[hackerspaces] Please help us promote online privacy

Koen Martens gmc at sonologic.nl
Sun May 29 11:21:36 CEST 2011

Hash: SHA1

On Sat, May 28, 2011 at 12:47:24AM +0200, Spike wrote:
> On Fri, May 27, 2011 at 10:51 PM, Micah Lee <micah at eff.org> wrote:
> > All relays count, including exit nodes, bridges and middle nodes. EFF has
> > created an instructional video on setting up a Tor relay and we're updating
> > our legal FAQ to provide a more detailed analysis about how U.S. law applies
> > to Tor. Check out the video here (and the Tor website has plenty of
> > documentation for other platforms as well):
> > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jmj4bILqiY
> >
> > Organizations and individuals that participate in our challenge will be
> > thanked on our social media accounts and promoted on our website. I'm
> > emailing you now because I'd like to give the privacy community a
> > head-start. It's my hope that when we roll out this campaign next week, the
> > initial participants will be the many organizations in the privacy community
> > who are working hard to defend consumer privacy -- giving EFF an opportunity
> > to publicly promote your great work.
> >
> > Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. And, please
> > do not promote this campaign publicly until we launch next week. But of
> > course feel free to forward this email to your internal hacker space lists.

First off, i was planning on installing a tor relay node at our hackerspace
for a while now, I guess this campaign might just be the incentive to finally
do it :)

> Install a tor exit node isn't without consequences: several IRC
> networks or sites like Wikipedia ban tor relays.

Also, don't underestimate the amount of legal trouble one can get in. I know
several people personally whose computers have been taken by the law enforcement
due to the suspicion of distributing child porn. And sure, you might be deemed 
innocent in the end, but meanwhile you face 3, 4 or 5 years of uncertainty,
intimidation, dealings with lawyers, interrogations and whatnot. Very demanding

So I don't want to dis the tor network, i think its great. I just want people
to really think about this aspect of the tor network that is never mentioned 
by the tor project pr. One of my friends installed a tor exit node years ago
after seeing a lecture by someone from the tor project who told people to run
exit nodes, and still suffers the uncertainty of an ongoing investigation by
the vice dept of the police.

> I strongly advise any space to be sure people are educated on those
> issues. As Micah said, "All relays count, including exit nodes,
> bridges and middle nodes.", the middle node could be an option.

I myself will never run anything else than a relay node. I simply cannot
afford the financial and emotional cost of being prosecuted for distributing
illicit content. If you do run an exit node, be prepared to get a good lawyer.
You might not need it, probably not, but the chance that you do need one is
not astronomically small either. Knowing that you are right and innocent is
all fine, until you're dragged into an interrogation room.

Btw, an FAQ on the legal issues around TOR won't do us Europeans (or any
other non-US ppl) any good :)


Koen (gmc)

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