Monday, August 5, 2013 - 00:20

Eric Marques, founder of Tor Freedom Hosting, has been arrested

Generally I'm all in for a good conspiracy theory and the spokesperson of the FBI isn't exactly doing a great job being quoted in this case. As is the press quoting him or reporting on the case.

But before you jump on a potentially wrecked support waggon I'd strongly advise you to read up on the history of this case. Something that is usually not communicated in recent articles.

The average article is something like this one in the irish Independent.

The way many would read these articles is that Marques was hosting sites. Unfortunately for Tor Freedom Hosting an undisclosed number of these sites where hosting content including child pornography. Apparently in quantities. Now while this is particularly unpleasant it's not exactly the problem of a hoster. It's not my job to spy on my customers and frankly. I'm not always able to if I'd want to. I offer hosting. I do not control it. It's like renting a car. And unless I'm aware of it or are made aware of it and don't react the law usually agrees with that point of view.

So why should that be different with Tor?

And that's exactly the part where most articles are missing something. It most likely isn't since there's a story before the story.

In 2011 a group of anonymous hacktivists stumbed upon this particular problem with Tor Freedom Hosting. Here's an ars technica article on that subject. Here's some more information on the topic by the group. All from 2011.

Now an anonymous group isn't exactly a reliable source by definition. But it's quite obvious that the two things are in some way related. This doesn't look like a particular good ground to start a fight on or to make assumptions based on the currently circulating arcticles as most of those I read left out the rather important part that provides perspective.