Tor Says CloudFlare Is Mistreating Users; Refutes Claims About Malicious Traffic

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Tor Says CloudFlare Is Mistreating Users; Refutes Claims About Malicious Traffic

Last week, CloudFlare, a popular CDN service said that 94 percent of traffic coming from Tor is malicious. CEO Matthew Prince further noted that this doesn't mean these users are visiting "controversial" content, but instead these "automated" requests are "designed to harm" its customers. The company further noted that it has been pushed to force these users to pass Captcha or a JavaScript challenge in order to access the content using Tor.

Tor Project has refuted CloudFlare's claims that the vast majority of requests coming from Tor users are "malicious." Moreover, the non-profit says that CloudFlare intentionally treats Tor users poorly, blocking the traffic coming from Tor IP addresses.

Addressing the CDN service's allegations, Tor said that CloudFlare hasn't detailed how it uses IP reputation system, adding that according to external research, CloudFlare has blocked at least 80 percent of Tor IP addresses and that the number continues to grow.

"CloudFlare's approach to blocking abusive traffic is incurring a large amount of false positives in the form of impeding normal traffic, thereby damaging the experience of many innocent Tor and non-Tor Internet users, as well as impacting the revenue streams of CloudFlare's own customers by causing frustrated or blocked users to go elsewhere," the company wrote in a blog post.

"CloudFlare disagrees with our use of the word "block" when describing its treatment of Tor traffic, but that's exactly what their system ultimately does in many cases. Users are either blocked outright with Captcha server failure messages, or prevented from reaching websites with a long (and sometimes endless) loop of Captchas, many of which require the user to understand English in order to solve correctly."

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