Poland, Internet Censorship, and Tor

by phobos | January 12, 2010

Over the past month I've been working with a few people from Poland. We are discussing how we can improve the impression of Tor in country. It seems a few people want to make all anonymity and privacy tools illegal; and tor is a well-known scapegoat. Thanks to the efforts of Paweł Wilk for writing a few sane articles about online privacy and Tor in particular.

Sywlia Presley of Global Voices writes up a great overview of the situation at http://globalvoicesonline.org/2010/01/10/poland-discussions-of-tor-and-….

I've since had conversations with the KidProtect.pl organization, which is somehow involved in all of this. We had a surprisingly sane conversation about Tor, online anonymity, and what they're running into when trying to track down child pornographers online. I hope to be visiting Poland in the near future to talk to more people face to face, do some more advocacy for online privacy, and to explain why Internet censorship is ineffective in stopping crime and criminals. I've heard before that civil societies have no place for online privacy or anonymity, because it's only useful for repressive regimes. In a nutshell, the answer is the "Who uses Tor?" page, https://www.torproject.org/torusers.

One of the reasons Roger and I talk to law enforcement organizations around the world is to introduce Tor in a positive light. It's very hard to change a mindset if the first time you're introduced to Tor is while tracking down a criminal. You may assume only criminals use Tor (you would be wrong). If we can talk to law enforcement first, they may look at Tor in a different light. Our "Who uses Tor?" page, https://www.torproject.org/torusers, gives a number of real-world examples of who uses Tor. Over the past year, we've built up a number of contacts in law enforcement who are willing to talk to their peers about what they know about Tor, what is a waste of time, and how they themselves use Tor to do their jobs and carry out their mission.

Anonymity loves company.


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January 12, 2010


Thank you for your efforts. It's sad we are about to re-introduce censorship only 20 years after the end of the communism. It's sad to watch how they - the goverment - is trying to introduce all these legal mess without any real public debate...

January 13, 2010


The potato case: A german newspaper "die tageszeitung" in 2006 publish
a short story about Lech Kaczynski. Placed in the daily column
"Wahrheit" (Prawda), with comic strips, gossip and jokes, Peter Köhler
starts with it at monday 2006-06-26. He writes a fake about Lech and Jarosalw Kaczynski. Köhler called them a wretch duo that will rule the
whole world.

A few days later, a rumuor were afloat the polish corps diplomatique
to demand an apology from Peter Köhler. Many right wings in poland was in high dudgeon.

In germany we calld called it "Die Kartoffel-Affäre" (the potato scandal).

Please take a look at http://tinyurl.com/yl74zjx and http://tinyurl.com/ybp93j2
It tells something about our CD, censorship, humor and the polish government not only in 2006.




Haha, it's typical for German people. Let me only remind you that not president or his brother, Jarosław wanted to restrict freedom in Internet, censor it but Donald Tusk, the great friend of your Angela. :>

January 14, 2010


True, Kaczynski brothers were ridicolous, that is way we elected someone else in 2007... Sure, they aren't so funny; they are quite unfunny. Surveillance, new powers for police, Internet censorship and filtering, now they are taling about "protecting intelectual property" by eliminating fair use law... What have we done? Mister Potato-Kaczynski, come back!