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TDP Tor Relays from BSD-Using Firms

The Tor BSD Diversity Project is encouraging and enabling BSD-using firms to operate Tor relays.

In 2015, Mozilla deployed twelve Tor relays. This is a significant step in increasing the bandwidth of the Tor network and extending the legitimacy of anonymous communications.

As of June 2015, BSD-running Tor relays account for under 5% of total network bandwidth. If firms that employed *BSD infrastructures contributed Tor relays, that number could change drastically.

TDP is directly querying *BSD firms with adequate infrastructure and staff to replicate Mozilla’s commendable efforts. Configuring and maintaining a Tor relay is a small cost for any entity seeking to strengthen the global anonymity network. TDP is looking to not only encourage this step, but also to assist these firms on various levels.

TDP could either administer the server or assist the relay administrator(s). The Tor-BSD mailing list could be of assistance, not to mention the Tor relays list.

It is not necessary to run an exit node. Rather, a high-bandwidth relay or bridge could have a significant impact for the purposes on operating system diversity and available bandwidth.

A simplified, well-commented torrc file is here

Our implementation recommendations include:

For firms that use BSDs, there are multiple benefits in running Tor relays.

First, Tor relays can be a useful platform for assessing the BSDs’ networking stacks. It’s an opportunity to test portable BSD code such as LibreSSL and hardware encryption in a production scenario, as system changes are not detrimental to the business.

Second, providing a more prominent role to the BSDs encourages the overwhelmingly youthful crowd of Tor relay users and administrators to begin trying and using BSDs. Potentially, the pool of BSD-familiar administrators could grow, strengthening the entire BSD ecosystem.

Finally, more Tor relays run by competent BSD sysadmins can mean more upstream patches and changes beneficial to everyone.

More generally, the case for corporate use of anonymity and privacy technologies has grown. Most profoundly noticeable among journalists, these technologies will become fundamental aspects of corporate IT infrastructure. The safest means of ensuring the integrity of firms employing the Tor network is to contribute Tor relays themselves.

Every firm has an interest in anonymity and privacy technologies, particularly in a competitive global economy. Industrial espionage is the norm, not the exception. Firms’ activities cross borders as a norm, and the globe is saturated by surveillance and censorship by a variety of hostile parties. Tor is a critical tool in mitigating such threats.

Please contact us with any questions on deploying Tor relays on BSDs. We hope our efforts increase the number of BSD-running Tor relays, simultaneously strengthening the Tor network.

Current TDP Corporate Tor Relays

verbal agreement for two relays on 100mbps pipes at a provider

Copyright © 2018 by The Tor BSD Diversity Project (TDP). All Rights Reserved.

last updated: Wed Aug 9 18:31:15 2017 UTC