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[motherboard]University lab worked with FBI to compromise Tor network, expose users  

post #1 of 33
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Quote:
An academic institution has been providing information to the FBI that led to the identification of criminal suspects on the dark web, according to court documents reviewed by Motherboard. Those suspects include a staff member of the now-defunct Silk Road 2.0 drug marketplace, and a man charged with possession of child pornography.

It raises questions about the role that academics are playing in the continued crackdown on dark web crime, as well as the fairness of the trials of each suspect, as crucial discovery evidence has allegedly been withheld from both defendants.

After the publication of this piece, the Tor Project published a blog post claiming that researchers at Carnegie Mellon University were paid "at least $1 million" to work with the FBI.

"Civil liberties are under attack if law enforcement believes it can circumvent the rules of evidence by outsourcing police work to universities. If academia uses "research" as a stalking horse for privacy invasion, the entire enterprise of security research will fall into disrepute. Legitimate privacy researchers study many online systems, including social networks — If this kind of FBI attack by university proxy is accepted, no one will have meaningful 4th Amendment protections online and everyone is at risk," the Tor Project wrote.

The source of the $1 million figure came from "friends in the security community," Roger Dingledine, director of the Tor Project, told WIRED.

Full article here
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/court-docs-show-a-university-helped-fbi-bust-silk-road-2-child-porn-suspects]


Edited by zantetheo - 11/12/15 at 3:17am
post #2 of 33
so?
Quote:
In January of this year, Brian Richard Farrell from Seattle was arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine.

This information led to the location of the Silk Road 2.0 servers, Larson wrote, which led to the identification of "at least another seventeen black markets on TOR." That refers to Operation Onymous, a multi-agency effort that eventually led to the shuttering of several dark web sites, including Silk Road 2.0. It also took down a number of fake and scam sites.

On November 1, a hearing was held in the case of Gabriel Peterson-Siler, a man charged with possessing child pornography. In that case, Peterson-Siler's defense requested the same discovery material as Farrell's lawyers had asked for, according to documents in Farrell's case.

In any system there are going to people that try and break it, in this case some university research was applied to TOR, spying on a system is not in breach of free speech, selling drugs or peddling in illegal material is not free speech. And Its not a invasion of privacy to carry out research on a open system (tor), if you wish to use systems that are made to make you anonymous great for you, but at the same time you cant claim a reasonable expectation of privacy while using a third part system provided by people you dont know

So my question is : In this particular instance,why is it bad? Should researchers stop all research world wide which could have dual implementations? Should bug bounty hunters not look for security bugs as agency's such as the FBI may use them?
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post #3 of 33
[/quote]So my question is : In this particular instance,why is it bad? Should researchers stop all research world wide which could have dual implementations? Should bug bounty hunters not look for security bugs as agency's such as the FBI may use them?[/quote]

Without condoning the behavior, the issue as I see it, is the FBI paid CMU a large amount of money for information garnered in a manner that would be illegal for the FBI to collect without due process i.e. court approval or oversight, aka Warrants. (allegedly)
Edited by 241pizza - 11/12/15 at 6:58am
post #4 of 33
I bet the FBI low-balled the university lab so hard.
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post #5 of 33
the fbi and law enforcement are out of control. snowden save us-please
post #6 of 33
Quote:
the fbi and law enforcement are out of control. snowden save us-please

I may not disagree with the first part of your statement, but Snowden being our savior is pretty funny. I don't even care if what he did was right, but he used his clearance to steal classified information, released it, and then fled. Not the kind of guy who is a savior, haha. This doesn't mean I think he's bad or a traitor; just not what you're looking for in a savior.
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Humafold View Post

I may not disagree with the first part of your statement, but Snowden being our savior is pretty funny. I don't even care if what he did was right, but he used his clearance to steal classified information, released it, and then fled. Not the kind of guy who is a savior, haha. This doesn't mean I think he's bad or a traitor; just not what you're looking for in a savior.

he's a whistleblower, who likely would have no received adequate protection from the government-despite providing a service to the public.

the government didn't notify the public-why should he feel obligated to play nice with those who deceive the american people?
post #8 of 33
TOR relied on non compromised exit nodes that could be hosted by anyone. That in itself is a system that is flawed by design. The developers knew this so it seems like it was only meant to be temporary anyway. Cheap dirty way of anonymity. TOR was easy to use and a normal person with no technical skill could use it, so it spread rapidly. Ease of use is not a contributing factor to good security, a small amount of work can get you much better protection
post #9 of 33
I'm not sure that the 4th Amendment EVER applied to online activities to be honest. I still can't understand how anyone can be deluded into having an expectation of privacy when they are putting everything about themselves out there on a worldwide network of computers? Oh, that's right, their using the dark web so they can peddle drugs and child porn anonymously. My heart is just breaking for these criminals...
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by perfectblade View Post

he's a whistleblower, who likely would have no received adequate protection from the government-despite providing a service to the public.

the government didn't notify the public-why should he feel obligated to play nice with those who deceive the american people?

Indeed. And what savior? The saviors of today and tomorrow are us. We were the saviors of yesterday but apparently we didn't do anything at all. So yeah, maybe if we actually tried a little harder and had faith in ourselves instead of people we hardly know we'd be in an much better world. But we don't. And that's our choice. We always have have a choice.
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