While the FBI were investigating the distribution of Child Porn via the Tor network which was hosted on Freedom Hosting servers , these servers had been operated by, Eric Eoin Marques, who had rented the servers from an unnamed commercial hosting provider in France, and paid for them from a bank account in Las Vegas. Freedom Hosting was a provider of turnkey “Tor hidden service” sites — special sites, with addresses ending in .onion, that hide their geographic location behind layers of routing, and can be reached only over the Tor anonymity network. Currently Eoin Marques is awaiting a extradition hearing to the US from Ireland . On August 5 malicious software (malware) in the form of a Java Script (JS) attack code was discovered embedded in multiple websites hosted by the anonymous hosting company Freedom Hosting (FH).The malicious script was specifically designed to attack and exploit vulnerabilities within the Firefox 17 web browser, included within older versions of the Tor Browser Bundle (TBB), which allows for anonymous Internet access.
Freedom hosting also was a host for TorMail which was a Service that allowed anyone to send and receive email anonymously through the Tor network.A message appeared on the Tor Mail main page in early August 2013, saying “Down for Maintenance Sorry, This server is currently offline for maintenance. Please try again in a few hours.” As of August 2013, the service is unavailable. TorMail was a popular service that was used by many on Silk Road and other sites. Many people didn’t use PGP encryption and assumed that the TorMail service was safe and secure. When TorMail went down I remember the shock and unease that went through the online vendors and buyers as to what service they could safely use. Many people at the time went to safe-mail and the importance of communicating with PGP encryption became more evident. Nobody really knew how much infomation the FBI could access from the servers until now . According to a Criminal Complaint which states, between July 22, 2013 and August 2, 2013, in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation, the FBI obtained a copy of a computer server located in France via a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty request to France, which contained data and information from the Tormail email server, including the content of Tormail e-mail accounts. I guess we will have to wait and see what happens from here as the FBI will now be able to access the email service that only 12 months ago people assumed was safe and secure.