traffic analysis

An Metet anmetet at
Wed Aug 27 19:09:35 EDT 2003

Jim McCoy writes:

> While IANL, it seems that the whole anonymity game has a flaw that 
> doesn't even require a totalitarian regime. I would direct you to the 
> various laws in the US (to pick a random example :) regarding 
> conspiracy. Subscribing to an anonymity service might not become 
> illegal, but if anyone in your "crowd" was performing an illegal action 
> you may be guilty of conspiracy to commit this action.  You were 
> explicitly trying to assist someone to avoid lawful detection of 
> illegal activity, therefore you are in danger of being charged with 
> conspiracy to commit the illegal act (even if the overt act was never 
> successfully completed, which is where things could get really surreal 
> for the remailer/crowds/proxy groups.) It is also worth noting that the 
> burden of proof in a conspiracy trial is substantially lower than for 
> other cases...

This is from

A person is guilty of conspiracy if:
   - Two or more people agree to commit a crime, and
   - the people intended to enter into the agreement, and
   - at least one of the conspirators commits some overt act (such as some
     act of preparation) that furthers the conspiracy.

I don't see how using an anonymity service, or any internet service
whose activities are not forbidden by law, could fall into this category.
You would fail to achieve the first element of the crime, the agreement
to commit a crime.

Now, if it were made illegal to use an anonymizing service then you
might also be charged with conspiracy, if you used it.  But the mere
fact that people might use the service to commit crimes does not imply
that uninvolved users have agreed to commit a crime.

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