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One of the most common reasons I hear for not running an exit relay is the risk of it being used to access child porn and the owner of the exit node being accused or charged with downloading or trafficking the material. How significant is this risk? Does running a reduced exit policy mitigate this risk? Are there instances of exit node operators being convicted of child porn charges?

  • I don't consider myself qualified to give an answer. Those cases (accuses/charges) exist, but I have no record of them, maybe someone does. I'm unaware of any conviction, what shouldn't mean there weren't any. However, if there is no other evidence/material found, I think those charges would be dropped. The reduced exit policy gets rid of bittorent traffic for some part. I'm unaware of actual child porn being shared with bittorrent, but I got told that most of the content is available over websites. If it helps to reduce the risk could depend on your jurisdiction, too. What's defined as CP?! – bastik Nov 2 '13 at 9:09
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I haven't heard about any exit node operator being convicted in child pornography charges (but my backlog on tor-relays@lists.torproject.org is huge).

However, it is likely that you will get contacted, at some point, by your local Law Enforcement Agency. Here, in France, I didn't run into any trouble (of that kind) when running an exit node on my own, but I had to explain to various police officers what Tor is, and why the traffic they were asking about wasn't mine.

In retrospect, it might have been helpful to contact preemptively local law enforcement, to tell them about Tor.

Lastly, you probably need to ask someone about how it goes in your country. tor-relays@lists.torproject.org (again) should be a good place to ask (or here, perhaps).

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