people. Anyone that browses the web for illicit images has a fair chance of having some of these loaded on their computer without even realizing it.

    ---

    Funny side note... I knew a person who caught her underage child were secretly sending naked pictures of themselves back and forth to their underage lover (who was returning the favor). So this teen hotty was adding a bunch of child porn to the net (and come on- when they break up, if the guy is pissed he is likely to post the pics somewhere adding them to the pool of naked humans that is the internet). And if caught, there is a very real chance that the parent could face huge fines, loss of the computer, or go to jail.

    ---

    And your basic point is correct- a lot of law enforcement is about making the perp do the walk until they get tired or run out of resources. The law guy knows this person is involved with something but they can't prove it. Any TOR user accepts that they are allowing and supporting some bad things (illegal stuff, terrorism, etc.) so that other good things (privacy, oppose oppression?) can happen. For them, those good things are worth the trade off.

    We dance on a fine edge- ready to teeter into totalitarianism and an endless boot on our faces.
  • Re:legal basis (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fearlezz (594718) on Monday September 11, 2006 @11:50AM (#16081447) Homepage
    Governments just say it's about child porn or terrorism, and get away with anything...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 11, 2006 @11:55AM (#16081488)
    huh?

    The Muslims have sworn to destroy the freedom of the west? The Muslims took down the WTC? That's like saying the Christians have sworn to rape all Muslim children just because the American soldiers who raped children in Abu Ghraib happened to be Christians. Your logic is fundamentally flawed.
  • by COMON$ (806135) on Monday September 11, 2006 @12:03PM (#16081567) Journal
    Well we are far enough off topic here I might as well post.

    Being an avid beer drinker myself I have to disagree with your "drinking can focus the mind" as alchohol prohibits brain activity on a biological level. And the other error "to take your mind off it for a few hours" is also equivalent to "escape". It is just as easy to go outside for a bit of fresh air, head out on a weekend trip, read a book, watch a movie, all are escapes. I challenge you to show how the drugs were not crippling our great thinkers. Rather than it being a vice they dealt with. As for history, it will point out several great thinkers who were destroyed by their drug abuse.

    I have always found it interesting the way people strive to justify their addictions, it always seems justified in the eyes of the addict. Give there is a difference between addiction and casual drug use.

  • Re:legal basis (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Monday September 11, 2006 @12:30PM (#16081788)

    But when the time comes that people are getting "disappeared" for criticizing the government, I'd rather that TOR existed than not. If we let TOR get disassembled now because of "think of the children" issues, we'll be screwed in the future when we really need it.

  • by jimmichie (993747) on Monday September 11, 2006 @12:42PM (#16081895)
    And the other error "to take your mind off it for a few hours" is also equivalent to "escape"
    Well, it's more equivalent to "step back and then return" in the sentence above; I was just saying they aren't always used that way.

    I challenge you to show how the drugs were not crippling our great thinkers.
    Well that's easy - did the Rolling Stones drug use cripple their music? Or Byron or Hunter S. Thompson? If people are "destroyed" they are destroyed by their own destructive personality, which was responsible not only for their destruction but for whatever their great works were - to separate the two and say the drugs were all bad and the cause of their destruction is to be in denial.

    I have always found it interesting the way people strive to justify their addictions, it always seems justified in the eyes of the addict
    Those who demonise drugs tend to believe they are justified, too.
  • Re:legal basis (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BalanceOfJudgement (962905) on Monday September 11, 2006 @12:48PM (#16081937) Homepage
    The truth is there is not guarantee to anonymity in the US constitution out side of voting.
    Wrong.

    "The congress shall pass no law restricting the freedom of speech."

    1st Amendment to the US Constitution. Anonymity is a prerequisite for truly free speech, and any judge who rules otherwise should be shot. The founders themselves published under pseudonyms in order to protect their identities while still spreading the word about their new government, for two reasons:

    1. Anonymous writers do not have to deal with ad hominem attacks, meaning nobody can try to kill the message by attacking the messenger, and

    2. People saying unpopular things tend to become the focus of alot of violence very quickly, and anonymous speech protects their lives.

    The founders recognized that ideas are more important than stability and should be kept safe from force. THAT is the value in anonymity and that was one of the intentions behind the 1st Amendment.

    Anyone who has read the Federalist Papers (or even a good review of them) would know that, and that damn well includes ANY judge ruling on ANY topic that might even HINT at a Constitutional issue.
  • by Sloppy (14984) on Monday September 11, 2006 @12:49PM (#16081949) Homepage Journal

    There are two views about "bad" information:

    1. Some information can be "bad" and the government has the right to do something to prevent its trafficking.
    2. Information in itself is never "bad" and the government has no right to take action against the spread of any sort of information whatsoever.

    AFAIK, every government in the world, presumably in accordance with the will of the people, has laws that suggest their policy is based on the first view.

    They differ in how they stress the details. Some might be more concerned with kiddie porn, some more concerned with copyright infringement, maybe some(?) are concerned about nuclear bomb plans or other classified information. Whatever. I haven't heard of any government that completely and absolutely protects all free speech (though counter-examples are welcome).

    So let's think about what policies should exist, if we postulate that the first view (some kinds of information is "bad") represents "our" opinion. (If you disagree with this view, then you're going to hate the policy below.) Law Enforcement, civil lawyers, etc, are going to want some way to hold someone responsible when "bad" information gets spread.

    The simplest approach is for The Man to get on the net and search for "bad" information and find someone to serve it to Him, and then go after whoever served it. Then either they get held responsible, or else they show how they're just a middleman and they point to who sent it to them. If they can't pass the buck, then the buck stops with them.

    In the case of these pseudo-anonymous virtual networks, that means that if your TOR node passes packets containing kiddie porn (or copyrighted materials, or nuclear bomb plans, or an opinion piece about how the Nazi party should return to power in Germany) to an investigator and they come after you, then you are responsible for what your computer, acting as your agent, did. You're not a common carrier, unless you can show you were just a router and you can identify who sent you the packet so the investigator can continue to trace it back to the source.

    So that's why TOR either needs to log, or else TOR operators need to deal with the fact that sometimes The Man is going to attack them. Are you going to pass the buck, or are you going to take responsibility?

    What if you hold the second view, that information can't be bad and therefore no one ever has the right to try to prevent its spread? Well, you're in trouble. You live inside a legal environment that, frankly, does not agree with you. You can try to change that, but you're going to have an uphill battle against reality. So I recommend you lobby hard. If you're going to operate a TOR node prior to the lobbying completing its goal, be ready for when they take your computer and possibly press charges against you. Running a TOR node is dangerous and pisses off people who are more powerful than you, and it appears that the majority of people support the idea of this power being used against you. You understand what you're up against, right?

  • by pclminion (145572) on Monday September 11, 2006 @12:58PM (#16082028)

    Tibet, anyone?

    Yes, but is China overthrowing governments RIGHT NOW? Tibet was what, almost 50 years ago? Now I'm not saying China is perfect by any means, but would you draw the same comparison with the Japanese? Their behavior during WWII (similar amount of time ago) was completely atrocious, yet you didn't pick on them. Why? I wonder if it has to do with your personal biases about the particular styles of government these countries now use.

    In contrast, the US invasion of Iraq is a current event, which is still ongoing. Your comparison is bogus.

  • Re:legal basis (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BalanceOfJudgement (962905) on Monday September 11, 2006 @01:17PM (#16082173) Homepage
    Basically, child porn is a picture or video of someone under 18, either having sex or not having sex, naked or clothed, and lavaciously exhibiting genitals, or appearing sexual in any way*.
    Well holy crap. By that standard, pictures of young girls in swimsuits on Yahoo! advertising hotel specials should result in Yahoo! getting ransacked and their advertising staff arrested.

    But then, the point really isn't to make a coherent standard; it's to make anyone prosecutable so that you can pick and choose your victims.
  • Re:legal basis (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 11, 2006 @02:31PM (#16082960)
    Then I guess we can suppose you're not living in The Beacon of Democracy (TM), the U.S.A.

    Try being a Muslim in the United States and voicing the opinion that 9/11 happened because of the U.S. foreign policy. See what happens.

    Or try wearing a shirt with Arabic script *and* being a Muslim in a U.S. airport. http://www.aljazeera.com/cgi-bin/review/article_fu ll_story.asp?service_ID=12362 [aljazeera.com] (Oh, by the way, you can find this in other news agencies - Western, that is.)
  • Re:legal basis (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ford Prefect (8777) on Monday September 11, 2006 @04:27PM (#16084121) Homepage
    or 3, check the IP address out and find out if it connects to a TOR server. It would seem that this should be possible without seizing the computer.

    ... But the machine could potentially be both a Tor node and be responsible for accessing the child porn website - without the aid of some separate, anonymous request routed over Tor. One hypothetical case would be a desktop machine that also runs a Tor node in the background. Without a close look at the machine, the police have no sensible way of telling.
  • Re:legal basis (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FreakWent (627155) <tf@ft.net.au> on Monday September 11, 2006 @08:55PM (#16085882)
    Can you name any countries that have never been a police state, even in wartime?

    Of those countries you can name, how many have never singled out a particular group for rounding up and incaceration, on the basis that they are a member of that group?

    If you think about it seriously in context, then each country is likely to experience all forms of government over time, unless of course the whole game changes and the concept of a country is abandoned altogether.
  • Re:legal basis (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:48AM (#16088135)
    Forgive me if I harbour a naive belief that freedom and democracy might possibly be self-sustaining.

    Not even the Founding Fathers believed that; that's why we have the 2nd Amendment.

    Ben Franklin (from here [fff.org]):

    At the close of the Constitutional Convention, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government the Constitution was bringing into existence. Franklin replied, "A republic, if you can keep it."

    Thomas Jefferson:

    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

    etc.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen

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