[tor-talk] Pissed off about Blacklists, and what to do?

grarpamp grarpamp at gmail.com
Sat Mar 8 10:22:14 UTC 2014

Regarding 'Tor users are worse than Internet users' and what to do
as a Project/Users about blocking...

As an example, here are 105,000 hits from people who had to (according
to what appears to be Craigslist's current unwritten policy) do two
generally non-anonymous things:

- post from Clearnet
- authenticate and use their phone number

https://google.com/search?q=site:craigslist.org+inurl:/rnr/+"email to

Fast networks and open wireless abound worldwide, so Clearnet is
going to be even more attractive to these and other maldoers if
they can use it. Note the estimate above just covers one particular
site and one class of possible troublemaker, the publicly incendiary
ones... the ones people complain to help desks about. Not the few
serious personal crimes they call the police about. Expand even
this boring abuse concept of inflammatory words, ideas and trolling
across more services and you have a large authenticated clearnet
'abuse' impact alone. So let's just drop the 'Tor is worse than the
Internet' argument shall we, especially in regard to any sort of
real load/annoyance to abuse/help/policy desks that would cause
them to block Tor... Tor is a outlier, particular in regard to
volume, the argument simply doesn't hold water.

Theory: Tor is being blocked mostly due to negative news media
perception, and kneejerk catchall solutions taking the cheap and
dumb route to systems and policy... not due to balanced acceptable
facts and specific measures therein... and you have to combat those
errors appropriately with facts and things of your own.

Just as with all the current specifically budgeted or time allocated
subefforts of the Tor Project, the Project needs to develop an
effort to combating this ridiculous blocking under the outreach
umbrella. Yes, pressure by individual users, and even groups of
users (any group examples?) has some impact, but there needs to be
a parent effort, a coordination, with hints/templates, targets and
milestones, and so on... both set *and advertised* by the project
or some lateral entity for users to *literally see and participate
in* and rally their own efforts under. Otherwise it's just a few
brave random shots in the dark that probably won't amount to much
against big blocking targets. Ask and dispel in Project talks 'Why
are you blocking shared Tor instead of single user accounts or
blocking the larger internet problem source?', go on site visits,
dedicate resources, make formal calls for research on 'Tor vs.
Clearnet [1]', target specific classes of social, shopping, forum
sites for quarterly action by users. Just as with guiding exit
relays, develop a self-serve framework for users who experience
blocking problems to follow. Make it easier for user to engage the
site comms barrier. Etc...

[1] Poking around your contacts in Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Outlook,
etc... will probably yield the spectrum of Tor users as being roughly
the same as the users of Clearnet, be they: good users, annoying
assholes like the above, or criminals. But the volume from Tor will
be nothing in comparison. Next, validate these informal guesses and
queries by turning them into formal papers where they can be of

The solution for account based abuse is to cancel the account. Not
restrict everyone else for it.

And related... the ridiculous assumptions being made based on the
IP/country you appear to be coming from have to be fought against
and thrown out of these service's consciousness too.

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