Why Tor Should Not Be Used for Filesharing

Due to the recent court judgement there’s obviously a lot more interest in Internet anonymity at the moment.  For the purposes of this post, I’m not going to tackle the thorny issue of the morality of filesharing.

What I will say however, is that one proposal that is being put out there is that people switch to Tor.

Do not do this.  Firstly, Tor is actually relatively slow and isn’t much cop for filesharing anyway.  More importantly, Tor is used by activists, all over the world, who actually need to stay anonymous from the state.  It was a major factor in both the Iranian and Egyptian revolutions.  It is not set up to handle the kind of traffic that filesharing brings to it and if enough people do so, it’s likely to become unusable.

It is more important that activists carry on being able to use this resource than it is that you can download the latest Lady Gaga single.

If you are wanting to fileshare and are looking at this as an option, think again.  To repeat, I am taking no position on filesharing itself at this time.  (I’m still getting my thoughts together on the wider issue).  But if you fileshare, my opinion is unlikely to make you stop and if you don’t it’s unlikely anything I say will make you run out and do so.  If you’re in the former category, instead of Tor, look at one of the private subscription filesharing sites or, alternatively, do a bit of research into VPNs.

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