Egregious use of TOR servers presented at HackLu 2008

by F.w.j Geelkerken,

Summary : From the early nineties of last century onward the importance of information and communication technology has grown significantly. Not only has the reliance on ICT by most western countries exponentially grown, ICT is also used increasingly to commit criminal acts. To refute the notion that anyone can do anything with a computer, many countries have adopted specific legislation to penalise computer crimes. In the United States these measures did however not have the wanted deterrent effects on criminals committing e.g. computer fraud. Up to 2001, the emphasis of the legislation in the United States was on the prevention of, and holding perpetrators accountable for, computer crimes. However, the emphasis changed to also incorporate the preparatory acts for serious crimes after the attacks on September 11th, soon many European countries followed suit. In July 2005, the European Commission made a draft proposal for a directive on data retention, which would make it impossible to be anonymous on-line This proposal caused widespread indignation and many groups started petitions against such a directive. These actions were however to no avail because March 15th 2006 the data retention directive was adopted. On the other hand, Tor, software using a technology called onion routing, enables its users to communicate at various levels of anonymity on the Internet, which goes directly against the objectives of the aforementioned directive. This situation gives rise to the following central question of this paper:How can and should the European Union and its member states address the problem that the use of Tor poses considering the objectives of the data retention, taking into account the legitimate uses of Tor in current information society?