It's ironic that SPD does so much of its work in secrecy but doesn't hesitate to spy on innocent people with cameras and Stingers, and invade the home of innocent people to digitally ransack their computers. Too bad the creepers who crashed this couple's server don't have to pay for the damage they did.
It's a bit inaccurate to say that Seattle police searched Jan's and David's home "for child porn." Judge Bowman in fact warranted a search for the following ridiculously-wide-ranging list of items (which I transcribed from a copy of the affidavit in support of application for warrant):

A. Personal computer hardware to include, the computer system case with internal components, motherboard, CPU, memory, etc., internal and peripheral storage devices (such as fixed disks, external hard disks, floppy disk drives and diskettes, tape drives and tapes, zip drives, optical storage devices, transistor-like binary devices, video cameras, digital cameras, cell phones, and any other memory storage devices); peripheral input/output devices (such as keyboards, mouse/track ball/pad, video display monitor); and all related cables, power cords and connections, RAM or ROM units or CD ROM; as well as any devices, mechanisms, or parts that cat be used to restrict access to computer hardware (such as physical keys and locks).

B. Computer software applications used by the computer system and any related components.

C. Computer-related documentation that explains or illustrates how to configure or use the computer hardware, software, or other related items/devices. The documentation consists of written, recorded, printed, or electronically stored material.

D. Computer-related passwords and other data security devices designed to restrict access or hide computer software, documentation, or data.

E. Digital data that may be kept on any computer related storage device listed in 'A' above. The specific data will be (or will contain or incorporate) digital video and/or image files depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, any digital data related to the trading or exchange of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and any digital "user attribution" evidence to include, but not limited to, registry information, configuration files, user profiles, e-mail, e-mail address books, "chat," instant messaging logs, photographs, and correspondence (and the data associated with the foregoing, such as file creation and last accessed dates) that may be evidence of who used or controlled hte computer or storage medium at a relevant time.

F. Photographs of the interior and exterior of the listed residence.

G. Papers showing dominion and control.

H. Any other evidence of the crimes of RCW 9.68A.070, to include but not limited to videotapes, books, magazines, catalogs, photographs, film, diaries, or other documents pertaining to the possession or dealing of child pornography, to include printed material documenting any communication with other persons regarding the trading or exchange of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
"I am not programmed in that area." would have been the logical response of the judge and reason for him to kick it up to someone who had access to expertise. This is the way of the silos, the institutions and disciplines that will not communicate with each other for the benefit of the people they are sworn to serve.
So, based on technology the judge almost certainly doesn't understand communicated via a misleading affidavit from SPD staff, police were authorized to paw through every piece of computer equipment and every digital record stored at the home of the victims of this misconduct. And now there's a very public record that they were suspected of trafficking in child pornography.

Seattle Police were way out of line, here. An unverified fourth-party tip relayed through a third party clearinghouse alleging that an unknown person transferred from a machine that is publicly-known to be part of a computer network that cryptographically guarantees locational privacy a file that apparently contains evidence of crime committed at an unknown time by an unidentified person in an unknown place is not any indication that the operator of the machine from which the file exited the anonymizing network onto the open Internet is party to any crime, whether that operator participates in running of the anonymizing service for fee or for free, as an individual or as part of a group, at a commercial property or at a residential property.

This was like raiding a FedEx facility because someone claimed to receive contraband in a sealed carton delivered by FedEx--only worse, because the raid happened at people's home and because it was impossible for those people to know what was inside the carton (the connection was encrypted end-to-end with SSL) or to trace back to its origin (it bounced around inside the Tor network).

It's possible that this can be chalked up to incompetence, but it sure looks like harassment or part of a broader program to discourage people from donating their computing resources to the Tor Project.
Wow, SPD makes me feel so safe and protected right now. I'm going to go donate the ACLU - thanks for the reminder, Judge Bowman and Detective Gill!
"This kind of pointless intimidation of Tor operators just hurts the Tor network."

I wouldn't be surprised if that was exactly the point. We already knew that the police really don't like Tor at all.
The entire purpose was intimidation. If they had enough information to track the data to the exit node, then they had enough data to know it was, in fact, an exit node.
When we get into things like this," he said, "anonymizing stuff, that’s well over my head technologically, then it becomes very murky and hazy.
The guardians of our constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties, folks. When in doubt -- if you don't understand the context of the warrant application -- sign off on it. Let's give 'em a big hand.

On a self-congratulatory note, called it:

Ansel Herz, "Police Go on Fishing Expedition, Search the Home of Seattle Privacy Activists Who Maintain Tor Network," Slog, 30 March 2016, Comments @ 6

If you ask me, the Seattle Police Department owes the Seattle Privacy Coalition restitution and damages for the cost of replacement equipment, the time spent setting it up, and the time their operations were down. And perhaps it shouldn't take a lawsuit to get it. Perhaps the Mayor and City Council should just give it to them and deduct it from the SPD's budget.

Finally, I'm wondering if there's any possibility of contempt proceedings against the warrant applicant(s), for omitting key information, whether deliberately or through gross negligence.
It will be interesting to see if the DoJ takes interest in this little bit of civil rights violation within the context of the SPD consent decree.
This is clearly continued harassment of local people related to the TOR network... which, for those who don't know, was originally a US Navy-supported project, and receives funding from the US State Dept, in large part to assist dissidents in oppressive states.
Never attribute to malice what can otherwise be explained by incompetence. "The cops" in general may not be fans of TOR, but does the SPD have any understanding of it? Judge Bowman apparently does not, nor does the other judge who commented, Judge William Downing. "It becomes very murky and hazy," he said.

Frankly, this is jurisprudential malpractice. How is it that in an information-driven society, a judge can say "it becomes murky and hazy" when there is simple anonymity involved? How can this judge authorize electronic surveillance and wiretaps while also pleading "that's well over my head technologically"? How do we get such bum judges?

And the police are likely as uninformed.
Newport News, Hampton, and Virginia state police routinely break into my home and steal anything they want. They never have a warrant. They got keys to my home from Shorty Wallin Lock Shop and Tweeds Lock Shop. Karen Rodriguez, VA DCJS, sent a letter to my home stating law enforcement in Virginia don't need warrants and they can break into anyone's home and vandalize and steal all they want. They have stolen over $300,000 worth of my software, computers, jewelry, cash, etc. Governor McAuliffe says how do you think they get their wages supplemented. Senator Kaine and Mark Warner told me it's a problem with state and local police and they can't help. In the meantime, I have never been arrested, the FBI refuses to intervene, and the cops continue to harass, threaten and steal from me. Law enforcement in Virginia are the largest domestic cell of terrorists and organized criminals in the nation. This has been going on for over 8 years. Howard Gwynn, Chief Prosecutor ignores my pleas for help. Your only alternative is a lawsuit. Even the judges in Virginia have not integrity. Everyone in Virginia is for sale. Lawyers violate your rights and break into your home because they represent police and they know the cops won't arrest them. They tamper with evidence - I caught Darlene Bradberry, City Attorney for Newport News exiting my home. She didn't even bother to lock my door. The Virginia state bar told me the law doesn't apply to lawyers and judges.. They can steal, lie, evidence tamper, commit identity theft, fraud on the court, mail theft and get away with any crime they want. I guess the judges were watching when the police gang raped and sodomized me. They are the most evil men and women ever to be born in the history of the world. Torture is ongoing but Judge Arenda Allen said torture is moot and Virginia law enforcement has been torturing innocent citizens for years on end. I can't leave out hospitals like Riverside and Sentara that aid police in drugging people. The hospitals hope the police will murder another innocent citizen so they can snatch their bodies and sell their organs. Emergency room physicians just like to watch you have heart attacks, be raped, sodomized and tortured. Virginia isn't for lovers, it's for murderers!
This is why police officers need to be murdered, in my opinion. I applaud anyone who kills cops.

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