Update April 2019: We released an extensive set of files from the investigation in combination with a German talk covering the material. See German press coverage near the end of this page.

Update August 23rd: The court has confirmed that the searches and seizures were illegal. (Allegedly, no documents or equipment was analysed/evaluated and all copies were deleted.)

Die angegriffenen Durchsuchungs- und Beschlagnahmebeschlüsse und Beschlagnahmebestätigungsbeschlüsse des Amtsgerichts München waren rechtswidrig. Soweit sie noch Bestand hatten, waren sie deshalb aufzuheben. Im Übrigen war ihre Rechtswidrigkeit festzustellen. Den Anträgen auf Herausgabe der beschlagnahmten Gegenstände war insoweit ebenfalls stattzugeben. Die Maßnahmen können nicht mehr als von der Strafprozessordnung gedeckt angesehen werden.

Zu Recht führen die Ermittlungsbehörden Verfahren gegen die Verantwortlichen der Aufrufe auf den zitierten Internetseiten. Die Annahme der Ermittlungsbehörden, dass sich bei der Durchsuchung bei den Betroffenen bzw. auf den beschlagnahmten Datenträgern Beweismittel für diese Verfahren finden lassen, ist aber bei den bekannten Umständen nicht gerechtfertigt. Es besteht keine ausreichende Wahrscheinlichkeit für das Auffinden relevanter Daten. Es gibt keine Anhaltspunkte, dass die Betroffenen, deren Verein Zwiebelfreunde e.V. oder die Gruppierung “Riseup Networks” auch nur zum Umfeld der unbekannten Täter gehören. Es ist zudem auch nicht unmittelbar ersichtlich, dass sich bei ihnen Informationen zum Täterumfeld oder zu den Tätern finden lassen. Einziger Verbindungspunkt ist der Umstand, dass die unbekannten Täter bei “Riseup Networks” ein E-Mail-Konto eingerichtet hatten. “Riseup Networks” bietet allerdings (bestimmungsgemäß) anonymisierte Internetdienste an. Die Einrichtung des Kontos kann (auf Empfehlung) anonym erfolgen. Der E-Mail-Verkehr über das eingerichtete Konto erfolgt verschlüsselt. Deswegen besteht nur eine sehr geringe Wahrscheinlichkeit, über “Riseup Networks” und dessen Datenbestand Informationen zu den Tätern und Taten zu erhalten. Ergänzend kommt hier noch hinzu, dass die Betroffenen mit ihrem Verein “Zwiebelfreunde e.V.” nach bisherigem Informationsstand nicht mit “Riseup Networks” gleichgesetzt werden können. Die Verbindung besteht, soweit bisher ersichtlich, nur in der Unterstützung des Netzwerks durch das Sammeln von Spenden.” (Landgericht München I)

Update August 13th: No update. The case is pending in court (at Landgericht München). Prosecution has confirmed that they have ‘sealed’ all items they took from us and that no further analysis will take place until after the court decision.

Update July 10th: Last week Monday, prosecution stated that they will keep our things for further analysis, even after explicitly confirming to journalists that they are aware that our only connection to Riseup is the collection of donations. This includes items belonging to our partners, and other third parties like companies we work for. That same Monday, after the AfD party convening, our lawyers filed for immediate sealing and suspension of analysis until a court decision. Everything else is pending on that, and for now it looks like there are no further legal steps we can take (yet). The two of us who have not been interviewed yet (because they were not present during the raids) have been asked to give further testimony, which they will do during this week, together with our lawyers. This is not over.

On June 20th, police raided five locations across Germany, nicely coordinated at 6:00 in the morning: The private homes of all three board members, Jens, Juris and Moritz, our registered headquarters in Dresden (a lawyer’s office), and the home of a previous board member.

Please check the bottom of this page for links to various press reports about these raids detailing what happened. We will update that section regularly.

The brief summary is that a German left-wing blog “Krawalltouristen” (ruckus tourists) called for protest actions around the right-wing AfD party convening in Augsburg, Germany. Law enforcement argues that this includes calls for violence.

The German police were interested in finding the authors of said blog, and deemed it appropriate to not ask for information or go after the email provider the blog happened to be using, riseup.net, but after the German entity Zwiebelfreunde.

Zwiebelfreunde has a partnership with Riseup Labs, a US non-profit, and manages donations via European wire transfers for the Riseup collective. We spend the money in collaboration with the collective on software development, travel reimbursements, and for Riseup’s Tor infrastructure.

We will update this post as the story evolves. For more details, please see publications by other media.

What data is affected, and how?

First of all, here’s a list of things we have strong reason to believe are not affected, and can still be considered safe:

  • any Torservers related infrastructure: Tor relays, mail servers, web servers
  • any of Riseup’s infrastructure (because we have nothing to do with that)
  • cryptoparty.in or other cryptoparty related infrastructure
  • PGP keys, SSH keys, OTR keys etc

They seized most of our electronical storage equipment (disks, laptops, PCs, GnuPG Smartcards/Yubikeys), but it is safe to assume that they will not be able to break the encryption (or the smartcards). They also took our mobile phones, but even if they were to break into them, no login data or anything else affecting our infrastructure or communications is stored on those phones.

We nevertheless revoked our shared contact PGP key, and will replace more and more keys and passphrases over time. Our new key is 0x74A312092938F2F0, signed by our previous key.

So, what is affected?

Apart from encrypted media, they had the legal right to seize documents related to our Riseup bank account starting from January 2018. They also went and got those from our bank, the GLS Gemeinschaftsbank. However, we have to keep records and receipts of all expenditures for tax reasons. These documents were “safely” kept in a secure fire-proof safe.

Despite our protests, they additionally seized all printed documents relating to our own and partner projects since the inception of the association in 2011.

This includes highly sensitive personal data of donors, identities of activists that received reimbursements or payments, and a list of our members.

If you have ever donated to Torservers, or Tails or Riseup via a European bank transaction, your data is very likely now in the hands of the German police. (IBAN account number, name of account holder, amount and date)

We did everything in our power to avoid a data breach like this, and are now doing everything we can to fight it:

  1. Our lawyers kindly asked for our equipment back. Most of the equipment does not belong to Zwiebelfreunde, and some of it is not even ours. They refused. We are now going to court over this.

  2. The warrant lists specific items. This was not respected.

  3. We argue that even the original warrants and seizures were clear overreach, and that this was used as an excuse to get access to member data and donor data. We have nothing to do with Riseup’s infrastructure. During the raids, the police forces clearly gave the impression that they knew we had nothing to do with either Riseup or the “ruckus tourist” blog. None of us had even heard of that blog before!

We are grateful for the quick and unbureaucratic financial support by Renewable Freedom Foundation, the logistical support of the Chaos Computer Club, and all the kind offers of help by various communities. Thank you!

If you’re not afraid to donate to accounts that are probably being monitored, you can still do so, at https://www.torservers.net/donate.html.

Press Coverage













Tor exit node operator arrested in Russia - a solidarity Tor Relay Challenge launched

Fr 14 April 2017 by xeniax, serrObengbi, 1up

Free Dmitry Bogatov

Run a Tor relay or exit node in solidarity with Dmitry Bogatov!

On April 12, Russia celebrated Yuriy Gagarin’s first flight in space. In the meanwhile, a young Russian scientist, mathematician and FOSS activist Dmitry Bogatov spends the Space Day in detention center. His involvement in decentralized web projects …

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Three servers offline, likely seized

So 09 November 2014 by qbi

Last Thursday we noticed that three servers went down. Those servers were used to run Tor exit nodes, 10 in total. We tried to get in contact with our providers which weren’t able to tell us anything and also could not reboot the servers nor give us access to …

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Reporters Without Borders and Torservers.net, partners against online surveillance and censorship

Fr 25 April 2014 by RSF


Reporters Without Borders and Torservers.net have joined forces to create and maintain 250 additional relays for the Tor network.

“In doing this, our two organizations are thumbing our noses at the entire world’s censors,” said Grégoire Pouget, the head of the …

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Torcollect - A tool to collect statistics from servers that run Tor bridges

Mi 02 April 2014 by Daniel

For the last half year i’ve been developing a tool that collects metrics from bridge servers. The specified application had to extract and collect the data from each single server that is registered in the system and generate static HTML reports from the received data.

Torcollect is written in …

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Tor Relay Operator Meetup at 30C3

Mo 16 Dezember 2013 by Moritz

Torservers.net invites Tor exit relay operators and organizations to a meetup at this year’s Chaos Communication Congress 30c3 in Hamburg. If possible, for example if you’re a member of one of the ‘Torservers partner organizations’, please prepare some slides on your activities and let us know about …

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Upgrading RAM due to large amount of user connections

So 01 September 2013 by Moritz

Our relays currently run out of RAM due to what is most likely a botnet using the Tor network ( https://metrics.torproject.org/direct-users.png ). It is not using much bandwidth, but a lot of circuits. Looks like its a botnet with hidden service C&C server(s).

Thus, I …

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Preparation for reimbursement: partner mailinglists

Fr 03 Mai 2013 by Moritz

In preparation of Torservers.net reimbursing exit and bridge operators, we have set up two new mailing lists. Entities that receive reimbursement are called “Torservers partners” and listed at https://www.torservers.net/partners.html (if they want to be listed)

If you want to become a partner, we have …

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Support for Relay Operators

Fr 03 Mai 2013 by Moritz

I just noticed that I never announced that we offer support for relay operators at support [at] torservers [dot] net. You can encrypt your mails using PGPhttps://www.torservers.net/torservers_pub.asc fingerprint B099 CF5D 5B97 DC65 2406 B458 C8F4 2EB2 E033 4E90

Currently, four founding members of Torservers …

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On the way to more diversity

Mi 03 April 2013 by Moritz

I have started to make changes to the Torservers.net website to reflect that we have grown from “professional Tor Exit hosting” to a state where growth of a single organization is not useful any more. We have refrained from ramping up more exit capacity for quite some time because …

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Torservers receives 12000€ grant from Wau Holland Foundation

Mo 12 März 2012 by Moritz

Sorry to spam you with just the press release, but all this took quite some time to get ready in time for March 12, Reporters without Borders “World Day Against Cyber Censorship”, and I need to catch a little sleep now.

In short: We received a grant of 12,000 …

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New Exit at Voxility/Limehost in Romania

Mi 01 Februar 2012 by Moritz

I’ve just installed a new Tor exit at Voxility in Romania. We have hosted there before through a German reseller (T-N Media), but the peering should have improved massively since, and by dealing with the NOC directly, we got proper RIPE reassignment and their “go” for Tor.

Let’s …

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Progress Update - Happy New Torservers Year 2012

Mi 25 Januar 2012 by Moritz

It’s still early enough to say Happy New Year and welcome another year worth fighting for net freedom…

Anyway, it’s been quite some time since I last sent an update to this list. I really recommend everyone to follow our twitter account @torservers or use the RSS feed …

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Paypal and bank account changed; please update if you still use old one

Fr 11 November 2011 by Moritz

We have a new bank account. Do not use my personal bank account any longer as this makes accounting more complicated.

If you do wire transfers, this is our bank info:

Account holder: Zwiebelfreunde e.V. Name of bank: GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG IBAN: DE09430609671126825600 BIC: GENODEM1GLS (Kontonummer 1126825600, BLZ 43060967 …

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Torservers.net Meetups in Dresden (3.9. and 15.10.)

Mo 22 August 2011 by Moritz

Hi there,

The non-profit association behind torservers.net invites everyone, especially its current members, to two meetings. The first meeting will be held on the evening of Saturday, 3.9., in my kitchen. The second meeting will be on the evening of Saturday, 15.10., most likely also in my …

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Torservers Progress Report

Mo 16 Mai 2011 by Moritz

Hi everyone!

Zwiebelfreunde e.V. has finally received the necessary paperwork from the tax authorities and can now open a bank account etc. Juris is preparing a membership application form, so you should soon all be able to join. We’re still working on The Infrastructure (TM) to replace the …

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New ~616 Mbit/s Exits at NForce NL

Do 07 April 2011 by Moritz

I am very exited to announce the new exits hosted at NForce Entertainment in the Netherlands [1]. We have proper WHOIS reassignment and their full support, so I am experimenting with an exit policy that allows all ports to exit to hopefully attract more traffic.

NForce has decided to support …

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New 200TB exit node hosted with Axigy (USA): manning and saeeed

Mo 04 April 2011 by Moritz

I am excited to announce that I have found an ISP who showed interest and understanding in what we are doing. http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1035976

—— snip —— Great, I like what you’re doing to help those countries with respective governments. In response to Abuse, we are …

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Torservers Progress Report February/March

Sa 12 März 2011 by Moritz


It’s been a while since the last update. Sorry, but I like being busy on actually doing stuff instead of writing reports. ;-) It would be nice to have someone go through our mailing list archive and Twitter feed, pick …

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Torservers.net receives $10,000 grant from Access Now

Mo 07 März 2011 by Moritz

Dresden, March 8th 2011

Onions Against Dictators - Torservers.net supports democracy movements by providing uncensorable gateway to free Internet; receives $10,000 grant from Access Now

Uncensored access to the Internet can overthrow dictators and aid the creation of free societies. This has been shown by recent events in North …

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Progress report Feb 1-5

Sa 05 Februar 2011 by Moritz

Anyone interested in doing an English workshop on Internet censorship/online activism with me on ENA? http://www.ena2011.eu/

Feb 1st: - Flatters for torservers passed 1000! https://flattr.com/thing/5649/ - Flattr Revenue January: €128,57

Feb 2nd: - We have our own ARIN WHOIS entries now for zeller and …

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New Tor relays online - zeller and raskin (thanks Mike from DefaultRoute!)

Mo 31 Januar 2011 by Moritz

zeller.torservers.net and raskin.torservers.net just went live. These two relays are donations by the founder of defaultroute.net, Mike Sawicki, currently set at 20 Mbps each. He will SWIP the IP range, after that we will gradually open the exit policy.

Thank you Mike Sawicki - http://hax …

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So 30 Januar 2011 by Moritz

It is named “wau”, after Wau …

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Merry Christmas / Traffic Stats December 2010 / 27c3

Fr 24 Dezember 2010 by Moritz

Merry christmas to you all :-) Let 2011 be a successful year in the never-ending fight for Human rights.

US Traffic for December: 92.7 TB in / 91.7 TB out Average 286.3 Mbps , Max 404.4 Mbps http://www.torservers.net/status/101224-sl.png

A special thanks to Richard …

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Torservers Update

Di 02 November 2010 by Moritz

It’s been very quiet on this list for a while now, and the website doesn’t show much progress either, so let me give you a “behind the scenes”.

  1. Abuse After convincing Softlayer to add a comment to our WHOIS range and limiting the ports, all complaints were directed …
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All four nodes on top of all.de torstatus :-)

Do 24 Juni 2010 by Moritz

Datacenter stats: http://www.torservers.net/status/100624-sl.png

Tell your friends ;)

Haven’t heard back from neither BayTSP about my DMCA status, nor from Softlayer/100TB about SWIP. The 100TB admin told me he emailed their network engineers to check whether it is possible - although they told me about …

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Another day, another dollar

Fr 18 Juni 2010 by Moritz

We’re Top 1 and Top 2 now :-) http://www.torservers.net/torstatus18062010.png

Average: 24 MB/s”

Please show this to your friends :-) We need more donations to make this work. Don’t let this be a fun experiment, let’s make it an institution.

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We have a new server in Australia!

Fr 18 Juni 2010 by Moritz

I’ve been contacted by networkpresence.com.au, a nice ISP in Australia. They have donated a small server for running another Tor exit node with 1MB/s of traffic.


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First nodes are online :-)

Mo 14 Juni 2010 by Moritz

Thanks to YOU, the first nodes are online! As I’m still testing (never had the goal of pumping 39MB/s before), the configuration is provisional and I don’t want to announce them widely yet, but of course you should know about the progress.

anonymizer2.torservers.net (no web …

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You can now Flattr torservers.net

Mo 31 Mai 2010 by Moritz

Update: 32MB/s, new Torstatus screenshot

Mi 19 Mai 2010 by Moritz

Tor Exit Node Sponsorship - looking for partners

Di 11 Mai 2010 by Moritz

At the moment, 25% of all traffic exits through Blutmagie (thanks Olaf!). I guess we all agree that this situation is far from optimal.

Judging from the number of requests in the last months where people were looking for friendly ISPs, help with setting up, running and managing Tor nodes …

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