I see from the Tor network-metrics page that there are only ~1000 exit relays. Even if the Tor browser is secure, having so few exit relays limits the anonymity provided, right? How could the Tor Project facilitate and encourage new exit relays?


Having only a thousand exit relays does not harm your anonymity directly.

If there were only a thousand users, then that would be a problem. But there aren't. There are many thousands of users, and you get your anonymity from blending in with them. Or, in other words, you derive anonymity because nobody can tell you from the hundreds of thousands of other Tor users.

However, having few fast exit relays harms diversity. Concentrating a large portion of the network isn't good because then a single node can see a significant part of the entire traffic.

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    I agree that will not hurt our identity directly but more exit nodes means more work on NSA or any other attackers.Am I right gentlemen? – esa Oct 24 '13 at 7:18

Yes, there are only 1k exits.

It is easy to explain why so. Earlier, Internet was a paradise of spammers. There are couple of generations of spammers growth in the network.

Once you've setup your node as an exit, you've lost your IP address forever.

Just try it yourself.

You will become blacklisted by every kind of SpamCops. Requests from your IP would be locked on Google, Yahoo, etc...

Even wikipedia will deny you to share your knowledge.

But it is not so bad. The real terrible thing is a 2.5k of middle-relays only.

Peoples share thousands of terabytes of pirate's DVD, but wantn't share their bandwidth. The main problem that I see, they just don't know the difference between the middle-node and an exit. Who tries once setup an exit, now staying away from Tor. The simplicity of keeping middle-relay must be illuminated another, more popular, way.

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    Running an exit node does not cause your IP to be blacklisted. Exit node operators can easily avoid problems like spam blacklists and DMCA complaints by running a reduced exit policy. trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/doc/ReducedExitPolicy – Herbalist Oct 24 '13 at 16:53
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    Anyway, more than 90% of designers ban Tor by full list of current exits. Just observer questions over stackexchange about "How-to block Tor users?". – polar bear on the white snow Oct 26 '13 at 13:11
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    @polarbearonthewhitesnow can you support that 90% claim? I rarely see wholesale blocks of Tor users, more frequently I see things such as captcha images, or moderated sign-ups or comments. And that's only on sites with heavy user participation. – Megan Walker Oct 26 '13 at 22:26
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    I have clarify this in answer: Any search engine, any email service, actually wikipedia, block Tor user, and in more than 50% cases - it is not a Captha, it is fascist block. – polar bear on the white snow Oct 30 '13 at 11:40
  • There is no incentive from doing so.
  • In other systems not related to Tor, usually the users are happy to contribute back to whatever they are using. This doesn't work for Tor. Most users interested in Tor want to hide their identity. Anonymously hosting a relay is difficult. They fear, that hosting even a middle relay will give them unwanted attention.
  • Doing anything at all anonymously is difficult. That's especially so while attracting attention. Running a middle relay from home is easy, and not necessarily very expensive, if you have bandwidth and a machine to spare. But running a remotely-hosted exit relay is much harder, and much more expensive. I wonder if there's a way for many users to easily run anonymous mini exit relays, with high bandwidth but low throughput caps. I'm assuming that AWS would not be OK with that ;) – mirimir Oct 24 '13 at 4:51

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