Torn about Tor

Steve smorrey at gmail.com
Tue Sep 13 15:06:29 MDT 2005


Gabriel Gunderson wrote:

>On Tue, 2005-09-13 at 14:12 -0500, Michael Halcrow wrote:
>  
>
>>Just be careful about inadvertently running as an end-node, or
>>requests for child porn may start coming from your net connection.
>>    
>>
>
>Ouch.  Thanks for the "heads up".  I'm looking at the man page now and
>I'm surprised by the number of options.  It will take a while before I
>get comfortable with it and start using it.
>
>Gabe
>
>
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>
>  
>
I've been running a tor end-node for over a month now and have had no 
issues with kiddie porn or anything of the like coming from my end.
Occasionally someone will do something stupid and get my IP banned from 
WikiPedia, but other than that it's been fine.
I always use it as my proxy when I want to surf without the bother of 
Comcast recording my every move.  Let them think all I ever do is go to 
slashdot and a couple pr0n sites ;)  However the best reason for it's 
use is to facilitate access to the global internet, in free-speech 
challenged countries like china.  For instance the great firewall of 
China, blocks access to my blog at blogspot which is about video game 
development.  I found this out because people in China emailed me to 
tell me the blog was down.  So I keep an Open Tor end node running at 
all times, so that folks can use the internet without fear of thier 
government.

I have a gut feeling in 10 to 20 years free speech among other things is 
going to be very limited here in the good ole' USA, and Tor or something 
like it, is going to be the only way for us to access "dissident" 
sites.  Welcome to Amerika! ;)  Ok tin foil hat off.

But seriously, if you really want to use it to protect anonymity, run it 
in conjunction with Privoxy, since Tor does not block anything like 
cookies, browser header information and fun stuff like that, Privoxy 
handles the rest of it.  Thats one of the two things that they are 
talking about when saying don't rely on this for strong anonymity.  The 
other thing would be the fact that if someone had a sizable percentage 
of nodes, they could still technically find information about you and 
your surfing habits, since they would have access to any logs they may 
have installed.  But the nice thing about Tor is if each person who is 
able to, runs a node then privacy gets stronger and stronger, because 
there are more nodes to choose from.

Anyways I highly recommend running a node, it helps everyone who is 
helping you.



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