William was raided for running a Tor exit node. Please help if you can.

Naslund, Steve SNaslund at medline.com
Thu Nov 29 19:19:19 UTC 2012

I think the best analogy I would use in defense is something like the
pre-paid cellular phones that are sold.  That is about the only
anonymous communications service I can think of off the top of my head.
Problem is that most people are not licensed carriers and may not be
able to hide behind that protection.  

I can see an argument both ways with the feds saying that you are
running a service for the express service of concealing the identity of
a person allowing them to avoid law enforcement (among other uses).  On
the other hand, the makers of guns do not get charged with murder even
though their tool enabled a criminal.  Could go either way but the
problem is that in any case it will be expensive to defend so win or
lose, you lose.  I guess you can't run a Tor exit unless you have a
legal defense fund set up.  I understand the legit uses of Tor but
wonder what the actual percentage of good vs. evil use really is.

Steven Naslund

-----Original Message-----
From: Barry Shein [mailto:bzs at world.std.com] 
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 10:17 AM
To: NANOG list
Subject: Re: William was raided for running a Tor exit node. Please help
if you can.

Back in the early days of the public internet we didn't require any id
to create an account, just that you found a way to pay us. We had
anonymous accts some of whom dropped by personally to pay their bill,
some said hello but I usually didn't know their names and that's how
they wanted it, I'd answer "hello <ACCOUNT>", whatever their login was
if I recognized them. Some mailed in something, a mail order, even
currency tho that was rare but it did happen, or had someone else drop
by to pay in cash (that is, no idea if they were local.)

LEO occasionally served a warrant for information, usually child porn
biz (more than just accessing child porn, selling it) tho I don't
remember any anonymous accts being involved.

I never expected to be held accountable for anyone's behavior unless I
was knowingly involved somehow (just the usual caveat.) LEO never showed
any particular interest in the fact that we were ok with anonymous
accounts. If I was made aware of illegal activities we'd shut them off,
didn't really happen much, maybe some credible "hacking" complaint on

It's funny, it's all illusion like show business. It's not hard to set
up anonymous service, crap, just drop in at any wi-fi hotspot, many just
ask you to click that you accept their T&Cs and you're on. Would they
raid them, I was just using one at a major hospital this week that was
just like that, if someone used that for child porn etc? But I guess
stick your nose out and say you're specifically offering anon accts and
watch out I guess.

        -Barry Shein

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