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Tor win in Germany

Kürzlich errang der Tor-Betreiber Theodor Reppe einen Sieg vor Gericht. Die deutsche Pressemitteilung enthält alle Details. Kürzlich wurde auch um eine englische Version gebeten. Auf der Tor-Mailingliste erschien eine Übersetzung und mit Theodors Erlaubis stelle ich die hier ebenfalls online.

Today, the Local Court of Jena, Hall 1, held a criminal trial against the domain owner of, Theodore Reppe. The criminal charges were computer fraud - Reppe was accused of posting false information on the Internet and thereby causing damages amounting to 38.55 euros. The only evidence: An IP address that led to Reppe's customer data. After the opening statement, defense attorney Norman Lenz read out comments and other statements from Reppe that the court and prosecutor had to see that Reppe was not the culprit. In fact, it turned out that the Tor server operated by Reppe had been misused by someone else.

The question ensued between the court and defense as to whether Reppe was still guilty since he had allowed the transfer of the fraudulent data. The court offered the popular conservative view that projects such as Tor are more harmful than useful, stating claims such as, “There's nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide!” and “This server could also allow anonymous distribution of child pornography!” The defense countered: “These sorts of statements could also justify the elimination of private mail and personal correspondence.” In the end, the presumption of innocence was upheld: Reppe's Tor server only anonymizes and encrypts activity, it is not itself the source of illegal activities, and thus the court had to acquit him.

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