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I apologize in advance for my lack of understanding. I am planning on starting an adult content website which I plan on running 100% legally and in compliance with all rules and regulations. However, I do not want the general public knowing or finding out who I am.

I know Tor as it stands poses risks for exit relays from large agencies like NSA, FBI etc., but would it protect me enough from journalists?

  • Will your site be a hidden service, or a regular website? – user3349 Jan 29 '15 at 16:51
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Yes, Tor can provide the level of anonymity you desire, as long as your adversary is not a government agency or someone as resourceful as them.

Nevertheless, Tor itself is not enough to secure your anonymity. Make sure you are taking the steps to make any private information related to you unavailable to the public.

For example, if you register for real domain name (as opposed to an .onion domain name which does not require any contact information), the domain name registrar will ask for your name, adddress, contact phone (and they emphasize you give the correct info lest they'll cancel your service), and they publish it in their "whois" records so anyone in the world can read it. To prevent the publication of "whois" inforamtion, every domain registrar has an extra (requiring more payment) service that anonymize your private data in their "whois" records.

Furthermore, make sure you don't publish any private information (personal email addresses, names, phone numbers, etc.) on your site, or put your personal email address (or any email address that contains your name or is linked to it) in the contact address of your webserver, blog or site. If you are using third-party services in your site (electronic payment service), make sure they you are putting your site name on the receipts and not anything related to your identity or bank account.

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Serving your site through a Tor hidden service will indeed prevent the general public to learn your identity through technological means.

But as you said that you would operate legally, I would worry as much, if not more, about the threat posed by conventional private investigators. Because they won't even care about how is served your site, they will hunt for your company name which should be fairly easy to find, then will go in length to find the actual owner.

The book How to be invisible by JJ Luna discuss thoroughly issues more or less related to what you want. I would suggest finding it in the electronic format, so as not to risk to attract unwanted attention.

This is actually the major leverage that you can use to protect your identity : don't let anyone have a reason to find out who is that site's operator. And it works also the other way around, if this is also of your concern that somebody investigates you personally to end up discovering your business.

A good way to protect you is to create an alias name, a true spy-like covert identity that would be the closest to impossible to link to you.

JJ Luna talks about some techniques to achieve this.

But to answer your actual question on Tor, yes it gives you a really good asset although it is not immune to fails : especially in that any mistake on the server management risk to expose its real IP. You should consider using a gateway (same as a transparent proxy but for serving content instead of being the client) to Torify the traffic.

So :

  • Tor is a huge step towards your goal.

But :

  • Tor can fail.
  • Other ways of unmasking are equally important.

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