SCREW YOU, FEDS! Dozen or more US libraries line up to run Tor exit nodes

Publicity over relay takedown drives demand

A dozen libraries across the US have asked for details on how to host Tor exit nodes following a decision by the small town of Lebanon, New Hampshire, to forego police warnings.

Following a decision by the library's board of trustees earlier this week to put the exit node back online, the founder of the Library Freedom Project, Alison Macrina, said that she had heard from a number of other libraries interested in hosting tor nodes.

"Between libraries and community leaders around the country, we've heard from probably about a dozen who are interested in joining this," she told Motherboard.

One of those people was present at the board meeting, having driven two hours to attend. As a library trustee at nearby Reading, she revealed that it was going to have its own meeting on the issue next month.

Soon after the Kilton library's relay went live, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) specifically flagged the project, resulting in a visit to the library by police and city officials.

Those officials then warned that the network could allow for criminal activity, including the sale of illegal drugs and the trading of child abuse images. As a result, the exit relay was shut down until the library's board could meet.

There was consternation at the government's actions, however, and the issue quickly centered on freedom of speech. At its meeting, following the vocal backing of residents, the board unanimously decided to turn it back on.

Macrina now says that the DHS' efforts have put her project on the map. "This has catalyzed additional libraries and community members," she told Motherboard. "Folks have emailed me saying 'We don't care if it gets shut down, we want to push back against [the DHS]'."

You can find out more about the Library Freedom Project at its website. ®

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