While Tor is free software that anyone can run, successful operation of Tor nodes may require technical expertise, access to high-bandwidth, and can involve legal complications in some jurisdictions. The Torservers.net network accepts financial donations as a way to sponsor additional nodes.
On June 20, 2018, Bavarian police raided the home of the board members of the German non-profit Zwiebelfreunde, "Friends of the Onion," (part of torservers.net). Zwiebelfreunde helps collect donations from Europe for various non-commercial providers such as Riseup.net.
The police claim the raid was prompted by a blog post from an unrelated activist that promised violence against an upcoming Alternative for Germany convention in Augsburg. The blog post was published on a website that used a Riseup.net e-mail address. Riseup Collective is based in Seattle in the United States, and reported publicly that Zwiebelfreunde does not run its service.
On August 23 the German court at Landgericht München ruled that the raid and seizures was illegal. The hardware and documentation seized had been kept under seal, and purportedly were neither analyzed nor evaluated by the Bavarian police.
- Associated Whistleblowing Press (Belgium)
- Access Now (USA)
- Calyx Institute (USA)
- Zwiebelfreunde e.V. (Germany)
- Hart Voor Internetvrijheid (Netherlands)
- Library Freedom Project (USA)
- Noisebridge (USA)
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[..] covers legal costs for exit operators when needed
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