Layered Technologies reconnect me!

Well it came as a surprise to me that LayeredTech not only accepted my proposal to block the complainants address, but they did it politely and without any additional conditions. My communications were with someone called Logan and it was a refreshing change to not be treated as a criminal. My personal thanks to him.

Greetings! Thanks for the update. We are closing this abuse ticket at this time.

We consider use of Tor (or similar software) as not releasing you from our Acceptable Use Policy. I must warn you that per our policies we hold you accountable for all activity occurring on or through our network. Example, if your use of Tor to hide source/destination information of packet headers were involved in a more serious incident such as child pornography, we would require you to either discontinue use of Tor or we would have to shutdown the server. Our policy does not permit Acceptable Use Policy violation on or through our network and does not allow alteration of headers of any packet, email, or other service connection. In short, if an abuse occurs such that tracking the origin is modified then you are held responsible. I am not saying at this time that you cannot use Tor, but you are responsible for any/all abuse which occurs on your server or passes through your server regardless. Therefore, it is your responsibility to install, write, or otherwise place software on your server that would prevent abusive issues from being trafficked through the server to a 3rd party.

I’ve seen the above paragraph before in communications with LayeredTech, it’s obviously a policy they have drawn up to deal with situations like Tor where their paying client is unable to pass the blame on to a specific user. I’m not sure how this policy would work in practice as I keep no logs to prove or disprove any complaint that’s made against me. Based on this I can only assume that LayeredTech would take the word of anyone who contacted them and said my Tor Server had been used to access Child Porn (for example). Such a charge would likely get my server disconnected for good regardless of whether it was true or false accusation. This is a really tricky scenario as the complainant could easily trump up false charges and I would be unable to dispute them owing to the nature of Tor.


  1. Personally, I would shut it down. I understand your reasons for running one, but in the event you get some unfortunate abuse, you’re going to have to personally defend yourself in court.

  2. Anthony Ettinger Wrote:
    “Personally, I would shut it down. I understand your reasons for running one, but in the event you get some unfortunate abuse, you’re going to have to personally defend yourself in court.”

    This is possibly true and the Tor project is expecting a test case to come up soon. To begin with, Tor is defined as a common carrier. This means the provider (me) is not responsible for the nature of the traffic passing though it. A good example of this is the Internet itself. Operators of routers are exempt from responsibility for what passes through those routers.

    Another point in my specific case is that the server is located in the US, whilst I’m located in the UK. Can demands for logs and encryption keys cross international boundaries? Not there there are any logs, I don’t maintain them beyond warning levels.

    I think the problem is not law, it’s old fashioned beliefs. In Layered Tech’s case, they understand Tor well enough, but they simply don’t have processes or AUP’s to accomodate it. According to their bible, someone must be accountable. As Tor anonymises, the buck stops with me, their customer. In the end, it will probably get shut down, but I doubt it will be a legal matter.

Leave a comment