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[tor-talk] A thought experiment on direct action



I have been wondering whether there has ever been a direct action campaign to try to install many, many Tor exit nodes?

Inspired by PirateBox, I am thinking of something like a pre-configured Tor exit node in a small device (plug computer, TL-WR710N, HDMI or USB stick computer, etc). Which could then be secretly (without permission) installed in various places (public, semi-public, private) and would function as an exit node, using the location's internet connection. Examples might be a hotel, a cafe, an office, a railway station, a shop, etc.

If they became popular they might even provide enough deniability that sympathetic people might install them on their own connections (but deny all knowledge if trouble comes).

Of course, many would be quickly found and removed. Others might find themselves behind restrictive firewalls. But with some stealth capabilities some might manage to be useful for quite a long time. There are plenty of power points hidden under unused desks, in stairwells, behind cabinets. A label saying "State Environment Authority Air Quality Monitoring - Do Not Remove" might be effective in many offices. Higher tech stealth could include randomly changing MAC address to avoid blocking. And many medium sized hotels and offices have IT staff who are over-worked and under-paid.

All this would be very abusive of other people's paid-for Internet connections, and very anti-social! But could it be effective as a "civil disobedience" campaign to get authorities to permit (and even protect) the rights of people to operate exit nodes so we wouldn't have to steal other people's connections but could openly operate them without harassment? Or would it just not work? Or cause a backlash?

I am interested in people's views on how to create a successful campaign to make Tor exit nodes acceptable and common.

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