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posted by takyon on Saturday September 12 2015, @03:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the land-of-the-free-and-home-of-the-easily-coerced dept.

The Kilton Library in Lebanon, New Hampshire, had been hosting an exit relay on the Tor network since July as part of a pilot program to safeguard citizens' privacy online.

After meeting with [local cops, tipped off by the US Department of Homeland Security], however, the librarians have taken the box offline over fears it was being used for criminal activity.

[...] Kilton's exit node was the pilot for an effort by the Library Freedom Project to equip local libraries in the US with Tor nodes that could be accessed by users in areas where internet traffic is censored and closely monitored.

ProPublica claims that the police did not threaten any action against the library, but merely informed them of the possibility that their Tor node could be used for criminal activity.

The library's board of trustees will vote later this month on whether to bring the node back online.

[...] The Electronic Frontier Foundation said it was starting a campaign to flood library trustees with letters of support for the node in an effort to get the Tor box back up and running in the Kilton Library.

Additional reporting here.

SoylentNews is available through Tor, as well. Here is our .onion link. -Ed.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 12 2015, @05:58PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 12 2015, @05:58PM (#235632)

    At some libraries, the thinking about the Internet seems to go like:

    "OK, we're going to make Internet access available. Should we let just anyone who comes into the library use the Internet, or only our patrons? If we limit it to patrons, we can make them log in using their library card. That way, if someone misuses it, we'll know who the miscreant was."

    "So, it's possible to block access to certain Web sites. Which ones are we going to block, just the pornographic ones or also sites that discuss illegal activity? Or should we not block any, but just ask patrons not to look at porn in the library?"

    "There's something called Bittorrent. People use it to share files, some of which are illegal and most of which are enormous. Should we block it, or just limit the bandwidth it can consume?"

    Ms. Macrina is trying to add to that conversation: "Hey, we have an Internet connection. Should we set up an anonymizing proxy on it to help people everywhere who don't want to be snooped on? Some of them are criminals, of course."

    Maybe this Library Freedom Project will fail to persuade other libraries to set up exit nodes (more likely, if the Lebanon library keeps its node turned off), but it's heartening that the attempt was even made.