It’s Probably a Bad Idea to Run a Tor Exit Node in Your Home, in Russia

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Russian authorities have arrested a mathematics teacher from Moscow on accusations of organizing riots and calling for terrorist activities or justifying the use of terrorism via the Internet.

The suspect, Dmitry Bogatov is a 25-year-old mathematics lecturer at Moscow’s Finance and Law University, and he was known for running a Tor exit node from his home.

Someone used Bogatov’s Tor node to incide protests

The suspect’s arrest comes after the April 2 anti-government protests in Moscow. Authorities seem to believe that Bogatov is an online user that went by the name of “Airat Bashirov,” who posted several inflamatory messages on the website.

These messages, posted on March 29, before the protests, urged participants to come to the Red Square protests armed with “bottles, fabric, gasoline, turpentine, foam plastic.”

According to a HackerNews post, Bogatov’s friends believe Bashirov used Tor to post those messages online, and Bogatov’s Tor server was the exit node of that particular message, leaving Bogatov’s home IP address behind.

Authorities arrested Bogatov on April 6 but released him a day later, on the condition he does not travel outside Moscow. Two days later, the same judge turned on his decision and ordered Bogatov back into arrest for 72 hours, a decision he ammended on Monday, April 10, when he ordered the suspect’s arrest for two more months.

Bogatov is now in a pre-trial detention center, where he’ll remain until June 8, as authorities are investigating seized equipment.

Bogatov wasn’t even home at the time of the incidents

According to Russian news media [1, 2, 3], Bogatov’s lawyer has already contested the charges. The lawyer submitted video recordings of Bogatov at a local gym and a grocery store, at the time the incediary messages were posted online.

Furthermore, the “Airat Bashirov” user continued to post on the even while Bogatov was in police custody.

It also didn’t help that before his arrest, Bogatov publicly described himself as an anarchist on his homepage. Currently, Bogatov’s Tor node is down.