Torservers Update

Di 02 November 2010 by Moritz

It’s been very quiet on this list for a while now, and the website doesn’t show much progress either, so let me give you a “behind the scenes”.

  1. Abuse After convincing Softlayer to add a comment to our WHOIS range and limiting the ports, all complaints were directed to us directly - which is somewhat suprising as Softlayer didn’t add our contact record, only a comment - but this comment seems to be enough, not a single abuse report was sent to Softlayer or Midphase/100TB since, with one exception: Jamie Ballie tried to get Softlayer to shut us off repeatedly because of a newsgroup post (4th, 8th and 18th October), with harsh insults in my direction (“fuck off you scumbag” and more), but Softlayer didn’t react at all - perfect. You can read more about him and his history of harassing ISPs around the globe at http://www.canadianisp.ca/jamie_baillie.html

Apart from that, we get around 2 reports by Spamcop about spam mail sent through webmailers daily, around one other complaint (most of them also about webmail spam) every week, and 1-2 by MediaSentry with accusations about BitTorrent filesharing on our Australian node per day. Thanks to Richard from our ISP Networkpresence there, who not only donated the node, but also does an excellent job in ignoring them, now that I tried to reach Mediasentry for a long time with no reaction whatsoever.

As a conclusion one can say that, with an average bandwidth of 208 Mbit/s of traffic on our US node alone for 5 months now, the number of abuse is VERY low. This supports the belief that Tor really seems to be used largely for legitimate reasons.

  1. Bandwidth Usage When you look at the bandwidth stats for the US node you can see that our system isn’t the limiting factor any longer, so RPS really helped here. We had a nice high bandwidth period (~400 Mbit/s) the first half of October: http://us1.torservers.net/stats/graphs/graph_6_4.png

  2. Financial situation I am working on a full historical display of donations. The current list isn’t very transparent, which I have to apologize for. We’re financially covered for the rest of the year, but many of those that promised to give sustaining donations didn’t keep their promise - I guess because they simply forgot about it. I wanted to work on a semi-automated system with reminders, but unfortunately haven’t found the time yet. If you think you are behind with your donations let me know.

  3. Registering an association I am not sure about the proper English term for a registered association/club/foundation (“eingetragener Verein”), but this is what I want to get started as soon as possible. Thanks to support by Andreas from the Chaos Computer Club, we have a first statute, but the delay in registering comes from the idea that I don’t want to register it using my home address. I am looking for a German lawyer to do mail forwarding for us, which will provide excellent legal protection. Once we have an address, we can most likely get it acknowledged as a charitable society, which means we will be able to issue official contributions receipts.

  4. Conferences where you can meet me If you happen to be around, find me :) I will be at the FIfF congress in Cologne this weekend, at the Netzpolitischer Kongress in Berlin next weekend and at the 27c3 Chaos Computer Club conference at the end of December.

A big thank you goes out to Christian and Julian, who joined me to help and brainstorm about the future of Torservers. Christian so far helps me with handling complaints and covers for me on holidays, Julian is busy working on proper monitoring. I know a lot of you on this list offered help in one way or another, but until we have everything sorted out I wanted to make sure I know all those involved personally and can meet with them face-to-face. Once we have the legal stuff in place I will happily recruit you guys, too! :-)

So far, Moritz


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