[tor-project] Are there countries where using Tor is illegal?

Cristian Consonni cristian at balist.es
Mon Jul 10 20:26:51 UTC 2017


(Sorry if this question has already been asked in the past, feel free to
point me to the relevant resources.)

I know that the legal FAQs by the EFF state that:
«we believe that running a Tor relay — including an exit relay that
allows people to anonymously send and receive traffic — is legal under
U.S. law.»[1]

I also know there is a list of countries for which there is legislation
that exclude communication service providers from liability. They are
indicated in the Legal of the Tor Exit Guidelines page[2], they are USA,
Germany, Netherlands, Austria, France, and Sweden.

>From some articles in the press[3a][3b] it may be illegal - depending on
how you interpret the wording[*] - to use Tor (and other technologies
such as VPNs or proxies) in the UAE, with fines ranging in the millions
of dirhams (hundreds of thousand of dollars).

A couple of weeks ago it was discussed - on this list as well - that a
law was introduced to the state parliament to ban Tor[4a][4b]. This
follows a case of some months ago of a Russian Tor exit node operator
being arrested for inciting mass riots and terrorism[4c][4d]. The idea
of blocking VPNs or Tor seems to have already been considered in the

This infographic about pluggable transports[5] suggests access to the
Tor network is censored or limited in China, Uzbekistan, Iran, and
Kazakhstan. Tor being censored orblocked may be different from it being

What about other countries? Is there a place where I can find more about
this topic?


[1]: https://www.torproject.org/eff/tor-legal-faq.html.en
[2]: https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/doc/TorExitGuidelines

[*]: «Whoever uses a fraudulent computer network protocol address (IP
address) by using a false address or a third-party address by any other
means for the purpose of committing a crime or preventing its discovery»
[4a]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2017-June/043293.html
[4b]: https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/22055
[4c]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2017-April/043109.html
[4d]: https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/24/dmitry-bogatov-tor-russia/
[5]: https://www.torproject.org/images/PT/2016-07-how-to-use-PT.png

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