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Mon Aug 5, 2013, 01:55 AM

Child porn bust takes off 1/2 of TOR's hidden sites offline

http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/5/4589392/child-porn-bust-rocks-tor-network-freedom-hosting-compromised

A man in Ireland believed to be behind Freedom Hosting, the biggest service provider for sites on the encrypted Tor network, is awaiting extradition on child pornography charges, reports The Independent. Denied bail until there is a ruling on the extradition request, Eric Eoin Marques has been described by an FBI special agent as "the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet," and faces up to 30 years in prison if tried in the US.

The Tor (short for "the onion router" network is designed to anonymize traffic, with a layered structure by which users re-route each other's requests through a web of computers multiple times, obfuscating the identity of the sender and receiver. Numerous reports claim that Freedom Hosting users were targeted using a JavaScript exploit of vulnerabilities in the Tor Browser Bundle, a self-contained open source web browser built from Mozilla’s Firefox that makes it easy for ordinary users to access the Tor network. With a user's browser compromised it would be possible to make the affected computer request a webpage outside of the Tor network, reporting its non-Tor IP address in what’s known as a "correlation attack" — in this case, sending requests to a Verizon IP address, according to The Daily Dot. It’s believed that by compromising Freedom Hosting, the attackers have knocked out half of Tor’s hidden services — websites and other services like email (Tormail) that are only accessible over the Tor network.




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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Mon Aug 5, 2013, 02:02 AM

1. I'm more than slightly suspicious at the timing of this article/bust.

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 5, 2013, 02:12 AM

2. Color me dumb or tired but I don't understand your skepticism. Can you explain?

EDIT: From a Google search I found these other sites quoting it and more.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/fbi-bids-to-extradite-largest-childporn-dealer-on-planet-29469402.html

US authorities are seeking the extradition of a 28-year-old Irishman described in the High Court by an FBI special agent as "the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet."

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/08/alleged-tor-hidden-service-operator-busted-for-child-porn-distribution/

Alleged Tor hidden service operator busted for child porn distribution

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Response to Maraya1969 (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 5, 2013, 02:15 AM

3. TOR has gained immense popularity in the wake of the NSA leaks.

As an effective means of disguising much of your internet activity.

First things first, that article in the OP is convoluted as hell. Secondly, it places great emphasis on the connection between child pornography and other illegal activity and TOR. Which might represent an excellent propaganda technique raised by the security industry against TOR and its supporters.

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 5, 2013, 02:18 AM

4. If I go into TOR will I end up with malware and viruses? Then again those sites are from TOR.

I'm really tired.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 5, 2013, 02:20 AM

5. TOR is simply a browser that reroutes searches through a network of computers.

That effectively disassociates the searches from the searcher.

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 5, 2013, 03:32 AM

12. Tor is also used by a lot of governments

for shenanigans they don't want traced. The number of people on the network before and after the unrest in Iran who were engaged in kiddie porn has also been known for a very long time. The problem was managing to bust one of them so they could figure out who his customers were.

They did that over the weekend, apparently.

I'm delighted this garbage is being flushed out of the system.

Governments all over the world would love it if their citizens would abandon Tor. It's difficult enough to cope with the program I sincerely doubt it's a massive problem, especially since the citizenry is converting to Haystack as soon as somebody gives them a thumb drive loaded with it.

I used it briefly during the Iranian unrest, not much since then.

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 5, 2013, 02:24 AM

6. You think it's unlike that purveyors of child porn would want to use TOR?

You do realize that a large fraction of internet traffic is pornography, right? So it wouldn't be surprising that a large fraction of the people seeking anonymity would be engaging in pornography?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #6)

Mon Aug 5, 2013, 02:25 AM

7. Are you attempting to equate all pornography with kiddy porn?

Or am I imagining things?

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #7)

Mon Aug 5, 2013, 02:31 AM

8. Nope. I am not. I'm saying it's a subset that would be ESPECIALLY interested in anonymity.

Most people seeking out porn wouldn't have a special need for anonymity, but people looking for child porn would.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/web_faves_xxx_posed_iSIpORYEU12051XanYoz7M

Got porn? Odds are 1 in 3 that you do.

Researchers have found that 30 percent of all Internet traffic is porn-related.

The Internet’s largest porn site, Xvideos, gets 4.4 billion page views a month — about three times as many as CNN or ESPN, according to the research from ExtremeTech. Other major porn sites like PornHub and YouPorn brought in 2.5 billion and 2.1 billion page views, respectively.

ExtremeTech’s report relied on data from YouPorn as well as Google’s DoubleClick Ad Planner, which uses cookies to gather user information.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #8)

Mon Aug 5, 2013, 02:38 AM

9. I think everyone who searches porn wants anonymity.

I would hazard a guess that 99% of those who use the incognito window in Chrome don't want to leave a trail of porn searches.

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #9)

Mon Aug 5, 2013, 03:25 AM

11. Except it really doesn't give you anonymity...

Every site will still log your IP if you're using incognito, and Google will still log your searches, even if they don't 'save' to your computer. That doesn't even get into people who use their credit cards to sign up for porn websites, or e-mail addresses that can instantly be linked to a person. There is little anonymity when it comes to searching porn and I think most porn users realize this. They don't care about it because it's not illegal. Sure, they might be embarrassed if a spouse or parent came across their online search history, but it ends there.

Child porn users specifically try to hide their tracks all across the internet - not just by logging into Google Incognito. They do it because they know it's illegal and they can face severe punishments. It's why most child porn users, even to this day, go undetected, sadly - and are allowed to keep their searches. There is a whole seedy underbelly of the internet that most porn users don't even delve into.

So, it's more than just hiding their trail of porn ... it's about hiding their uncovering of it because it absolutely is illegal. Just going to XTube.com is not a crime. Downloading a movie from a porn site of two consenting adults is not a crime (well, beyond copyright BS). However, downloading movies of 12 year olds from file sharing websites, or secret message boards entirely set up to hide any information on the user, is a crime.

Big difference, IMO. Most people who hide their tracks while looking at porn do it because they're embarrassed to get caught - not because they're doing something illegal.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #8)

Mon Aug 5, 2013, 02:40 AM

10. The good old, "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" right?

 

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Mon Aug 5, 2013, 06:24 AM

13. Is this guy going to be charged with kiddie porn

or just "facilitating" it? If the latter, is his position any different to that of Google which facilitates porn of all kinds (allegedly), allows terrorists to look for pressure cookers etc etc?

The Brits had a House Committee about 18 months ago which questioned (among others) people from Google, in particular about images of Max Mosley which were originally released in the News of the World and then began to circulate on the internet. It was the committee's opinion that Google had the responsibility to block such sites using filters. Google argued that it couldn't easily be done and filters could be circumvented.

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Response to SwissTony (Reply #13)

Mon Aug 5, 2013, 06:57 AM

14. Hmmm. Interesting point. nt

 

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Response to SwissTony (Reply #13)

Mon Aug 5, 2013, 07:09 AM

15. The thing with Google and any other search engine that sends out bots

to gather search meta, is that if a child porn site is really good at what they do, then they won't get picked up by the bots. I would venture that when someone finally does see something illegal in their search meta, it's handed over to the police.

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