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replace our old 2005 vintage legal faq with the shiny 2011 legal faq.

Andrew Lewman authored on 16/09/2011 04:19:31
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 <!-- PUT CONTENT AFTER THIS TAG -->
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-<h2>Legal FAQ for Tor Relay Operators</h2>
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-<hr>
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-<p>FAQ written by the Electronic Frontier
13
-Foundation (<a href="http://www.eff.org/">EFF</a>). Last updated 25 Apr 2005.</p>
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-
15
-<p><strong>NOTE:</strong> This FAQ is for informational purposes only
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-and does not constitute legal advice.  EFF has not analyzed any
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-particular factual situation or laws in drafting this FAQ. Our aim is
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-to provide a general description of the legal issues surrounding
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-Tor in the United States.  Different factual situations and different legal
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-jurisdictions will
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-result in different answers to a number of questions.  Therefore, please
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-do not act on this information alone; if you have any
23
-specific legal problems, issues, or questions, seek a complete review of
24
-your situation with a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.
25
-</p>
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-
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-<p>Also, if you received this document from anywhere besides <a
28
-href="https://www.torproject.org/eff/tor-legal-faq.html">https://www.torproject.org/eff/tor-legal-faq.html</a>,
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-it may be out of date. Follow the link to get the latest version.</p>
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-
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+<h2>The Legal FAQ for Tor Relay Operators.</h2>
31 11
 <hr>
32 12
 
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-<a id="Lawsuits"></a>
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-<h3><a class="anchor" href="#Lawsuits">Has anyone ever been sued for running Tor?
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-</a></h3>
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-
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-<p><strong>No.</strong> Further, we believe that running a Tor node,
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-including a Tor exit node that allows people to anonymously send and
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-receive traffic, is lawful under U.S. law.</p>
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-
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-<a id="IllegalPurposes"></a>
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-<h3><a class="anchor" href="#IllegalPurposes">Should I use Tor,
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-or encourage the use of Tor, for illegal purposes
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-such as spamming, harassment, distribution of child porn, or copyright
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-infringement?</a></h3>
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-
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-<p><strong>No.</strong> Tor has been developed to be a tool for free
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-speech, privacy, and human rights.  It is not a tool designed or intended
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-to be used to break the law, either by Tor users or Tor relay
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-operators.</p>
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-
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-<p>We further recommend that you not keep any potentially illegal files
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-on the same machine you use for Tor, nor use that machine for any illegal
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-purpose.  Although no Tor relay in the US has ever been seized, nor any relay
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-operator sued, the future possibility cannot be ruled out. If that
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-happens, you will want your machine to be clean.</p>
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-
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-<a id="Promise"></a>
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-<h3><a class="anchor" href="#Promise">Can EFF promise that I won't get
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-in trouble for running a Tor relay?</a></h3>
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-
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-<p><strong>No.</strong> All new technologies create legal uncertainties,
63
-and Tor is no exception to the rule. Presently, no court has ever considered any
64
-case involving the Tor technology, and we therefore cannot guarantee
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-that you will never face any legal liability as a result of running a
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-Tor relay. However, EFF believes so strongly that those running Tor
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-relays shouldn't be liable for traffic that passes through the relay
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-that we're running our own Tor relay.
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-</p>
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-
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-<a id="Represent"></a>
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-<h3><a class="anchor" href="#Represent">Will EFF represent me if I get
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-in trouble for running a Tor relay?</a></h3>
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-
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-<p><strong>Maybe.</strong> While EFF cannot promise legal representation
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-of all Tor relay operators, it will assist relay operators in
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-assessing the situation and will try to locate qualified legal counsel
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-when necessary.  Inquiries to EFF for the purpose of securing legal
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-representation or referrals should be directed to staff attorney Kevin
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-Bankston (bankston at eff.org or US +1 (415) 436-9333 x 126). Such
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-inquiries will be kept
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-confidential subject to the limits of the attorney/client privilege.
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-Note that although EFF cannot practice law outside of the U.S., it will
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-still try to assist non-U.S. relay operators in finding local
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-representation.</p>
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-
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-<a id="DevelopersAreNotLawyers"></a>
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-<h3><a class="anchor" href="#DevelopersAreNotLawyers">Should I contact
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-the Tor developers when I have legal questions about Tor or to inform
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-them if I suspect Tor is being used for illegal purposes?</a></h3>
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-
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-<p><strong>No.</strong> Tor's core developers, Roger Dingledine
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-and Nick Mathewson, are available to answer technical questions, but
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-they are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice.  Nor do they have any
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-ability to prevent illegal activity that may occur through Tor relays.
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-Furthermore, your communications with Tor's core developers are
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+<p>FAQ written by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (<a
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+href="https://www.eff.org">EFF</a>). Last updated August 24, 2011.</p>
15
+<p>NOTE: This FAQ is for informational purposes only and does not
16
+constitute legal advice. Our aim is to provide a general description of
17
+the legal issues surrounding Tor in the United States. Different factual
18
+situations and different legal jurisdictions will result in different
19
+answers to a number of questions. Therefore, please do not act on this
20
+information alone; if you have any specific legal problems, issues, or
21
+questions, seek a complete review of your situation with a lawyer
22
+licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.</p>
23
+<p>Also, if you received this document from anywhere besides the EFF web
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+site or <a
25
+href="<page eff/tor-legal-faq>">https://www.torproject.org/eff/tor-legal-faq.html</a>,
26
+it may be out of date. Follow the link to get the latest version.</p>
27
+<p>Got a DMCA notice? Check out our <a
28
+href="<page eff/dmca-template>">sample response
29
+letter!</a></p>
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+<h2>General Information</h2>
31
+<p><b>Has anyone ever been sued or prosecuted for running Tor?</b></p>
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+
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+<p><b>No</b>, we aren’t aware of anyone being sued or prosecuted in the
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+United States for running a Tor relay.  Further, we believe that running
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+a Tor relay &#8212; including an exit relay that allows people to
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+anonymously send and receive traffic &#8212; is lawful under U.S.
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+law.</p>
38
+<p><b>Should I use Tor or encourage the use of Tor for illegal
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+purposes?</b></p>
40
+<p><b>No.</b> Tor has been developed to be a tool for free expression,
41
+privacy, and human rights. It is not a tool designed or intended to be
42
+used to break the law, either by Tor users or Tor relay operators.</p>
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+<p><b>Can EFF promise that I won't get in trouble for running a Tor
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+relay?</b></p>
45
+<p><b>No.</b> All new technologies create legal uncertainties, and Tor
46
+is no exception. Presently, no court has ever considered any case
47
+involving the Tor technology, and we therefore cannot guarantee that you
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+will never face any legal liability as a result of running a Tor relay.
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+However, EFF believes so strongly that those running Tor relays
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+shouldn't be liable for traffic that passes through the relay that we're
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+running our own middle relay. </p>
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+
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+<p><b>Will EFF represent me if I get in trouble for running a Tor
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+relay?</b></p>
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+<p><b>Maybe.</b> While EFF cannot promise legal representation for all
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+Tor relay operators, it will assist relay operators in assessing the
57
+situation and will try to locate qualified legal counsel when necessary.
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+Inquiries to EFF for the purpose of securing legal representation or
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+referrals should be directed to our intake coordinator (<a
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+href="mailto:info@eff.org">info@eff.org</a> or US +1 (415) 436-9333).
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+Such inquiries will be kept confidential subject to the limits of the
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+attorney/client privilege. Note that although EFF cannot practice law
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+outside of the United States, it will still try to assist non-U.S. relay
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+operators in finding local representation.</p>
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+<p><b>Should I contact the Tor developers when I have legal questions
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+about Tor or to inform them if I suspect Tor is being used for illegal
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+purposes?</b></p>
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+<p><b>No.</b> Tor's developers are available to answer technical
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+questions, but they are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice. Nor do
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+they have any ability to prevent illegal activity that may occur through
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+Tor relays. Furthermore, your communications with Tor's developers are
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 not protected by any legal privilege, so law enforcement or civil
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 litigants could subpoena and obtain any information you give to
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 them.</p>
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-
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-<a id="RequestForLogs"></a>
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-<h3><a class="anchor" href="#RequestForLogs">If I receive a request from
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-law enforcement or anyone else for my Tor relay's logs, what should
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-I do?</a></h3>
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-
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-<p><strong>Educate them about Tor.</strong> In most instances, properly
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-configured Tor relays will have no useful data for inquiring parties,
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-and you should feel free to educate them on this point.  To the extent
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-you do maintain logs, however, you should not disclose them to any third
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-party without first consulting a lawyer.  In the U.S., such a disclosure
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-may violate the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and relay
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-operators outside of the U.S. may be subject to similar data protection
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-laws.</p>
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+<p>You can contact <a href="mailto:info@eff.org">info@eff.org</a> if you
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+face a specific legal issue. We will try to assist you, but given EFF's
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+small size, we cannot guarantee that we can help everyone.  </p>
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+
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+<p><b>Do Tor's core developers make any promises about the
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+trustworthiness or reliability of Tor relays that are listed in their
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+directory?</b></p>
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+<p><b>No.</b> Although the developers attempt to verify that Tor relays
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+listed in the directory maintained by the core developers are stable and
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+have adequate bandwidth, neither they nor EFF can guarantee the personal
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+trustworthiness or reliability of the individuals who run those relays.
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+Tor's core developers further reserve the right to refuse a Tor relay
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+operator's request to be listed in their directory or to remove any
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+relay from their directory for any reason.</p>
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+<h2>Exit Relays</h2>
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+<p>Exit relays raise special concerns because the traffic that exits
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+from them can be traced back to the relay's IP address. While we believe
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+that running an exit is legal, it is statistically likely that an exit
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+relay will at some point be used for illegal purposes, which may attract
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+the attention of private litigants or law enforcement. An exit relay may
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+forward traffic that is considered unlawful, and that traffic may be
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+attributed to the operator of a relay. If you are not willing to deal
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+with that risk, a bridge or middle relay may be a better fit for you.
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+These relays do not directly forward traffic to the Internet and so
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+can't be easily mistaken for the origin of allegedly unlawful
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+content.</p>
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+<p>The Tor Project's blog has some excellent <a
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+href="https://blog.torproject.org/blog/tips-running-exit-node-minimal-harassment">recommendations</a>
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+for running an exit with as little risk as possible. We suggest that you
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+review their advice before setting up an exit relay.</p>
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+<p><b>Should I run an exit relay from my home?</b></p>
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+
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+<p><b>No.</b> If law enforcement becomes interested in traffic from your
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+exit relay, it's possible that officers will seize your computer. For
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+that reason, it's best not to run your exit relay in your home or using
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+your home Internet connection. </p>
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+<p>Instead, consider running your exit relay in a <a
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+href="https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/doc/GoodBadISPs">commercial
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+facility</a> that is supportive of Tor. Have a separate IP address for
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+your exit relay, and don't route your own traffic through it. </p>
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+<p>Of course, you should avoid keeping any sensitive or personal
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+information on the computer hosting your exit relay, and you never
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+should use that machine for any illegal purpose.</p>
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+<p><b>Should I tell my ISP that I'm running an exit relay?</b></p>
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+<p><b>Yes.</b> Make sure you have a Tor-friendly ISP that knows you're
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+running an exit relay and supports you in that goal. This will help
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+ensure that your Internet access isn't cut off due to abuse complaints.
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+The Tor community maintains a <a
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+href="https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/TheOnionRouter/GoodBadISPs">list</a>
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+of ISPs that are particularly Tor-savvy, as well as ones that
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+aren't.</p>
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+
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+<p><b>Is it a good idea to let others know that I'm running an exit
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+relay?</b></p>
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+<p><b>Yes.</b> Be as transparent as possible about the fact that you're
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+running an exit relay. If your exit traffic draws the attention of the
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+government or disgruntled private party, you want them to figure out
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+quickly and easily that you are part of the Tor network and not
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+responsible for the content. This could mean the difference between
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+having your computer seized by law enforcement and being left alone.</p>
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+<p>The Tor Project <a
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+href="https://blog.torproject.org/blog/tips-running-exit-node-minimal-harassment">suggests</a>
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+the following ways to let others know that you're running an exit
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+relay:</p>
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+<ul>
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+<li>Set up a reverse DNS name for the IP address that makes clear that
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+the computer is an exit relay.</li>
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+<li>Set up a notice like <a
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+href="https://gitweb.torproject.org/tor.git/blob_plain/HEAD:/contrib/tor-exit-notice.html">this</a>
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+to explain that you're running an exit relay that's part of the Tor
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+network.</li>
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+
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+<li>If possible, get an <a href="https://www.arin.net">ARIN</a>
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+registration for your exit relay that displays contact information for
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+you, not your ISP. This way, you'll receive any abuse complaints and can
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+respond to them directly. Otherwise, try to ensure that your ISP
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+forwards abuse complaints that it receives to you.</li>
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+</ul>
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+<p><b>Should I snoop on the plaintext traffic that exits through my Tor
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+relay?</b></p>
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+<p><b>No.</b> You may be technically capable of modifying the Tor source
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+code or installing additional software to monitor or log plaintext that
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+exits your relay. However, Tor relay operators in the United States can
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+possibly create civil and even criminal liability for themselves under
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+state or federal wiretap laws if they monitor, log, or disclose Tor
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+users' communications, while non-U.S. operators may be subject to
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+similar laws. Do not examine the contents of anyone's communications
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+without first talking to a lawyer.</p>
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+<p><b>If I receive a subpoena or other information request from law
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+enforcement or anyone else related to my Tor relay, what should I
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+do?</b></p>
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+<p><b>Educate them about Tor.</b> In most instances, properly configured
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+Tor relays will have no useful data for inquiring parties, and you
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+should feel free to educate them on this point. To the extent you do
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+maintain logs, however, you should not disclose them to any third party
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+without first consulting a lawyer. In the United States, such a
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+disclosure may violate the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and
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+relay operators outside of the United States may be subject to similar
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+data protection laws.</p>
114 174
 
115 175
 <p>You may receive legal inquiries where you are prohibited by law from
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-telling anyone about the request.  We believe that, at least in the
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-U.S., such gag orders do not prevent you from talking to a lawyer,
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-including calling a lawyer to find representation.  Inquiries to EFF for
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-the purpose of securing legal representation should be directed to staff
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-attorney Kevin Bankston (bankston at eff.org or US +1 (415) 436-9333
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-x126). Such inquiries
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-will be kept confidential subject to the limits of the attorney/client
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-privilege.</p>
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-
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-<p>EFF is currently working on informational materials to help you
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-respond to the most likely types of legal requests or notices, so watch
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-this space.</p>
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-
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-<a id="DMCA"></a>
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-<h3><a class="anchor" href="#DMCA">My ISP/University/etc just sent me
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-a DMCA notice. What should I do?</a></h3>
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-
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-<p>The EFF has written a <a
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-href="tor-dmca-response.html">short template</a>
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-to help you write a response to your ISP/University/etc, to let them
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-know about the details of DMCA safe harbor, and how Tor fits in. Note
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-that this only refers to a U.S. jurisdiction.</p>
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-
139
-<p>If you like, you should consider submitting a copy of your notice
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-to <a href="http://www.chillingeffects.org/">Chilling Effects</a>. This
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+telling anyone about the request. We believe that, at least in the
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+United States, such gag orders do not prevent you from talking to a
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+lawyer, including calling a lawyer to find representation. Inquiries to
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+EFF for the purpose of securing legal representation should be directed
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+to our intake coordinator (info at eff.org or US +1 (415) 436-9333).
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+Such inquiries will be kept confidential subject to the limits of the
182
+attorney/client privilege.</p>
183
+<p>For more information about responding to abuse complaints and other
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+inquiries, check out the <a
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+href="<page docs/faq-abuse>">Tor Abuse
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+FAQ</a> and the collection of <a
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+href="https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/TheOnionRouter/TorAbuseTemplates">abuse
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+response templates</a> on the Tor Project’s website.</p>
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+<p><b>My ISP, university, etc. just sent me a DMCA notice. What should I
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+do?</b></p>
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+<p>EFF has written a <a
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+href="<page eff/dmca-template>">short template</a> to help
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+you write a response to your ISP, university, etc., to let them know
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+about the details of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbor,
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+and how Tor fits in. Note that template only refers to U.S.
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+jurisdictions, and is intended only to address copyright complaints that
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+are based on a relay of allegedly infringing material through the Tor
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+node. </p>
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+
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+<p>If you like, you should consider submitting a copy of your notice to
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+<a href="https://www.chillingeffects.org">Chilling Effects</a>. This
141 202
 will help us recognize trends and issues that the lawyers might want to
142 203
 focus on. Chilling Effects encourages submissions from people outside
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 the United States too.</p>
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+<p>EFF believes that Tor relays are protected from copyright liability
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+under the DMCA, although no court has yet addressed the issue in the
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+context of Tor itself. If you are uncomfortable with this uncertainty,
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+you may consider using a <a
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+href="<page docs/faq>#ExitPolicies">reduced
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+exit policy</a> (such as the default policy suggested by the Tor
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+Project) to try to minimize traffic types that are often targeted in
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+copyright complaints. </p>
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+<p>If you are a Tor relay operator willing to stand up and help set a
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+clear legal precedent establishing that merely running a relay does not
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+create copyright liability for either operators or their bandwidth
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+providers, EFF is interested in hearing from you. Read more <a
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+href="https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2005-October/016301.html">here</a>
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+about being EFF's test case.</p>
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+<p><a href=https://www.eff.org/torchallenge/setting-up/>» Set up a Tor
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+Relay now!</a></p>
144 221
 
145
-<p>EFF is actively seeking Tor relay operators willing to stand up
146
-and help set a clear legal precedent establishing that merely running
147
-a node does not create copyright liability for either node operators
148
-or their bandwidth providers. If you want to be the EFF's test case,
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-<a href="https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2005-October/016301.html">read
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-more here</a>.</p>
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-
152
-<a id="ExitSnooping"></a>
153
-<h3><a class="anchor" href="#ExitSnooping">Should I snoop on the plaintext
154
-that exits through my Tor relay?</a></h3>
155
-
156
-<p><strong>No.</strong> You may be technically capable of modifying
157
-the Tor source code or installing additional software to monitor
158
-or log plaintext that exits your node. However,
159
-Tor relay operators in the U.S. can create legal and possibly even
160
-criminal liability for themselves under state or federal wiretap laws if
161
-they affirmatively monitor, log, or disclose Tor users'
162
-communications, while non-U.S. operators may be subject to similar laws.
163
-Do not examine the contents of anyone's communications without
164
-first talking to a lawyer.</p>
165
-
166
-<a id="DirectoryWarranty"></a>
167
-<h3><a class="anchor" href="#DirectoryWarranty">Do Tor's core developers
168
-make any promises about the trustworthiness or reliability of Tor relays
169
-that are listed in their directory?</a></h3>
170
-
171
-<p><strong>No.</strong> Although the developers attempt to verify that
172
-Tor relays listed in the directory the core developers maintain are
173
-stable and have adequate bandwidth, neither they nor EFF can guarantee
174
-the personal trustworthiness or reliability of the individuals who run
175
-those relays.  Tor's core developers further reserve the right to
176
-refuse a Tor relay operator's request to be listed in their
177
-directory or to remove any relay from their directory for any
178
-reason.</p>
179 222
 
180 223
 </div><!-- #main -->
181 224