Yes, The FBI Used Malware To Try To Reveal Tor Users
from the confirmed dept
While some reports had suggested that it was the NSA involved, it seemed much more likely (as we predicted) that the FBI was behind the attempt to control Freedom Hosting’s servers and effectively insert a bit of malware designed to identify users of the Tor Browser, who thought they were anonymous. And, now the FBI has more or less admitted it as part of its effort to extradite Eric Eoin Marques, the owner of Freedom Hosting from Ireland. The FBI has been known to use malware like this, though it had repeatedly tried to keep it away from investigations involving more technically savvy folks, who might discover it and reveal it to the world. Too late for that now, of course.
Freedom Hosting clearly hosted some very bad stuff, and there’s nothing wrong with law enforcement looking to find and arrest those who are involved in criminal activities — but when it reaches the level of installing effective malware and re-identifiying a ton of people who chose to be anonymous, many of whom are not criminals at all, it begins to raise questions about how appropriate (or legal) the activity really is. Taking control over all Freedom Hosting servers and inserting some code really seems like an incredibly questionable move.