TOR is easily conflated with criminal activity and evil. But at least one library in NH has taken the position of supporting, or at least not actively blocking TOR: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/09/16/440848324/n-h-public-library-resumes-its-support-of-tor-network in spite of concerns that the same access could allow illegal activities. The library is not a passive bystander, but operates a TOR relay that participates in the global anonymization activity.
The importance of individual citizens right to privacy for now has won, over the fear that it could be used to support undesirable actions. This is the ongoing balance: as with any powerful tool or weapon, guns can protect or rob banks. Encryption can protect the privacy of your credit card and banking transactions, but also hide the activity of terrorists.
As we learn and use TOR for appropriate actions in responsible ways, so should we learn to use encryption and yes, understand the practice the safe and legitimate use of guns as well.
NPR’s TED Radio Hour provides a view of TOR https://www.npr.org/2017/12/15/570797404/jamie-bartlett-what-goes-on-in-the-secrecy-of-the-dark-web — when NPR talks about it, can it be all bad?
NPR hosts a “secure” (encrypted, anonymized) whistleblower site https://help.npr.org/customer/en/portal/articles/2860413-got-a-confidential-news-tip-for-npr . Get a TOR browser, and connect to: http://5ha7oig7du2jeyer.onion to report a crime or tip. SecureDrop organizations include Associated Press, Bloomberg, Forbes, HuffPost, Wired, New York Times, Globe and Mail, The Guardian, Washington Post, and many others. If you do have a story and wish to remain anonymous as the source, please do take precautions: it is very hard today to be an anonymous whistleblower. If you have any questions, send me a private note to my encrypted email: firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat privately. Please note if you are intending to engage in illegal and immoral activities don’t bother to tell me; I will turn you in 🙂 …