Hulu Blocks Tor

I run a Tor relay on my home network on a BeagleBone Black. It’s certainly not the fastest Tor relay out there, but it’s inexpensive, small, and doesn’t affect my home network. But more importantly, it allows users who are censored to access the Internet and the Tor project helps protect privacy online. The Tor project, IMHO, is one of the best open source projects around.

Bandwidth graph of my BBB relay over the last 3 months
Bandwidth graph of my BBB relay over the last 3 months

As a non-exit relay, one does not typically encounter many issues as none of the Tor traffic exits my relay to the open Internet. For those seeking a description of Tor traffic, there is a great infographic on the EFF site. Anyway, I tried to watch Family Guy and I was presented this:

hulu_blocks_tor
All Tor relays have their IP address publicized; this is how Tor clients can find them. There are some exceptions with things called “Bridges,” which I won’t go into any detail here. It’s pretty easy to collect a list of public Tor relays, since well, they are public and simply blacklist all of those IP addresses. Which is what I think is happening here.

I sent the following email to Hulu support; we’ll see if I get a response. There was a response on the Tor-talk mailing. I like Family Guy, but I like Internet freedom more.

Hello,

I run a non-exit Tor relay on my home network. This allows Internet users, who are censored, to access the Internet and protects users who wish to keep their privacy while online. There is a great description of who uses Tor at: https://www.torproject.org/about/torusers.html.en

As you can tell, my IP is based in the U.S. and I would like to access Hulu. Can you please lift the blacklist on my IP?

Josh

Oh, February 11th is the Day We Fight Back against Mass Surveillance. Bloggers and website admins can add some javascript on their pages to show support but WordPress.com users are out of luck. I added this support request to WordPress.com. If you are on WordPress.com, maybe you can “me too” the post to show some support!?

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5 thoughts on “Hulu Blocks Tor

  1. I believe you are correct in your analysis. I’m in the same situation, running a non-exit Tor relay on my home network. Today I found Hulu blocked on both my laptop and Roku. It’s really quite sad to seem them go this route because there are much easier ways to get content illegally than thorugh the Tor network. /sigh

  2. My bank, TD Canada Trust, blacklists my IP address after a few days of running a non-exit Tor relay (also on a Beaglebone Black). A few days after shutting down the relay I am removed from their blacklist. Unfortunately managing my finances is more important than watching “Family Guy”. I have e-mailed the bank to be put on a whitelist but have yet to hear back. If they don’t whitelist me, I will be moving my money and investments.

    1. That sucks. I feel like there has been a rise of non-exit relay blocking. I wonder if these commercial services are using the same firewall / blacklisting software?

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