Is it possible that using secure email services can be construed as an indicator of being a terrorist? Although it\u2019s a ridiculous notion that using secure email implies criminal activities, a judge cited that reason to partially justify arrests in Spain.In December, as part of \u201can anti-terrorist initiative\u201d Operation Pandora, over 400 cops raided 14 houses and social centers in Spain. They seized computers, books, and leaflets and arrested 11 people. Four were released under surveillance, but seven were \u201caccused of undefined terrorism\u201d and held in a Madrid prison. This led to \u201ctens of thousands\u201d participating in protests. As terrorism is alleged \u201cwithout specifying concrete criminal acts,\u201d the attorney for those seven \u201canarchists\u201d denounced the lack of transparency.The case grabbed my attention thanks to this\u00a0EFF tweet. It is unacceptable for privacy and security measures to get people flagged as potential terrorists.The EFF points toward a quote from a Riseup blog post titled \u201cSecurity is not a crime.\u201d Reasons given by the judge to hold seven people in jail \u201cinclude the possession of certain books, \u2018the production of publications and forms of communication\u2019, and the fact that the defendants \u2018used emails with extreme security measures, such as the RISE UP server\u2019.\u201cWe reject this Kafka-esque criminalization of social movements, and the ludicrous and extremely alarming implication that protecting one\u2019s internet privacy is tantamount to terrorism,\u201d wrote Riseup.In case you don\u2019t know, Riseup provides secure email services and online communication tools popular among activists and people opposed to "full pipe monitoring" in the U.S. \u201cRiseup like any other email provider, has an obligation to protect the privacy of its users,\u201d the blog post states.Many of the \u201cextreme security measures\u201d used by Riseup are common best practices for online security and are also used by providers such as hotmail, GMail or Facebook. However, unlike these providers, Riseup is not willing to allow illegal backdoors or sell our users\u2019 data to third parties.In the same way that visiting the Tor Project\u2019s (The Onion Router) website, viewing the TAILs (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) website or documentation, or even surfing to the Linux Journal can mean the NSA has \u201cfingerprinted\u201d your IP to track and watch you, it\u2019s an exceedingly dangerous precedent to cite the use of secure email as a potential indicator of involvement in terrorist activities.But using secure email is not the only reason the judge mentioned for holding the seven in a Spanish prison. Just as possession of the FBI-hated (pdf) Anarchist Cookbook (pdf) has been cited in terrorism cases, reading the book Against Democracy (Contra la democr\u00e0cia [pdf]) was also cited as partial justification for the arrests.As explained on Rabble:According to the prosecutor, the evidence against them includes finding numerous copies of a book called \u201cAgainst Democracy\u201d, written by the \u201cGrupos Anarquistas Coordinados\u201d (\u201cCoordinated Anarchist Groups\u201d, GAC), in the raided buildings. The GAC is an anarchist organization, active since 2012, which the Spanish state is trying to paint as a \u201cterrorist\u201d network.\u00a0325 provides more about Against Democracy, while anarchist news\u00a0reprinted a Spanish flyer that states:The coordination between the police force and the media during Operation Pandora was immediately apparent. Together, they created panic and justified the repressive operation in terms of \u201ccriminal groups\u201d, \u201cterrorists\u201d and \u201cviolent ones\u201d. These police raids happened one day after the enactment of the \u201cLey Mordaza\u201d, a very restrictive law that criminalizes disobedience and protest.There may be other reasons and possibly other evidence instead of unproven accusations, such as destroying ATMs with homemade bombs during 2012 and 2013, but Judge Javier G\u00f3mez Berm\u00fadez cited a book and the use of secure email as \u201cevidence\u201d to apply the anti-terrorism law. The judge, according to Directa, said he is not investigating the possible attacks, but is investigating the organization based on possible danger it might pose in the future. Put another way, \u201cnot judging what one has done but what you could do in the future.\u201dThis is not the first time Riseup services have been targeted by law enforcement; in 2012, the FBI seized a Riseup server in a facility it shared with May First\/People Link. The EFF got involved because the FBI\u2019s investigation led them to an anonymous remailer program called MixMaster, which \u201cshould have been the end of the story.\u201d Eventually, the seized server was returned.Regarding Riseup email services being cited in the Spanish terrorism case, as if protecting online privacy is a crime, Riseup wrote:The European Parliament\u2019s report on the US NSA surveillance program states that \u201cprivacy is not a luxury right, but the foundation stone of a free and democratic society.\u201d Recent revelations about the extent to which States violate everyone\u2019s right to privacy show that everything that can be spied upon will be spied upon. Furthermore, we know that criminalizing people for using privacy tools also has a chilling effect on everybody, and human-rights defenders, journalists, and activists, in particular. Giving up your basic right to privacy for fear of being flagged as a terrorist is unacceptable.More will surely come out about the case, but it\u2019s not looking good right now as it seems to ridiculously indicate that maintaining online security and privacy is a bad criminal-like thing.