[tor-relays] Question regarding ethical torrent blocking

Nagaev Boris bnagaev at gmail.com
Sun Jul 15 17:36:43 UTC 2018

On Sun, Jul 15, 2018 at 12:23 PM, Conrad Rockenhaus
<conrad at rockenhaus.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> I was going to ask someone off-list, but the amount of abuse and DCMA
> complaints I have received now have been so much that I have decided that
> the best action to take is to set an exit policy. I run a couple of exit
> nodes and I have people apparently using them to torrent, which we ask
> people politely not to do through Tor....but the policy gets ignored I
> guess. Anyway, I'm receiving a sufficient amount of complaints to where I'm
> worried that my service may be terminated unless I take action, which would
> affect the greater good.
> So the question is - I run the default exit policy. I don't like being the
> arbiter of what goes through and what doesn't. Is it okay, ethically, from a
> free speech standpoint, to reach this point to where we say "we need to
> block this content from transversing my node" in response to legal
> complaints from others? Are others implementing these blocks and do you feel
> that such a block doesn't violate any ethical norm to provide uncensored
> access to the Internet?
> I'm just curious on what thoughts on this are. I know how to technically
> perform the block, I guess I feel like we're one of the last bastions
> against censorship on the Internet and people do torrent legitimate stuff. I
> don't consider pirating Fallout 4, The Elder Scrolls V, Sweetbitter, and The
> Evil Within 2 to be protected speech FYI... my worry is just blocking the
> legitimate uses of bittorrent.
> Thanks,
> Conrad Rockenhaus
> _______________________________________________
> tor-relays mailing list
> tor-relays at lists.torproject.org
> https://lists.torproject.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/tor-relays

I think that modern copyright lays violate non aggression principle,
which includes free speech.

Rationale. Skip this paragraph if you already agree with the above
statement. When a person buys a hard drive they become an owner of it.
Of all its parts, including parts happen to be Fallout 4, The Elder
Scrolls V, Sweetbitter, and The Evil Within 2. Another person
establishes a private communication channel between their hard drive
and the first person's hard drive. The line between them is private,
hard drives are private property of these two people => any
intervention of force into this voluntarily interaction is an

If one agrees that copyright laws are incompatible with free speech
and are immoral, then he has to admit that all solutions including Tor
are technical, not fundamental. Thus the "quality" of a solution is
based not on morality but on technical properties (e.g. how much data
is transmitted, how many people can use it, etc). Free speech
considerations are not a measure at this point. If to continue
providing the service the node has to drop some connections is the
lesser evil to be accepted. You can compare it with treating an
incurable disease: you can not fix the problem in a right way but you
can reduce the suffering and increase life time of the patient.

Best regards,
Boris Nagaev

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