FBI Can Obtain A Warrant If You Run Tor Come December

Plenty of Bitcoin users use Tor to access the Internet and the deep web. Up until now there was nothing particularly wrong with that, but a new ruling may change that scenario altogether. If this ruling is to be approved, any federal magistrate judge can issue a search and seizure warrant for anyone who uses Tor or similar software to remain anonymous on the Internet.

Using Tor Might Become “Illegal.”

TheMerkle_Tor FBI Anonymity

Many consumers will argue that someone who has nothing to hide would have no need for anonymous software solutions such as Tor. However, given the limited number of privacy-centric options to browse the World Wide Web, Tor and consorts are becoming more and more popular every month.

Unfortunately that success has not gone by unnoticed, as the US Supreme Court has approved a rule change that will shake things up like never before. By granting every federal magistrate judge the right to issue a warrant for anyone using Tor, anonymity on the Internet may become a serious offense. Moreover, if the US Congress does not undertake action to fight this ruling, it will go into effect as soon as December 2016.

As a result, the FBI can then legally search computers running Tor remotely, even if they have no idea where the machine is located or what it is being used for. Simply having anonymity software installed on a computer would be reason enough for the FBI to investigate that user to “combat cyber crime.”

This ruling approval comes on the heels of media headlines detailing how over 1 million consumers use Tor to access Facebook. For every single illegal use case for anonymity software, there are hundreds, if not thousands legal ones. If this ruling gets approved, many innocent users will be spied upon by the FBI for no reason whatsoever.

Moreover, this would allow the FBI to spy on Bitcoin users all over the world if they use Tor software to anonymize their wallets as well. Ever since the shutdown of Silk Road, law enforcement agencies have been looking at ways to track Bitcoin users’ identities on the dark web. While nothing has been set in stone yet, this ruling is a grave concern for privacy in the US and beyond.

Source: The Last American Vagabond

Images credit 1,2

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  • Cyberdexter

    Ridiculous. Part of “the war on cyber crime” bullshit they are trying to feed us.

    • Steven Saxton

      Right. More like a war on God given rights and privacy!

      • Tigers are awesome

        Like you would know… Bernie supporter.

        • dgaf

          What does that even mean. He would know because he’s a bernie supporter.

          • Tigers are awesome

            Because bernie supporters disregard rights and property rights like they are nothing. That’s why I said that.

          • Brad Trimas

            Your a Trump supporter… Welcome to Walmart little fella.

          • Tigers are awesome

            Actually I’m a Libertarian. *You’re*

          • sidekicktroll

            [Your a Trump supporter… Welcome to Walmart little fella.]

            Few are gullible enough to support a demagogue.

          • JoeyKeeton

            Well, it’s been a year, and the GOP has launched an all out war on the measures protecting net neutrality that were put in place by the Obama administration. Whoopsies! You didn’t know what you were talking about!

          • Tigers are awesome

            I don’t care. I want the entire FCC abolished and the internet privatized.
            I know the government is a problem.

          • sidekicktroll

            [ internet privatized’]

            No then big-business will charge what ever they want for internet access.

            [I don’t care. I want the entire FCC abolished and the internet privatized.
            I know the government is a problem.]

            I would suggest you do not understand the tech behind the internet.

            Can we say messages handled first come first served?

          • Tigers are awesome

            Also I made that comment forever ago. I don’t even remember who or what we were all arguing over lol.

          • sidekicktroll

            [Because bernie supporters disregard rights and property rights like they are nothing. That’s why I said that.]

            You make stuff up …

        • sidekicktroll

          [Like you would know… Bernie supporter.]

          are you a bot, Russian hacker or both?

      • sidekicktroll

        [Right. More like a war on God given rights and privacy!]
        What are you talking about? Please try to be more informative in your posts.

        Who what is making war on rights and privacy?

        [ war on God]

        Please do not insult our intelligence any ‘god’ is only between your ears.

    • Smells like rabbiT pellets, a close relative to BS only less smelly.

    • sidekicktroll

      [Ridiculous. Part of “the war on cyber crime” bullshit they are trying to feed us.]
      What are you talking about? Please try to be more informative in your posts.

  • F0x

    This is a prime example of clickbaity and lackadaisical journalism. Obviously the author has not taken more than 5 minutes out of his/her time to even read the officially -proposed- amendments. Tor is not illegal, nor will it be illegal in the U.S.

    • Daniel S. Thompson

      The author nowhere states that Tor “illegal.”

      • Niq Digler

        That’s correct. It only says it is PROBABLE cause for a warrant to be issued.

        • Fu Manchu

          Which is a bit like saying someone who shuts the blinds in their home is now suspected of committing a crime…

          • secret societies

            i have heard cocks i mean cops say if you have nothing to hide then you won’t mind us searching you. next time i am going to say “you have nothing to hide but i still need to look through your underwear drawer”. the police are the dumbest fucking people on the planet that have way too much authority than their little minds can fathom.

          • sidekicktroll

            [ cops say if you have nothing to hide then you won’t mind us searching you.]

            All citizens privacy is at risk. It is my (the citizen) privacy/security and is not
            about what I may have to hide but what I want others to know.

        • secret societies

          the same probable cause that results in people getting shot numerous times for twitching let alone
          actually doing something. the NWO doesn’t want to be left out of the loop on anything and this Tor has to be a big thorn in their ass. Good

        • HairyHerry

          Then Probable Cause becomes Reasonable Suspicion after these goons get well-trained.

    • flickerKuu

      He didn’t say it was illegal. It’s an instant warrant ok, maybe you should read the article.

  • David McClintock

    Where are the civil liberties lawyers fighting this? Oh that’s right. There are none…

    • HairyHerry

      They’re fighting for the illegals and LBGT’ers. Even some minorities are getting left behind.

      • srpcel7

        No kidding. They’re with the justice department mysteriously finding racism in every case they look into. Racism = bad. Discrimination = bad. However, losing all our freedoms to what have become the 3 branches of dictatorial leadership (legislative, executive, judicial) = much, much worse. Can’t we maybe create a small task force or two to address racism and discrimination against LGBT, and many other groups and focus the majority of resources on protecting the rights of everyone. Classic case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater!

        • David McClintock

          How much are you getting paid per hour as a disinformation agent?

      • sidekicktroll

        [They’re fighting for the illegals and LBGT’ers. Even some minorities are getting left behind.]

        Awww you made that up..

    • sidekicktroll

      [Where are the civil liberties lawyers fighting this? Oh that’s right. There are none…]

      ACLU & EFF work toward citizen privacy and control over government snooping.

      • David McClintock

        That’s what they claim .. before they go the other way … such as thier blantent attacks on free speech …

        • sidekicktroll

          [That’s what they claim .. before they go the other way … such as thier blantent attacks on free speech …]

          That is a surprise. What ACLU & EFF efforts translate into “blatant attacks on free speech” ?

          • David McClintock

            Hate speech.

          • sidekicktroll

            [Hate speech.]

            Please do try and be clear.
            Do not understand, what is hate speech?

          • David McClintock

            Whatever your masters define it as ….

  • flickerKuu

    “Many consumers will argue that someone who has nothing to hide would have no need for anonymous software solutions”

    Many consumers are idiots who seem to trust Target with their credit card.

    • Jeremy

      The Soccer Mom Bloc; the most influential group of voters there is and the reason the country is heading down the toilet because all you have to do is say something like “think of the children!” and they’ll eat up any propaganda you feed them.

    • sidekicktroll

      [Many consumers will argue that someone who has nothing to hide would have no need for anonymous software solutions”]

      All citizens privacy is at risk. It is my privacy/security and is not about what I may have to hide but what I want others to know..

  • Acid OveRider


    • sidekicktroll

      Most communications medium can be exploited for the nefarious or routine;
      e-mail, TCP/IP, base-band, broadband, satellite , phone, snail-mail,
      Morse code or carrier pigeon.

      Post Snowden, Ernest Fitzgerald, Reality Leigh Winner
      , and other whistle-blowers it has become clear we (US) stand unable
      to trust the authorities with extra-constitutional investigatory
      powers. US secret squirrels, security-complex and government has done
      it to themselves. Abuse of authority and non-accountability, has
      become the norm on a number of levels.

      In broad strokes government communications most if not all are deemed at
      least ‘private’.

      To be fair in the government/privacy question I suggest all
      communications state or personal should be assumed (read assured)

      Exception: with good reason, accountability & a warrant state may seek a
      citizens communication and likewise a citizen may seek a government

      we are headed for a nation that all citizen communication is closely monitored and government (facts/secrets/lies/propaganda) kept under tight wrap.

  • Chad Morgan

    We are allowed our freedom. WE are not subject to illegal search and seizures for no cause. Kind of against the bill of rights. This country is ran by fucking idiots that need to be put out to pasture.

    • sidekicktroll

      [We are allowed our freedom. WE are not subject to illegal search and seizures for no cause. Kind of against the bill of rights.]

      Now you are being naive. US secret squirrels are monitoring every byte on the internet. That is why TOR is important for citizen security and privacy.

  • RAM

    This will be very bad for U.S. public relations, as the FBI will be knowingly spying on citizens of other countries. Things may get pretty heated. Hope nobody starts a war over this.

  • d0x360

    And what is the name of this 5th amendment breaking bill? I find this story incredibly hard to believe

  • PendragonUK

    As someone that lives outside the USA what of my civil liberties? I’m a citizen of a EU country, I can’t imagine the Brussels government being overly happy about US agencies infringing the civil liberties of its citizens. What you guys get up to in your own country really is your own business and nothing to do with me. However the way your lawmakers talk and behave, they have no respect for international boards and the whole concept of national jurisdiction.

    • srpcel7

      You’re right, no doubt. The US government is chock full of hypocrites and idiots. But, look at the UK…they can be arrested for being racist. Last I checked, that’s not really cause for arrest. If you were to actually act out on your racist beliefs and hurt or discriminate against someone because of their race, then you should be held accountable. But, just for being rude? That’s not enough in my book. (I’m specifically referring to the case of the racist gesture of one Chelsea fan at Stamford Bridge in Dec 2012. They tracked that guy down and arrested him (no charges were filed, but still). Just for being stupid.)

  • m-p{3}

    This is why projects like TAILS are important.

  • Jennifer Swanson

    Everyone run tor. Tell your family friends relatives.. If you can get millions and millions we will crash their system

    • TVMan

      You do it and after a few months check back in and tell how it went. If looks like fun we’ll join in.

      • UltraParadigm

        I’m running tor right now. No problems. I take much satisfaction in the fact that when they spy on me, they will be effectively be getting paid to monitor porn. ROFL.

        • sidekicktroll

          [effectively be getting paid to monitor porn]

          and what ever else you may do …

  • Mike

    Just another step towards Communism !!!

    • sidekicktroll

      [Just another step towards Communism !!!]

      Don’t know if ‘communism’ is involved or not but we (USA) are headed for a ‘spy on all citizens’ mindset.

  • Swapster_com

    Why im an anarchist. Unaccountable thugs are what we have as government. And not for nothing, but they are the very same people that create the terrorists with their actions and policy. Humans should outlaw large centralized governments and outlaw all acts of war.

    • DuckMaster180

      Because outlawing all acts of war is surely a guaranteed way to stop anyone from doing it.

  • Niko Slavik

    Looks like its time to move cross seas

    • James Van Damme

      The St. Lawrence River oughta do it. Only 100 miles for me.

  • miguel thecreditor

    time to sue as a flesh and blood man to the U.S. corp for monetary as civil and emotional damages clog they system and they will back down, if you do not exercise your rights you have none!

  • srpcel7

    It’s a carte blanche license for the FBI to look into anyone. Using Tor will just be the tipping point, to get the judge over the line and issue the warrant…no matter what actual charges the FBI is interested in filing. That’s dangerous.

  • Eclipse

    Imagine if the FBI DID one day have control of every single piece of technology ever made. What if some hacker were to hack the system? They could shut every single goddamn thing that uses electricity, they’d probably seize control of the FBI themselves, and they’d control us like mindless puppets.

    THIS is why this no-privacy bullshit needs to stop.

  • BitcoinTeo

    Fu fbi why dont you go after the real criminals like #clinton #killery and her bloodthirsty pals in #pizzagate… #fbifail again…

  • Muni_Corp_Citizen

    Nothing to hide? Than why shut your window blinds at night?
    Look at these bureaucrats trying to turn the West into China. They will lose this game of whack-a-mole.

  • Brad Trimas

    For the people and by the people…you silly slaves laws are for the poor…not the elite.

  • Bad_cron

    Orwell’s world slowly come to USA.
    FBI warrant have no power in EU hopefully.

  • UltraParadigm

    This is all fine by me. Let’s bankrupt the country by spying on random Americans at a cost to the tax payers. Sounds like a perfectly feasible course of action. I’m so sure the criminals will have no way to get around this, cause history has shown a great track record of the FBI being a step ahead. LOL.

    • sidekicktroll

      Patriot Act was to be temporary and had sunset provisions. The government has extended it before and few Americans have a clue as to how and why this Act has been used illegally.

      Search and seizure require warrants. Since the FISA ninety-nine percent of the time issues warrants, there is no need for his Act. The NSA cannot by our constitution spy on American citizens. NSA is military and our military is forbidden to spy on us.

      When domestic surveillance is needed, there is the FBI. If the FBI has probable cause for which they need extended surveillance, they can, with warrant, use the NSA under them. In emergencies, warrants may be obtained a couple of months later.

      The propaganda which scares the American people into believing that having the government spy on them wholesale means more safety is untrue. It’s a lie that more security is insured by giving up our rights. In fact, our rights are inalienable and indivisible. Which means these rights are always there and our constitution is there to protect those rights.

      Many people don’t understand that sitting back and believing there is no problem for anyone if they are innocent ought to learn about what happened under the Third Reich and under the USSR. Our American government is being usurped by private interests who are robbing the people of their sovereign rights as American citizens.

      The primary thing to fear at this moment is, a total usurpation of our sovereign rights under the auspices of more security. Our foundation is built upon just the opposite to prevent powerful men, demagogues and kings from becoming dictators over our country.

      Not one incident has come forward showing where wholesale, unconstitutional domestic spying stopped a terrorist act. Moreover, we would know if such had happened as our government would have been involved. Some misguided folk and liars state, “You can’t prove a negative” regarding terrorist surveillance. Well, that is not the case. If you stop something, you are involved in that action and have evidence.

      Keeping the American people scared is just the sort of thing practiced by dictators. Let’s keep in mind that all of the evidence gathered by Edward Snowden was illegally gathered by our government. A court recently made that judgment.

      Now the government, which has already amended the Patriot Act, wants more time to amend it further. This should be considered an aggressive act against the American people. I am all for legal surveillance. We have incredible surveillance techniques and technology.

      Of what use is robbing us of our sovereign rights other than to empower more of an illegal grip on our sovereign freedoms?

      We were told by the Bush administration the terrorists wanted to take away our freedoms. That is one great heap of elephant dung. That is an excuse to rob us of our freedoms from within. And, you know, save the terrorists the effort?

      Let me ask, “What good does it to be safe if you are living in a prison?

      Rand Paul is right and right to come out in public. So many others are too cowed to speak the obvious truth. Too many others hide behind lies with their hands out to special interest groups. At least Rand Paul’s acts are opening the conversation nationally.

      I believe to truly be free Americans, we must always be free to speak the truth without government punishment. Hate-mongers are free to have Mohammad cartoon contests, to march against minorities in Nazi uniforms, but truth-tellers get robbed of their jobs and threatened with prison, even put in prison for speaking the truth. Truth ought never to be bartered by the government for private interests.

      Secret government is unconstitutional.

      Bonds and shackles may not be visible to keep people as prisoners in their own country, their own homes and on their own streets.

      What do you think the purpose is of constant surveillance and storage of every detail of American lives? Fantastic data storage facilities are used by the government to keep track of American lives. Why?

      The government is pressuring Google, Yahoo and other companies to keep the data stored for them in order to by-pass a recent law. But customers are shouting “foul!” Who believes that any corporation would not be bullied into coughing up whatever the government demanded? Be that as it may, it is possible that IT companies will band together in support of their customers and refuse to comply.

      Freedom is at times dangerous. Falling for the lie that life is more important than freedom is to believe that yanking our rights out of our hands before the terrorist’s can get to them is insane. Without freedom, what do we have?

      I don’t think that freedom of speech is being able to gather to show hate of others. Sure, haters are free in our society to do that. Where is the gravitas? Why not investigate why our government censors and frightens journalists and other authors? Why is our news one big smoothed out highway of homoginzed lies? As we so often lead the way, Europe is also following our lead and censoring their news. But that is not yet a solid policy. There is still time to change.

      If we are kept in electronic cages of surveillance, our right to privacy is destroyed. This is the stuff of totalitarian societies.

      Stop NSA spying…

      I urge you to do everything in your power to repeal (read destroy) the Patriot act, FISA laws, Military Commissions Act of 2006 and The Protect America Act 2007, 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), John Warner National Defense Authorization Act, Roll all our rights and liberties back (or should I say forward) to the pre-drug war days and re-institute laws only if they pass stringent (read Libertarian) Constitutional tests.

      The entire 9/11 panic has resulted in citizens and many leaders being played like a $100 banjo, with inalienable rights & liberties in unacceptable compromise. Most if not all foolish legislation is a result of the bush43 & other administration premeditated lies, manipulation, perturbation, deceptions, palter, spin, distortion, exaggeration, half-truth, ambiguity and propaganda.

      My USA is ostensibly a better country than this current banana republic and I will not have it. Eisenhower military-industrial-complex seems to have evolved into a military-industrial-homeland-security complex.

  • Tay

    Say what you like about the “left” just look at who is actually in bloody power as these things are happening…

  • Ade

    Hackers out there, but we’re not allowed to protect ourselves.
    How about we Sue the FBI if we get hacked.
    Class action anyone, I’ll put $1 towards a case, sure there must be another 100,000 others who would do the same.