Mike Perry mikeperry at
Wed Jan 12 05:26:43 UTC 2011

Thus spake Dirk (noisyb at

> >> ok... since this mailing list is not able to give at least some tips
> >> for running a tor exit node except:
> > 
> > What do you want to know exactly? In many countries, running an
> > anonymizing service is definitely not illegal. 
> This stuff:
> reads all like "How not to get caught".

The tips in the blog post are not "how not to get caught". In fact,
every one of them is about telling people as early in the process what
is going on, and who to contact if there are issues. This is done
because at scale (gigabit speeds), abuse complaints happen way more
frequently. With the default exit policy, you will get about 50
automated DMCA complaints per day at gigabit speeds. With the
bittorrent-resistant reduced exit policy from that post, you get about
5 per week. So it is entirely about reducing your work load for
managing your exit, and keeping the noise away from your ISP.

As previous threads indicate, law enforcement can and does still
contact you. The goal again is making this easy, so no one needs to
kick in any doors.

Some of us are also compiling abuse response templates. The goal for
abuse responses is to inform people about Tor, and to suggest
solutions for their security problems that involve improving their
computer security for the Internet at large (open wifi, open proxies,
botnets), rather than seeking vengeance and chasing ghosts. The
difference between these two approaches to abuse is the difference
between decentralized fault-tolerant Internet freedom, and fragile,
corruptible totalitarian control.

> But I wan't a legally binding statement from a lawyer or an official (BSI) that running TOR exit nodes in germany is legal.

I'm not a lawyer, but our largest exit (blutmagie) has run in germany
for the past 4 years or so.

> And then I wan't to sink that little money I have into running as many of such servers as I can.

We have discovered that the most effective way to run tor servers is
in bulk, because smaller providers are not willing to put up with
occasional abuse complaints that do get through to them, because doing
so costs them human resources and dollars. Bandwidth also is
considerably cheaper in bulk than it is at residential or even shared
hosting/VPS prices.

Consider donating to, or setting up your
own similar project and collecting donations to leverage the economies
of scale inherent in bandwidth prices. Obviously, the more people
doing this the better (for distributed trust).

See also the thread at: for
some insight into the arcane technical details involved in running
high capacity tor relays.

Mike Perry
Mad Computer Scientist evil labs
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