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back to article Russian spyboss brands Tor a crook's paradise, demands a total ban

Russia's spybosses are contemplating blocking access to the Tor network and similar privacy tools that try to prevent netizens from being traced online. The proposal - pushed by Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (the FSB) - sets out a clampdown on technologies top spooks branded tools for "weapon traffickers, …

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Won't somebody think of the children!

What sort of world are they going to inherit? one where free speech is seen as 'the enemy'?

Ok, so some people use TOR for bad things, but cars aren't banned because some drivers have accidents, (or even 'deliberates'), it's the people that are 'bad', not the technology.

ttfn

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Re: Won't somebody think of the children!

Ironic given the Russian Government being the protector of most web scams and malware.

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Anonymous Coward

Won't Somebody Think of The Military?

They use Tor, don't they?

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Re: Won't Somebody Think of The Military?

No you are thinking of Tanks

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Facepalm

Re: Won't somebody think of the children!

"....but cars aren't banned because some drivers have accidents....." But driving is a very good example - laws, speed limits and licenses were all brought in to control the roads. With current levels of lawlessness on the Web it is only a matter of time before more and more controls are brought in.

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WTF?

Re: Won't somebody think of the children!

@Matt:

Exactly how many speed limits have a scientific basis?

How many complete numpties have a driving licence?

Money for government has far more to do with these than safety ever has.

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Stop

Re: Won't somebody think of the children!

"....Exactly how many speed limits have a scientific basis?...." I assume you are not from the UK, otherwise you would know a lot of scientific thought went into our speed limits. In particular, our urban speed limit of 30mph is based on calculations of reaction time and stopping distance, and is not an arbitrary figure pulled out of thin air. It's one of the reasons we have much lower per-capita road deaths than places like Germany or the US.

As to all the people posting about how they want the Internet to be "free", all they do is remind me of the a$$h0les you see bombing down the motorway in their poorly and often illegally souped-up imitation GTis, cutting people up and generally being just accidents in waiting. As a road user with years of driving experience I look at them with sad resignation and just hope they manage to live long enough to learn how to drive properly.

/stop sign, obviously.

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Child molesters use lots of things

Child molesters use lots of things -- cars, plumbing, money, etc. They can move from place to place. Nobody would suggest we lock everybody up in their homes (yet). The cure to the problem of child molesters does not reside in removing all rights from everyone.

Secure communication is absolutely necessary for freedom.

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Re: Child molesters use lots of things

You don't actually think that Russian spybosses really care about child molesters, right?

The goal is to suppress political dissidents. Pedophiles are just a convenient justification, since everyone hates pedophiles and don't want to be seen defending them.

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Re: Child molesters use lots of things

political dissidents do tend to be pedophiles so it's more a matter of killing one bird with two stones

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Meh. Russia is a fascist dictatorship.

Opposing free speech and imprisoning dissidents is par for the course. It is much more troubling that the west is moving in the same direction.

On a positive note, moves to outlaw TOR suggests that it still works, despite recent reports that TOR could be spied upon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh. Russia is a fascist dictatorship.

Russia may be a fascist dictatorship, but in comparison to the US they are a freaking paradise at the moment.

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Let's not get carried away, hmm ? The United States has seriously tarnished its Medal of Freedom, that is true and a stain of shame that will take a long time to remove.

But in the US you can still criticize your government without having a black van show up in the middle of the night to knock your door down and take you away for extended "leave" without explanation.

So let's refrain from comparing Russia to a "freaking paradise" compared to the US. The US is still better, but it's on a damn slippery slope.

Going down.

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Re: Meh. Russia is a fascist dictatorship.

> in comparison to the US they are a freaking paradise

Haha. No.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh. Russia is a fascist dictatorship.

Unless your gay

Say something bad about the government

Think something bad about Putin

But hey, if you like spending long, cold winters working 18+ hours in a slave labor camp then I would agree with you.

Get real, every government does what the USA does - the only difference is the degree and if there are open dialogs about it.

But anyone who lives in the USA thinks it is that bad then move. Maybe China, Russia, many South American countries, (especially if you are a women or gay) any middle east country or India. There list goes on..

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"But in the US you can still criticize your government without having a black van show up in the middle of the night to knock your door down and take you away for extended "leave" without explanation."

Depends how you criticize them. They have a tendency to clamp down on freedom of expression through controlled explosions.

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Yes, it works

As long as the entity you're avoiding doesn't control most of the nodes, and thus the chances of it having both the guard and exit nodes within its control is slim.

FSB only has Russia, and most nodes are in Western countries. So what works for the NSA, works against the FSB thus their "concerns".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh. Russia is a fascist dictatorship.

Why not Canada.

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@Pascal Monett

>But in the US you can still criticize your government without having a black van show up in the middle of the night to knock your door down and take you away for extended "leave" without explanation.

That might be so but you just try to buy a pressure cooker and a backpack at the same time and see how long it takes for the black vans to arrive.

You are being monitored by the state and if you seriously think the government doesn't take note just because a black van doesn't show up when you crticise it then you need to be a liitle less patriotic.

It's always nice to read comments from the other side when one of the super powers does something. Let's see the US/NSA has just been exposed for bugging the UN and numerous embassies, not that we would have expected otherwise anyway but obviously that's to protect free speech. Russia no doubt would do the same but in that case you'd say it was an assault on free speech.

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Re: Chris W Re: @Pascal Monett

".....That might be so but you just try to buy a pressure cooker and a backpack at the same time and see how long it takes for the black vans to arrive....." I know an Indian Muslim contractor in Georgia that bought something called a "Green Egg", apparently it is the bee's knees of barbecue pressure cookers. He also does a lot of hiking and camping and bought a new rucksack during the same week. According to your paranoid delusions, he should have been long past the black van stage by now, but nothing happened.

"...,you need to be a liitle less patriotic...." You need to be a lot less tinfoil-attired and stop thinking Sandra Bernhard is anything more than just a comedienne.

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Re: Chris W @Pascal Monett

Matt, I refer you to

Terror cops swoop on couple who Googled 'backpacks' and 'pressure cooker'

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Holmes

Re: Chris W and pressure cookers

Chris W: see this little part of that same article:

"...source of the tip was not PRISM-style surveillance, but a tip from hubby's employer to the local Suffolk Police Department. The fine men and women of that department have confirmed the source of the tip."

The NSA or any 3 letter agency had fuck all to do with this. This is the same over-reaction bullshit that led people to believe the Boston attack was part of a larger terror plot. Ignore actual facts in front one's face because imagination is more fun (<-making fun of human nature, not Chris W).

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Big Brother

Re: Why not Canada

Because we are in on it with the US, UK, Oz, and NZ. With our current wannabe Republicans running the show up here, I would trust the US before my own government. Thankfully our courts are a little more rights friendly, but I don't want to be the test case.

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Facepalm

Re: Chris W Re: Chris W @Pascal Monett

<Yawn> Have you ever heard the phrase "one swallow does not a summer make"? By your count, the Eggtoberfest (http://www.biggreenegg.com/features/16th-annual-eggtoberfest/) should be raided by SWAT, but I'm betting it won't. My Muslim colleague is going so I'll be very aware of any such raid should it happen. But by then I bet you won't be willing to eat humble pie, you'll be happily bleating about something else.

Amusingly, Michele Catalano has blogged for the rather right-of-center PJ Media site (http://pjmedia.com/blog/author/michelecatalano/), but I bet you won't be shrieking that there is some conspiracy against right-wing bloggers.

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Re: Chris W Chris W @Pascal Monett

>Have you ever heard the phrase "one swallow does not a summer make"?

Maybe not but maybe a rumoured 100 per week for each police department does.

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Re: Chris W Re: Chris W Chris W @Pascal Monett

"Maybe not but maybe a rumoured 100 per week for each police department does." LOL, you're relying on rumors? Come back when you actually have some verifiable cases rather than conspiracy theorist bleatings.

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Black Helicopters

Re: 100 a week

99 were adjacent to donut shops. After all, 100 is a nice round number.

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Re: Welcome

Based on this logic, during the time that being gay was a criminal offence in the UK, you would propose to gay people "just don't be gay then".

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Anti-child-abuse campaign

You could ban the entire internet tomorrow, and I doubt it would have any effect on child molesters hanging around the local park.

It seems to me that Aleksandr Bortnikov is trying to treat a symptom rather than trying to treat the cause. ( If we assume that he is in earnest and he really does want to protect children )

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anti-child-abuse campaign

Mainly because child molesters rarely hang around parks and tend to just molest their own children / close friends or family children.

So both closing parks and the internet would do little to stop child molestation. Now, a sure fire way to stop child molestation is to ban children from being born!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: child molesters hanging around the local park.

That would be everyone with a camera, right?

The rest will be carrying round things with "bomb" written on them. They're the terrorists.

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Devil

Again with the CP and terrorism excuses...consider the source.

Paul,

I agree completely.

There is nothing black and white about the Internet, there is good and bad and grey in almost everything.

Good cannot exist without evil. Most terrorism is mental, not physical. The mental variety is is almost always "self imposed" as are it's negative effects on everyday life and society. This is exactly what the "terrorists" are trying to achieve.

The physical kind occurs far less often and is frequently unsuccessful. Also, It is almost always impossible to prevent. No amount of money or technology can stop determined individuals.

What I find most disingenuous are the comments that always use getting rid of a bad thing as an excuse to ban the good things. Even worse when these comments come from some government lackey who works for an agency that could NEVER be considered a reliable truthful source whether it be Russian, American, or British.

There is only one provable truth remaining. All politicians, government agencies and their employees are lying scum.

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Coat

Re: "All politicians, government agencies and their employees are lying scum."

I have the solution !

Let's ban them !

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"Good cannot exist without evil"

Bollux. (Philosophically)

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Windows

Re: "Good cannot exist without evil"

Bollocks. (grammatically)

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fnj

Re: Again with the CP and terrorism excuses...consider the source.

"Good cannot exist without evil."

Balderdash. Of course it can. This may be presumptuous, but I have a hunch what you really mean is a whole lot closer to "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." It's not at all the same thing.

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Anonymous Coward

Why block?

Just get them exit nodes and let people think they are safe. Not very American if you Russia.

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In soviet russia,

Insert reversal jokes beneath this post, please. Let's keep them all tidily in one place.

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Re: In soviet russia,

In soviet russia exit nodes ban you ?

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Re: In soviet russia,

In Soviet Russia, reversal jokes in one place keep you tidily!

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Re: In soviet russia,

In Soviet Russia, Tor bans YOU!

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Unhappy

In a post last week, (here) where there was a discussion about using Tor to evade interception of web browsing by Google, the NSA or anyone else, I made the following comment:

I notice that certain sections of the UK press have cottoned on to the use of the Tor network, and have labelled it "a tool of paedos".

It would not surprise me if we soon see calls for knee-jerk legislation to try and block anonymising services, VPNs and encryption software.

It appears I was partially correct, I just got the country wrong...

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Anonymous Coward

Doesn't he have some dangerous homosexuals to catch? Or is that dealt with by another department?

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It has been happening in Europe too in a different way, although in that case it's credit card processors blocking access to payment systems to VPN providers.

<sarcasm>Of course the government would never lean on them to do something like that. Right?</sarcasm>

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/04/payment_block_swedish_vpns/

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Anonymous Coward

It's believed he what?

It's believed he ran an ISP that provided server nodes for the Tor network.

First I'd heard of it.

What Eric Eoin Marques is believed to have done as far as I know, is run a specialized web host for people who wanted hidden sites that are only accessible through the Tor network (hidden services).

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Don't they just think the Internet is collateral damage

We had 20ish years of a decent Internet where governments pretty much left stuff alone. Now they want their people back because they've noticed that without them they haven't got anything to do, and if they have nothing to do, somebody might point out the emperor has no clothes and suggest a smaller government.

Much better to make the Internet unusable unless you want to watch something with roughly the content value of the Teletubbies and accept it as collateral damage. At least if nobody's using the Internet they'll be out rioting or something and government will have a function.

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I'm surprised no government has taken the step of banning ALL encryption outside of state use. And then only vetting the ones for state use such that they're always with a random overseer.

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errrr

IIRC the French did that. I think. Remember something related to that at least.

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Unhappy

"I'm surprised no government has taken the step of banning ALL encryption outside of state use. And then only vetting the ones for state use such that they're always with a random overseer."

That would be the US "Clipper" chip proposal.

If one were of a paranoid PoV the MS "Trusted Computing"* BS is another incarnation of this nonsense.

*As in your PC is "trusted" to not play any content we don't like.

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