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Re: questions of morality

I tend to think that freedom of speech is best implemented not as a right of the speaker, but of the audience. Freedom of speech is the right to be heard by those who wish to hear, not necessarily the right to speak in exclusion.

By using this listener-rights model, it tends to clear up grey areas like fraud, since being lied to is, utlimately, a violation of the listener's consent to listen - no one wants to be lied to.

This is why I think TOR is important - it's among a vangaurd of projects that is capable of protecting publishers (ie, Internet servers) as well as audiences (clients/browsers). If you protect listeners, but not speakers, it doesn't do much good, because no one can safely say certain things.

Because publishers and audiences of all classes and capabilities are enforced by the technical nature of the system into having equal status, there's less opportunity for consolidation of resources. Equality is enforced by the system's architecture rather than by the (too often lacking) good faith of the participating parties.

Nato Welch

Zinco wrote:


On Wednesday, February 02, 2005 6:36 PM Aaron Cannon wrote:

Hello all.  I'm a new member of the list and a newbie to TOR.  I
have been  looking for a worthy cause to donate my bandwidth to.  I
think I might have  found it in TOR, but I am a little bit hesitant
because I am not eager to  facilitate someone's wrong doing.  On the
other hand, I would like to help  those who would like anonymity

So, I suppose, in the end, it comes down to the simple question: do
the  positive uses of TOR out-weigh the negative ones?

This is an age old and very difficult argument.  My right to free
speech and privacy vs. societies responsibility to protect the common
good.  Who defines "the common good"?  Who decides what speech I
should be protected from?  Who monitors it?  Certainly it should not
be those involved in tor.  I tend to err on the side of freedom and
privacy and my faith in private citizens to work things out.

Should all speech be protected?  Do I have a right to yell "FIRE" in
a crowded theatre?  Is there an analogy to that question on the
internet?  My guess is that if tor attracts that much abusive and or
illegal activity the network will not last and will not be available
for them or us.  I guess this would be the way the free market of
ideas works it out.  Notice the issue of IRC servers and of wikpedia
as of late.

Joel Rapin aka Zinco

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