Hidden Services Hosting and DMCA

Moritz Bartl tor at wiredwings.com
Sat Jun 12 10:49:44 UTC 2010


We are currently having a discussion over at torservers.net on whether
it is wise to offer hidden service hosting.
Most people don't have a server, they use free email or pay for cheap
webhosting. The barrier to create hidden services is quite high. I feel
that the Tor network could definitely use an ISP who offers hidden
services hosting. My idea was to use a separate, disk encrypted virtual
machine for hosting hidden services, and only open it towards the Tor
network. Regular, non-anonymous donators should then be able to open
their files towards the Internet, too.

>> If you use that server for other things beside Tor you will have a
>> hard time to explain and argue when abuse requests arrive - in fact
>> you can't.
>> It is quite easy to differentiate between a client (tor-exit) or a
>> server (hosted content) also for authorities.

Thank you. You're right, this has to be investigated further. I don't
think that hosting content - on a logically different machine -
influences the forwarding argument for the Tor nodes.
Also, I don't see how it is "quite easy" for authorities to
differentiate between middle node traffic and hidden services - that's
what they are there for after all.

>> You will not be able to use the response template if you get abuse
>> requests because it does apply for Tor only.

Then it will still apply for the IP addresses of the nodes.

>> [...] "We further recommend that you not keep any potentially illegal
>> files on the same machine you use for Tor, nor use that machine for
>> any illegal purpose. Although no Tor relay in the US has ever been
>> seized, nor any relay operator sued, the future possibility cannot
>> be ruled out.
>> If that happens, you will want your machine to be clean." [...]

The Tor machine will be clean. If I rent a virtual machine, I also don't
know what happens on other VMs, and this is how I interpret this.

I'm not even so sure if DMCA applies for me, a German hoster offering
services, even when using US servers. Internet law isn't easy.

Moritz Bartl
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