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Re: beneficia versus maleficia

On Sat, 02 Oct 2010 15:58:15 -0500
David Bennett <dbennett455@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I am facing a moral dilemma in regards to joining the tor proxy
> network.  I am hoping a discussion may alleviate some of my concerns.

It seems what you are wrestling with is the dual use nature of
any technology.  

Some easy examples are: highways are used to transport pregnant mothers
to hospitals to deliver cuddly babies and to transport kidnappers and
their victims across the country.  The phone system is used to let you
keep in touch with your friends and family and to stalk and harass
domestic violence victims.  Firewalls are used by companies to keep
their employees protected by outside threats and used by governments to
repress their citizenry.

From my work with victims of domestic violence, abusers and survivors
use technology in surprising ways.  From cooking pots to butter knives
to pre-paid anonymous cellphones, I've seen the technologies used to
abuse and used to help.  

It comes down to if you believe the good uses outweigh the bad uses.
Technologies are generally introduced with a narrow use case in mind.
Seldom to these technologies stick to their original use case over time.

We have real situations in which tor is used at
https://www.torproject.org/torusers.  For every bad thing some jerk
does over tor, there are likely 50-100 more using tor for good reasons.

Think about all of the bandwidth tor relays push and how many of the
connections result in complaints or abuse.  The bad uses are more
public but still the vast minority.

In the end, tor is a technology.  It can be used for both good and
bad.  We develop, advocate, and continue to work on tor for the
positive outcomes; whatever that may mean for your morals and locale.

pgp 0x31B0974B
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