[tor-talk] Tor Exit Operator convicted in Austrian lower court

Joe Btfsplk joebtfsplk at gmx.com
Fri Jul 4 20:56:33 UTC 2014

On 7/3/2014 2:23 PM, C B wrote:
> "I agree that collecting stories about "why/how I use Tor" is useful, but I disagree that any special education or warning should be needed before setting up an exit node. Setting up an exit node is simply providing another IP that can be used for traffic and nothing else."
Holy... "they may not have a clue what danger lies ahead," Batman.
We're going to have to agree to disagree, that at least some basic info 
on potential dangers be supplied, if only links.
We've all seen several people conversing on tor-talk now, that were run 
through the ringer, for running Tor relays.

I don't think any of them thought they'd be fighting for their freedom; 
spending a huge part of savings to defend themselves or going through 
extended, true mental anguish of wondering if they'd lose their freedom 
& family.

Maybe Tor Project itself isn't the one that should be doing the 
educating in this case - dunno.
Though I don't like the thought of people going through hell on Earth, 
because they didn't understand the dangers, I also understand it's not 
in Tor Project's best interest to scare off relay operators.

One issue is, every Tor user is encouraged to run a relay.  Kind of like 
the US Army commercials promoting adventure & visiting foreign lands, 
instead of bullets & grenades coming at you.

I'm not sure if the 1st FAQ at the link 
portrays an accurate picture of potential dangers:

       >"Has anyone ever been sued or prosecuted for running Tor?"

*>"No*, we aren't aware of anyone being sued or prosecuted in the United 
States just for running a Tor relay. Further, we believe that running a 
Tor relay --- including an exit relay that allows people to anonymously 
send and >receive traffic --- is legal under U.S. law."

That may need a bit of revision. :D  Maybe no one has been prosecuted in 
the US (I don't know), but people in other countries sure have.
And being investigated or going through court hearings & trials - maybe 
for months or yrs, can destroy a person.
It can be devastating, even if you're never formally charged.

Many people who've never gone through something like that can't fully 
understand the incredible stress of being investigated & threatened.

The concept of, "No one's been *prosecuted* in the US, therefore running 
Tor relays has no potentially serious legal ramifications," is glossing 
over the dangers.

Running a relay may not be *the* most dangerous activity, but it sure 
carries significant risk.  Many that get tor-talk regularly have read that.
But some potential relay operators might not read tor-talk every day for 
months, to read about someone that got in serious legal trouble, before 
they decide to / not to run a relay.

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