[tor-talk] tor-blocking sites

Mike Perry mikeperry at torproject.org
Thu Feb 9 03:44:57 UTC 2012

Thus spake Moritz Bartl (moritz at torservers.net):

> On 08.02.2012 19:16, Mike Perry wrote:
> > One of my goals is to provide an alternative to captchas and IP bans in
> > the form of computational proof of work:
> > https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/4666
> I don't see why all Torbutton installations should constantly waste CPU
> cycles unless this is deployed on a lot of websites. And I mean A LOT.
> And that just won't happen.

If you read the ticket, the design sketch does not require constant CPU
burning. You would only use the CPU until you built up a sufficient pile
of tokens, and you would only do that intermittently.

> I believe it's more important to make it easy for people to detect Tor
> and deal with it differently in the first place. The second step then is
> to provide useful alternatives to blocking.
> Currently, what happens is that sites just ban/blacklist the IPs, often
> automatically and "forever". When people report abuse to us, I have a
> hard time helping them. All I can do is point them to the DNSBL and the
> Bulk List Exporter, and ask kindly to not block these IPs for too long,
> but most likely they will load it into their iptables and that's that.
> My vision would be a Wordpress plugin that lets me choose to deal with
> Tor users differently, say, automatically require moderation on comments.

Maybe. But for sites like Google, Yelp, scroogle, it is often just
anonymous read-only access that causes problems.
> I would like to see a list of sites that block Tor. We can then try to
> contact them individually to discuss potential alternative strategies.

Historically, Google and Yelp have been hard to work with over this
point. I think the core problem for them is that the minority of
scrapers consist of the majority of Tor requests, at least until the
captchas/bans kick in and the scrapers go away until they expire..

Mike Perry
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