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Re: [tor-talk] evidence that Tor isn't "amoral"?



Thanks for your detailed response Speak Freely and everyone that responded,
too.

That Wired article was quite helpful.

And I agree that the term "amoral" is a poor choice in making an argument.
It is not the correct word in this context.  I think my friend meant
immoral, but that is problematic as the meaning of immoral can be
subjective.

Here's what I ended up writing as a rebuttal to my friend's criticism:
=====
I do not believe that the majority of Tor traffic is "amoral" (by which I
assume you mean criminal activity like sexual exploitation?).  There has
been a lot of misinformation in the media reports of research projects.

Here's a good article from Wired:
No, Department of Justice, 80 Percent of Tor Traffic Is Not Child Porn
http://www.wired.com/2015/01/department-justice-80-percent-tor-traffic-child-porn/

More background on the Tor blog:
https://blog.torproject.org/blog/some-thoughts-hidden-services

I should say that this mostly discusses Hidden Services. Hidden Services
are a small amount of the total traffic on the Tor network.

There does not seem to be sound data on what types of traffic flow through
Exit node.  Collecting such data would violate the principles of operating
an Exit.  Some researchers have done this, but I think the data collected
is too limited to provide an accurate picture.
====

Thanks,
Drew
On Jul 10, 2015 3:24 PM, "Speak Freely" <when2plus2is5@riseup.net> wrote:

> 1) Several people misunderstood a study finding that 80% of onion
> service was child pornography and flipped it to being 80% Tor traffic.
> It was parroted by government officials, and then became 'truth' by
> virtue of people blindly following government fiat. From what I
> remember, onion service traffic represents about 1.5% of Tor traffic.
>
> Here is Wired explaining how the Justice Department failed so miserably.
>
> http://www.wired.com/2015/01/department-justice-80-percent-tor-traffic-child-porn/
>
> 2) What is 'amoral'?
> This is a legal and philosophical question. Is it amoral to the
> government? To religion? To liberals? To homophobes? Or to you/your
> friend/family/acquaintance/some dude on an irc chat?
>
> Yes, Tor is often used for what some would consider amoral. Talking
> negatively about your government can get you disappeared. Being
> homosexual in Uganda can get you killed. Being a political activist in
> your country could get you a bullet in your head, or in Brazil you could
> be... Nevermind.
>
> In countless countries around the world governments decide what can and
> cannot be done, said, or thought. Tor allows people to be who they
> are/want to be, without worrying about everyone and everything.
>
> Watching pornography is most definitely amoral in some countries, but
> not in others. Whose morality defines morality?
>
> It's also incredibly difficult to correlate Tor 'amorality' against
> clearnet 'amorality'. Amorality is in the eye of the accuser.
>
>
> My advice: don't listen to your online friend, he doesn't know what he's
> talking about. The only way to know exit-relay traffic stats is to pwn
> every exit relay and capture all data over a long period of time to
> analyze where everyone goes - which is not a realistic possibility. Or
> tell your friend to get off their high horse of moral superiority and
> realize that someone somewhere thinks what everyone else does is amoral,
> and they have the right to think what they do just like everyone else -
> just like I have the right to think they are total douche bags.
>
>
> Matt
> Speak Freely
>
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