Homeland Security Shuts Down Library’s TOR Node Citing “Situational Awareness”
In a move that is sure to end well for the Department Of Homeland Security and the police in Lebanon, New Hampshire, officials have asked a New Hampshire public library to shut down its TOR node to prevent terrorism and other mean, nasty things.
The library was the first in the country to run a secure TOR exit node – essentially a system that allows users to web surf anonymously from anywhere in the world – and the DHS and local police quickly approached library officials after launch. The Lebanon Public Libraries are part of the Library Freedom Project, an effort to add more exit nodes in existing libraries. This would help web users desiring to remain anonymous on the Internet and ensures that folks browsing from their homes can’t be spied upon by touchy regimes. Wrote Vice:
￼After a meeting at which local police and city officials discussed how Tor could be exploited by criminals, the library pulled the plug on the project. “Right now we’re on pause,” said Fleming. “We really weren’t anticipating that there would be any controversy at all.” He said that the library board of trustees will vote on whether to turn the service back on at its meeting on Sept. 15.
“The use of a Tor browser is not, in [or] of itself, illegal and there are legitimate purposes for its use,” said DHS spokesperson Shawn Neudauer. “However, the protections that Tor offers can be attractive to criminal enterprises or actors and HSI will continue to pursue those individuals who seek to use the anonymizing technology to further their illicit activity.”
By this, logic, obviously, we learn that cars, guns, and bricks should be outlawed due to their potential for nefarious uses. More as the case develops.
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