Hi all, Andromeda forwarded me this email and so I decided to join the
list in case anyone wants to chat about Tor relays (exits and non-exits)
in libraries. Thanks Ian for getting the thread started! My comments in
> Fellow Code4Libbers,
> As promised on Slack, here are the outcomes our the Tor exit node breakout
> session at Code4Lib 2016 in Philadelphia.
> Running a Tor exit node is a great way to support freedom of speech and the
> right to privacy, but many institutions are reluctant to do so because of
> the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt surrounding doing so. Our breakout
> identified two key strategies for making the case to those in your
> institution who are in a position to make this kind of decision: forming
> partnerships, and having ready answers prepared for common questions.
> • Library Freedom Project - they've done this before!
Hi, yes! If you are considering running a Tor node or just want more
information about Tor (using and supporting it), I urge you to work with
us first. We have so many resources that can help, including legal
support (ACLU, Harvard Cyberlaw Clinic, EFF, and more) technical support
(we're partnered with the Tor Project and both employees of LFP are core
Tor members). We can come teach staff, IT, admin, and local community
stakeholders (eg all the folks listed below) and we have resources for
you if you want to do that yourself.
> • Local law enforcement - better to get them involved early,
> so they're not surprised
> • Computer Science, Political Science, Social Sciences,
> Communications/Journalism departments on your campus (where applicable)
> • Social Justice institutions (on campus and in your
> community) - free speech and privacy are social justice issues
> • Local libraries around academic institutions - cross the
> public/academic divide
> • State consortia - leverage those networks we already have
> in place
> • Cryptoparties of local community members - get the
> community interested in and supportive of preserving their rights by giving
> them the knowledge and tools they need to get started themselves
LFP does outreach to all of these groups so we're happy to help with
this or share our resources (they're all on a permissive open source
license so you'd just have to share alike).
> Answers to have ready to give
> • What’s Tor?
> • Why should I be involved?
> • What’s my risk?
> • How much does it cost?
> • Who else is doing this?
Actually a bunch of those resources are here on our github page:
> Open Questions
> • What will it cost to run an exit node, both in terms of $$
> and bandwidth?
> • List of names of institutional peers to point to.
The answer to the first is $0 if you work with us. We can provide
hardware if you don't have it (or if you don't have a VM). We've got
different circuit boards we're testing presently but there are so many
options for this -- eg relays run beautifully on a Banana Pi. As for the
bandwidth part, this really depends on what kind of relay you want to
run...an exit needs a minimum of 10 mbit/s. Fast relays: 10 mbyte/s.
Superfast relays: +50 mbyte/s. Non-exits require less, and bridges
(non-exits guards that aren't public, for users in censored countries)
are very very needed right now given recent activity in Iran, Egypt,
Turkey, and elsewhere.
For the second, do you mean supporters like Tor Project and ACLU, or
institutional relay operators, like MIT and Dartmouth? We can help with
this for either answer.
> I hope by broadcasting this to our community, we can start to form a pool
> of those libraries who have interested libtech workers, so when we go to
> our directors/deans/boards, we can point to peers/aspirational peers and
> say "see, we're not alone!".
> Ian Walls
Thank you again for starting this convo Ian, and I am so glad to see
that there is support for Tor in the Code4Lib community! Please do not
hesitate to reach out to us at LFP to work on these things together. We
have so many resources to help make this happen at your library.