German anonymiser raided by police
The legal victory for privacy was short-lived for the German web
anonymiser AN.ON. Only 2 days after a German Court suspended a previous
verdict to build a back door in the anonymiser, German police obtained a
new court order to raid the offices.
On Friday 29 August, the Lower District Court in Frankfurt /Main gave a
search warrant for the rooms of the AN.ON project at the TU Dresden to
find a protocol data record. This single record had been recorded by the
back door, showing the IP-address of a visitor to a specific website.
On Saturday, police officers went to the apartment of the director of the
Institute of System Architecture at the Faculty of Information Technology
and demanded the surrender of the data record. Apparently, police
threatened to confiscate the hardware on which the anonymiser service is
run, unless the data were turned over. To avoid further damage to the TU
Dresden, the data record was handed over.
According to the project partners’ opinion, the decision by the Lower
District Court is unlawful. Since the suspension of the duty to disclose
information on 27 August by the District Court in Frankfurt/Main, it was
clear there was no obligation to surrender until the final decision in the
main case was made. The project partners are going to lodge an appeal
against this decision.
German Police proceeds against anonymity service (02.09.2003)