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Re: Marketing Tor (Was Re: For those using Tor with windows)

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On Wednesday 16 November 2005 08:51 am, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> On Wed, Nov 16, 2005 at 08:24:13AM -0500, Jeffrey F. Bloss wrote:
> > I don't see where this would be "illegal" under the GPL or your own
> > LICENSE, but maybe I'm missing something. I believe it's ethically
> > abhorrent to use free software for profit like this, but I don't see any
> > real recourse.
> I don't see why it should 'ethically abhorrent' to use GPL software
> in a paid for-profit service, e.g. in a private Tor network with
> a professionally administered, global network of machines.

I don't believe this is the case though. These three or four Tor clients are 
being used as access points to the existing, free Tor network we all know and 
love. They're  using the network's anonymity, cover traffic, and the 
bandwidth donated by node owners, for profit.  If it were a private network 
scenario I agree... it wouldn't be an issue at all.

> (Of course if this turns out a viable business model donating to the
> individual developers is quite desired, but that's strictly an issue of
> individual ethics -- in fact this is not just a hypothetical scenario, as I
> intend to do just that, provided my future users are willing to pay for
> using a private Tor network).

I would certainly hope that at the very *least* a for-profit Tor node would 
function as a public node, and help move "normal" Tor traffic along with 
traffic generated by its customers.

But as you say this is mostly a matter of personal ethics. Some people have 
them, some don't.

I for one would be willing to pay for private network access, by the way. :) I 
can see a serious gain in throughput from a network of machines with 
commercial, more "fully bi-directional" connections. And given enough nodes 
of course, it would be nearly as secure as a free public supported version 
with the notable exception that a commercial entity is a single point of 
compromise. The conspiracy nut in me could envision a scenario where an owner 
might be served a warrant with a gag order that effectively compromised the 
entire network in one fell swoop. :(

- -- 
Hand crafted on November 16, 2005 at 09:29:21 -0500

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
                                  -Groucho Marx
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