[tor-relays] Legal situation of tor in Europe

s7r s7r at sky-ip.org
Mon Mar 9 14:13:39 UTC 2015

Hash: SHA256

On 3/9/2015 1:17 PM, Sebastian Urbach wrote:
> On March 9, 2015 7:17:20 AM oneofthem at riseup.net wrote:
> Hi John,
>> Can someone point me to an overview of the different legal
>> situations for running tor relays in European countries? I'm
>> especially interested how the situation differs per country.
> I don't think that we have something like that anywhere, sorry.
> The only offered list is this one, afaik:
> https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/doc/GoodBadISPs
> From what i hear a few countries are starting to crack down on Tor
> or Encryption more generally and some are planning to do so in the
> near future. Hard to keep up with the changing laws.
What is the source for this?

In the European Union Tor running a Tor exit relay  _is legal_, and
the rights for privacy and anonymity are guaranteed by European Court.
I can't find the source now to give exact data, but about one year ago
declared the laws from multiple EU member countries enforcing to
retain user navigation data or metadata of communications (who calls
who and when, internet browsing history) as incompatible with the
universal human rights which guarantee the right to privacy and
private life.

Majority of Tor exit power in is Europe. We have no reports of relay
operators being prosecuted or punished by any means for running Tor
exit relays.

Which countries started to "crack down on Tor" and which ones are
planning to do so in the near future?

This is a speculation and it's not backed up by anything real. Can you
define "crack down on Tor"? People and organizations are researching
and trying to find a flaw in Tor since Tor was born - there is a good
side here, being widely studied and getting a lot of attention makes
it the best anonymity network available. All the bugs and flaws
discovered until now were fixed, and this only made Tor stronger, so I
want to thank this way for everyone who is doing research and tries to
find flaws in Tor, assuming they do this in a transparent and fair way
and share the results with everyone.

I only know of one case, outside the European Union, in Russia to be
exact, where they've put a bounty of $100.000 or $150.000 9can't
remember the exact amount) for whoever manages to crack Tor. This is
under no circumstances reason to worry. Still there are many exit
relays in Russia, so not even there Tor is illegal.

P.S. Not everything is illegal, except what is authorized and
regulated by law. It's the other way around, anything is legal and
permitted unless clearly prohibited by law. At least theoretically
speaking :-)
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