As of December 6, 2004, this machine is no longer a Tor router. Quoting from my message to the or-talk mailing list, it was taken off-line due to potential liability issues. This review was prompted by a DMCA notice, alleging that a copyrighted movie was being offered for download. The machine itself did not even have the diskspace for storing such files, but it was unclear whether running Tor server itself might be a hazard since there was no clear case law that would establish that a network like Tor is legal. In the view of the college counsel, if the case of Tor ever went to court, it would be likely to lose, and then the college could be considered a party to illegal activity, independently of whether we run an end node or a middleman node. The college counsel was ready to press the matter with the MPAA and try to get an explicit clearance from them -- but this, in the opinion of a number of people, would have been a bad thing to do. Therefore we had to take the server off-line.
The following information is from the time when this machine used to be a Tor router.
This machine is a server in the anonymizing network called Tor, The Onion Routing.
If you are seeing anomalous traffic originating from this IP, it is most likely due to Tor. Tor can anonymize many kinds of traffic, including web browsing, IRC, and SSH.
Tor is not a file storage network of any kind.
Why are we doing this?
Quoting the developers of Tor, Roger Dingledine and Nick Matthewson:
``The right to speak anonymously is protected by the First Amendment in the United States and is crucial for safety, privacy, and free expression on the global Internet. People who need anonymity online range from whistleblowers and political dissidents to people giving tips to the police and kids who are exploring online.``
Originally supported by the Naval Research Lab, Tor is now supported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
By supplying a node to the Tor project, Dartmouth is being a party to the MIT-based research project. Bug reports and performance observations from the operation of the Dartmouth node have lead to enhancements of Tor. For testing such a small project, operational variation is an important resource, and is generally provided by community members as a service to the members. The academic excellence and value of Tor-related research has been recognized by the security research community, in particular Tor-related papers have been published in first-rate conferences.
Tor is one of the very few projects of its kind. The world-wide spread of this network probably makes it unique.
In running this server, we are providing users with a tool for protecting their privacy. We hope that by doing so we are working for a better future for the human civilization.