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Re: [tor-talk] Use of TOR for illegal activities



On Tue, May 19, 2015 at 8:10 PM, Paul A. Crable <paul@crable.us> wrote:

> I have just finished Macdonald's "Future Crime", a recent book listing the
> ways in which we are all abused and insulted, and will be further abused
> and insulted, by unsavory persons and organizations through our
> technology, particularly through the Internet.  It makes sobering reading.
>
> TOR is mentioned frequently, but the references are primary to its use by
> criminals to carry out illegal activity, such as the Silk Road incident.
>
>
*Tor


> This ties in somewhat to a recent posting on this list claiming that 2/3's
> of the activity on TOR is involved in pornography.
>

That claim was and is hearsay.


> I suppose I sound like a disapproving fussbudget, but I have trouble
> understanding how and why we allow TOR to be used this way.  I'm all for
> free speech, but it's still illegal to falsely yell "Fire!" in a crowded
> theater.
>
> Is there some way to keep TOR out of the hands of sleazebags and crooks?
>
>
Accepting the people using Tor "in [that] way", no one is happy that Tor is
occasionally used to hurt people. But we are playing a zero sum game. Math
is amoral, and ciphers have no way of determining if they bytes they're
encrypting represent images of cats or of nude figures. There is no clever
way to write code that ensures we can censor the speech of child
pornographers, but not political dissidents.

There will always be bad actors. We can't throw out the baby in the
bathwater by saying, "no one can use Tor because child pornographers must
not use Tor." That might help us with some problems, but it cripples us
against abusive governments and the like. Deciding what people can and
cannot do with their free speech, and the consequences for crossing that
line, is a social problem that can only be solved through social means.


> Paul
> --
> I have spoken; all depart.
> Paul A. Crable.  Portland, Ore.  U.S.A.
>
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