A security expert turned net privacy service Tor into a listening post, and intercepted thousands of private emails, Wired reports. Human rights groups and foreign embassies alike depend on Tor to send what were thought to be untraceable messages. Dan Egerstad hosted his own Tor node, letting him read all correspondence that passed through.
Tor uses donated servers to bounce and encrypt traffic worldwide, but the last node before delivery decrypts the information. Egerstad, by hosting such a node, was able to read emails from the Iranian embassy, Hong Kong politicians, and the office of the Dalai Lama—and an Australian embassy worker discussing secret military plans. "It kind of shocked me," says Egerstad.