Restricted Exit Policy Port Suggestions?

Mike Perry mikeperry at
Wed Aug 11 15:52:33 UTC 2010

Thus spake andrew at (andrew at

> On Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 03:05:24AM -0700, mikeperry at wrote 1.8K bytes in 55 lines about:
> : It's become clear that it is almost impossible to run an exit node
> : with the default exit policy in the USA, due to bittorrent DMCA abuse
> : spambots. I believe this means that we should try to come up with one
> : or more standard, reduced exit policy sets that allow use of the
> : majority of popular internet services without attracting bittorrent
> : users and associated spam.
> Giving in to the automated accusations of DMCA violations is a sad
> statement on the contemporary Internet.  It seems the chilling effects
> of the DMCA are so palpable, no one wants to fight back any more, not
> users and not ISPs. See for more analysis
> and options on how to respond. Are there no ISPs/datacenters left in the
> USA willing to defend the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the
> user's legal protections under patent/trademark/copyright laws?

Yeah, unfortunately what this means in practice is "voting with your
feet" and leaving ISPs that simply do not want to devote the staff and
the stress to dealing with this spam for you, regardless of the law.

The problem is this drastically changes the effective market for
bandwidth for Tor. Bandwidth costs are plummeting, and exit node
operators (and thus the Tor network as a whole) are faced with a
choice: you can pay less than $1/Mbit and go with an ISP that is less
than ideal, but will still allow you to exit to most Internet
services, or you put your foot down and end up moving your node every
few months until you finally end up paying $20/Mbit with the RBN. 

Or, you shop around for non-US bandwidth.

Sometimes, you just need to pick your battles. If you believe the DMCA
is bullshit and want a full exit policy, I think the practical answer
is "Go outside the US for bandwidth". Or, be prepared to provider-hop
for a good, long time.

> : 1. Low Abuse (above list, possibly minus 465, 587 and 563)
> : 2. Medium Abuse (above list, plus IRC)
> : 3. High Abuse (default exit policy)
> I wouldn't call them varying levels of abuse, as the name alone implies
> exiting Tor traffic generates abuse.  It doesn't.  Many exit nodes run
> without incident for years.  We could probably better study/poll exit
> node operators and ask how many abuse complaints or dmca notices they
> receive over time to get more data on this topic.  And of course,
> everyone forgets their Tor exit relay will transmit TB of normal traffic
> without incident.

Yeah, perhaps that's not what we should call the options in the UI,
but that is really what it boils down to. You can run an exit node for
much longer without a complaint if you don't allow any form of IRC,

Mike Perry
Mad Computer Scientist evil labs
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