New Hampshire Library Rejects DHS Fearmongering, Turns Tor Back On

from the congrats! dept

Last week, we posted the story of how the Kilton Public Library in Lebanon, New Hampshire, had been pressured to turn off its Tor relay after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had reached out to the local police department to express concern over the library’s decision, and freaking out because “criminals can use Tor.” After being approached by the police, the library agreed to shut down the relay, while setting up a meeting to discuss if the library should turn it back on. Apparently, last week’s press attention helped bring out lots of folks who very strongly supported turning Tor back on.

Boston librarian Alison Macrina, who runs the Library Freedom Project and helped the library set up Tor in the first place, was tweeting up a storm last night, and it sounded like a lot of people showed up to make it clear that (1) the DHS could go pound sand and (2) the library should turn its Tor node back on:

Multiple people apparently spoke about how this is absolutely the kind of project that libraries should support, and that protecting anonymous browsing was an important thing to have in the world. And, in the end, success:

This is amazingly good news, and as Macrina noted after: “This was a public referendum about privacy, free speech, and what libraries do.” And all three of those things came out winners.

Oh, and even better: it appears that the publicity around this and the success last night may be inspiring other libraries to set up their own Tor relays as well.

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Companies: kilton public library

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Comments on “New Hampshire Library Rejects DHS Fearmongering, Turns Tor Back On”

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27 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Widespread anonymity will be expensive for them since they can save money by having machines do the work. It is the modern political fallacy: Save money and you have more wiggle-room for your ideological projects!

Good old-fashioned targeted surveillance and spy-activity are the alpha and omega of investigations and the old methods still works with encrypted traffic and can get around almost all precautions from paranoid users.

The fight against anonymity is a pyrrhic battle for everyone: If the services lose they have lost a lot of trust, but if they win they are losing their primary objective: To protect!

Anonymous Coward says:

bloody good for them!
now wait and see something like an FBI engineered terrorist plot reach fruition, even though that is nothing, but the Tor Library will get the blame!! not come across any government or it’s security forces that go so far to try to get exactly what it wants as far as surveillance on the ordinary people! absolute scandalous!!

mcinsand (profile) says:

if the 'S' in DHS really stood for security

If the DHS was actually about security, they would be pressuring everyone to use Tor. Yes, criminals use Tor, but what is more dangerous is that criminals also use any weaknesses in our information security. The more encrypted and anonymous we non-criminals are, the more difficult it will be for criminals to identify possible targets.

Web_Rat (profile) says:

DHS Logicspeak

Let’s follow along and further apply the logic used by the DHS.

The library needs to remove all newspapers because coded messages may be placed by people with criminal intent.

The library needs to remove all science, technology, and historical references because the information may be used by those with criminal intent.

The library needs to remove all dvds from circulation because they may be loaned to people with the criminal intent of copying them.

The library needs to remove all public access copy machines because they may be used by people to duplicate copyrighted materials.

Better yet, close the library, DHS can proclaim another potential terrorist attack was thwarted.

Anonymous Coward says:

Not so much about anonymous browsing as it is protecting yourself from people who dont respect boundaries

Not something to hide as in more of a “its none of your godamn fucking business WHAT i do” so long as i respect the rights of others

Invasion of privacy is not respecting the boundary rights of individuals, therefore those that do invade, have no right complaining about those that expose them, those that are angry at them, and those that complain about them

Certainly no right to make up extreme laws that are obviously gonna be turned on these very people

Make action>Upset people>People ask for change>Create extreme law>”Subdue” upset people

Their opposition is born from their very actions, instead of stopping the action, their willing to force people to comply
…….which makes the initial action pale in comparison to the realisation of the motives of those running things……certainly not freedom, certainly not “democracy”

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