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Re: Hacker strikes through student's router
A gunshot rings out from a man's house and a passer-by falls to the
ground. But when the authorities come to arrest him, they find that he
didn't fire the gun! It was aimed out the window but hooked up to the
Internet. Anyone online could aim and fire the gun. Who is at fault?
The point of this parable is that you can't escape responsibility
simply by delegating it.
Tor can be justified, but it must be done by balancing the good
against bad that it offers. You can't just sit back and rely on
absolute principles that anonymity is good and that it justifies any
evil side effects. Everything is a balancing act. If society decides
that the kind of anonymity offered by Tor causes more harm than good,
it will not exist.
I would point to my earlier suggestion to use something like the "nym"
software to limit the amount of damage that any particular bad actor
could cause. An anonymous gateway can allow only authorized users to
go through without knowing who anyone is, but still be able to
blacklist those who misbehave. This could be an enhancement to Tor
which would allow socially good uses of anonymity to continue freely
while providing a mechanism to limit bad uses. Rather than rejecting
this approach out of hand on philosophical grounds, the Tor community
should seriously consider the need to coexist with a larger society
and to find ways to make Tor more beneficial and less harmful.