Blocking Tor Servers

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by TouchuvGrey, Jun 5, 2007.

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  1. TouchuvGrey

    TouchuvGrey Registered Member

    Jul 17, 2004
    Gold Coast Queensland Australia
    I know that some chat room admins and message
    board mods have found it necessary to block tor
    servers. Not because of the many who simply
    and understandably desire online anonymity
    and privacy, but because of the few who use
    that anonymity to flame and harass. My question
    is: With these changes, will there be a tor server list available to us to configure a block.

    It only takes a few bad apples to poisen a good
    board or room. Admins and Mods need the ability
    to keep those bad apples out.

    Mike :(
  2. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

    May 2, 2004
    North West, United Kingdom
    There are several sites providing a list of Tor nodes like or - however the issue is whether you actually want to block those "many who simply and understandably desire online anonymity and privacy" in the process. Consider also those volunteers running Tor exit nodes - if you block their IP address then you end up denying them access regardless of whether they use Tor or not.

    Blocking by IP address alone is a futile exercise since there are so many proxies (not just Tor) available - and real criminals have other means like hijacked PCs, unsecured wireless, etc. If you wish to tackle abuse, the way to deal with it is to require account signup and to make that process non-trivial (e.g. require email verification, use CAPTCHAs, etc). Then problem accounts can be banned or blocked without reference to IP addresses - and any persistent abusers end up spending more time and effort creating new accounts than the mods need to spend blocking them.

    Any decent forum or chat-room software should allow for account creation and access control - if yours doesn't then changing this would almost certainly be a more productive measure than trying to keep pace with the Tor network, or proxies generally.
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