The Case of the Plan R* Network of Resistant Communication: Implications to Digital Forensic Investigations
publication dateMay 2009 publication descriptionEmerging Advances in Digital Evidence, 3rd Year Digital Evidence Development Conference 2009, Teeside, UK
publication descriptionThe Plan R* network of resistant communication is the project of the Autistici-
Inventati collective, whose purpose is to create an anonymous and self-regulated
environment where political and social activism can be discussed without fear of
reprisals. Essentially, the free Plan R* network provides a number of services such as
mailboxes and remailers, web-space, instant messaging and mailing lists operating in
a distributed fashion through Virtual Private Network links, allowing for both user
data and communication to be widely dispersed and replicated across the entirety
of the network.
While the purpose behind the Plan R* network is benign in nature, its cost-free
nature makes it a potential distribution medium for a number of illicit material
and a potential staging ground for illicit activities. More importantly, the structure
and mode of operation of this resistant communication network presents signi?-
cant problems to digital forensic investigators, due to the dispersal of both data
communication and data storage across a vast number of computers.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the issues that can arise in a digital
forensic investigation involving this network and the implications of those issues to
the integrity and validity of the forensic evidence gathered.