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Re: [tor-talk] Non-free country law preventing Tor from getting donations

On 06/15/2014 10:03 AM, Joe Btfsplk wrote:
> On 6/14/2014 10:40 PM, Andrew Lewman wrote:
>> On 06/14/2014 03:21 AM, Sebastian G. <bastik.tor> wrote:
>>> That has to be a violation of your rights.
>> It's the law in the USA. Regardless of how one feels about it, it's
>> currently against the law.
>> The citizen resided in a country as listed as a State Sponsor of
>> Terrorism, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Sponsors_of_Terrorism
>> According to the advice we received, "financial transaction" is defined
>> broadly to encompass many things, possibly including
>> bitcoins/dogecoins/and other coins.
>> There are many battles Tor can fight, this is not one of them.
> I wouldn't expect any one or small group to just jump in & defy the
> current interpretation of embargo laws - without serious research &
> consideration.

I totally agree, there's no reason to defy anything, unless creating a
test case for litigation is the goal.


> Where such a transaction would not benefit the country,  or even the
> private donor, in any financial, military, political manner, etc.; only
> promoting access to free speech & information, which in all likely hood,
> could lead to citizens *forcing change* on the very policies / actions,
> that lead to the country being embargoed in the first place.
> Forbiding this specific transaction, given the specific circumstances,
> would seem to be the definition of cutting off one's nose to spite their
> face.

The law is the law, and (acting openly) the choices are compliance, or
noncompliance on principle. But see above.

> In the world & US history, there are 1000's of cases where something was
> once entrenched as being illegal, but became legal, often because
> someone stood up & fought to change it.


Exemptions for victims and freedom fighters from designations as "State
Sponsor of Terrorism" would make sense. After all, the US has itself
supported freedom fighters in Iran, during the 2009-2010 election.

> If Torproject ending it's close ties w/ U.S. military funding (by some
> means) isn't important for it's reputation & appearance to the broader
> internet community, I'm not sure what is.

As long as funding doesn't come with strings, there's no problem with
accepting it.

As I see this case, the prospective donor was foolish to contact the Tor
Project directly, apparently with no effective anonymity. And whoever
publicized this screwup was also foolish. After explaining the situation
to said prospective donor, the Tor Project should have discretely
mentioned the donor's intent and contact information through suitable
channels. And then they should have forgotten about it all.

As I said, the less said, the better. But maybe I was too enigmatic ;)
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