[tor-relays] Fwd: Computer requirements for a modest (15-20Mbs) relay?

Zack Weinberg zackw at cmu.edu
Mon Jul 29 17:23:13 UTC 2013

On Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 12:35 PM, Andy Isaacson <adi at hexapodia.org> wrote:
> Yes, there are cases of law enforcement seizing all computer gear from a
> house with a exit node -- not just the exit node computer.  Most
> recently in Austria in a child porn investigation.

We did some operational planning for this risk, in conjunction with
the university legal and IT departments, when we set up the CMU Tor

The machine is in a cube farm filled with other equipment that people
need for their work; this is because we want to have immediate
physical access to it in an emergency, and anywhere else we could put
it would interfere with that.  However, it has its own dedicated IP
address, it runs absolutely no other services, it is clearly labeled
both in DNS and on the physical box, and there's nothing else on the
table it sits on.  The hope is that this will be sufficient to
persuade law enforcement to seize *only* that machine, if it comes to

Of course, it helps as much or more to have the equipment under the
aegis of an organization with lawyers already briefed and on tap, and
that has trained all the staff to call legal *before doing anything
else* when the police show up.

Also, the greater operational threat is having the plug pulled by
one's connectivity provider.  I personally would not risk having an
exit node in my house for that reason alone.


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