Websites like Silk Road, an underground marketplace hosted by Tor known to facilitate illegal drug sales, make the biggest headlines for Tor. But many Tor users have legitimate reasons for wanting to browse the web privately, especially at a time when cybercrime is on the rise. Simply using Tor to surf the internet is not illegal. It`s free to download, and hiding your IP address and browsing history isn`t illegal per se. However, many of those who use Tor use it specifically for anonymity because they are doing something illegal. And as recent arrests have shown, it may not be perfect when it comes to hiding a user`s identity. Exit relays are of particular concern because traffic originating from them can be traced back to the relay`s IP address. While we believe that using an exit relay is legal, it is virtually impossible to stop the use of an exit relay for illegal activities. This may attract the attention of private litigants or law enforcement agencies. An exit relay can route traffic that is considered illegal and this traffic can be assigned to the operator of a relay. In fact, the police wrongly classified the traffic of an exit relay as coming from the relay operator.
If you`re not prepared to manage this risk, an average bridge or relay may be better for you. These relays do not route data traffic directly to the Internet and therefore cannot be easily confused with the origin of allegedly illegal content. For most people reading this article, using Tor Browser is completely legal. However, in some countries, Tor is either illegal or blocked by national authorities. China has banned the anonymity service and prevented Tor traffic from passing through the Great Firewall. Countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are working hard to prevent citizens from using Tor. More recently, Venezuela blocked all Tor traffic. See the FAQ section below for direct answers to some of the most common questions about the legal status of the Tor network and browser. Tor Browser is free and legal software to use. But if it is used to conduct illegal activities such as drug trafficking, financial fraud, and cybercrime, then of course, using Tor Browser becomes illegal.
What are the consequences and are they dangerous? To learn more, let`s take a closer look at the topic. No. Tor developers are available to answer technical questions, but they are not lawyers and cannot provide legal advice. You also have no way to prevent illegal activities that can occur via Tor relays. In addition, your communications with Tor developers are not protected by any legal privilege, so law enforcement or civil litigants could subpoena and receive any information you give them. In a 2016 study, researchers Daniel Moore and Thomas Rid determined the intensity of illegal activity on the dark web. They discovered a total of 5,205 websites, 48% of which contained no content, while half hosted illegal activities. The top 423 sites promoted illicit drug trafficking and drugs, and 327 sites supported financial crimes such as money laundering and trafficking in stolen account numbers and credit cards. The Tor network is globally known for helping users stay anonymous and private online.
However, it is often associated with the dark web and the illegal activities that take place on it. This inevitably leads to questions about the legality of Tor. Tor Browser is safe to use even when accessing the dark web. But when people use it to access the dark web to conduct illegal activities, the Tor browser becomes illegal. According to a report, 57% of .onion websites support illegal activities. Here is the list of the most common activities that are conducted on the darknet: You may receive legal requests when the law prohibits you from telling anyone about the request. We believe that, at least in the United States, such muzzle orders do not prevent you from speaking to a lawyer, including calling a lawyer to find representation. Requests to the EFF for legal representation should be directed to our admissions coordinator (see eff.org).
These requests will be treated confidentially, subject to the limits of solicitor-client privilege. As a result, many people wonder if it is legal to use Tor. The short answer to this question is yes, it is legal in most countries to use the Tor browser and the Tor network. Using Tor Browser to bypass internet censorship is also legal, and there`s nothing in it.