Recently, an exploit in TOR helped the FBI take down the largest known child porn site that resulted in at least 1,500 arrests. Mozilla, the company who the majority of TOR’s code is based on, requested that the FBI release the exploit that allowed them to install tracking software on the computers that were used by the offenders. Mozilla had good cause – they wanted to patch the exploit that leaves TOR users vulnerable to spying eyes, which is the majority of the use for TOR.
Washington US District Judge Robert Bryan accepted the request, but since the exploit was used in taking down child porn, the Justice Department quickly convinced the judge that it was a matter of national security and the decision was quickly reversed.
A government lawyer wrote a response to the filing that makes an attempt at explaining their reasoning.
“The FBI has derivatively classified portions of the tool, the exploits used in connection with the tool, and some of the operational aspects of the tool in accordance with the FBI’s National Security Information Classification Guide.”
Motherboard notes that the FBI originally wanted to classify their reasons for not releasing the exploit instead of classifying the exploit