Hard talks - Questions


First of all nice to meet you all, it is great to see that Storj has a great community. I am super new here and trying to discover the opportunities this product can be used for, but also being a holder of Storj coins I am a bit worried about a few things which can be important in long term. I would like to assure you that behind the below questions there are no bad intentions or any trolling around.

a. Does Storj allows to host adult content in general? Can the adult industry at one point decide to host their materials within the system? If yes, how does Storj handles the legal part of providing this service, and how Storj will get to know that their system is being used for such activity?
b. How do you tackle those kinds of materials which are illegal, I am not only talking about hosting and providing pirated software, but I am more worried about files connected to criminal activities (I prefer to not give examples but I believe we all can guess).

I understand that obviously most of the users will use the system for general things, but in a long term, I am worried that the system can be a victim of those users who can close down the whole project. I couldn’t find any documentation (yet) about these so would be great to hear your opinion in general!

Thank you so much for all the answers and ideas!

Some interesting reads:

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there is no way to know what materials are you holding on storj, until you make it public available.
Because All martials are encrypted by your key, and no one know what the keys used.(in case you not use Gateway-mt or not uploaded by webpage) even if you hold illegal materials, until they are public available no one know they they are illegal.

Yes Vadim, and that can be worrying in the long term as it can result that the media will connect Storj to such activities, and seems like we will not be able to do much against it. A solution might be to have such an “I agree XY” button before uploading any files, at least to show the intention from Storj’s side that they try to do something against it.

We do not condone the use of illegal content on our platform, but the nature of the platform with its end-to-end encryption prevents us from having any control on what is stored or shared by users. We believe decentralized technologies will have a lasting, positive effect on society. However, such technologies can only flourish in the long-term if they work within and evolve with a society’s legal and ethical norms.

However, if the illegal content become public, and reported to us - we will comply with all legal requirements to shutdown such links.



This is always a tough line to walk. You can’t provide a truly private service without giving that same privacy to the wrong people. The best that can be done is prevent people from spreading those materials publicly when notified about it. It’s been mentioned before that Storj takes quick action when they are notified about illegal materials or malware. But they can never find out themselves that it’s being hosted if the keys are kept private.

However, the terms of service are very clear about this not being allowed. And whenever you use the service for something like that, you risk the data being removed and potentially losing your account.

As for adult content, that’s not illegal in most countries and while people might frown upon it, I don’t expect Storj Labs will take a stance on that other than what the law allows. Just make sure those materials are not made available in jurisdictions where that wouldn’t be legal. That would be up to the end user to ensure. Since Storj Labs has to comply with legal take down requests, you might risk losing the data if you publish it in places where it’s illegal.

As a node operator myself, I’m pretty aligned with that sentiment. I think providing privacy to people who need it is important. But I don’t want to help people host illegal content. And that sentiment has been echoed by the community before. Within what is legal, there is still plenty of content I’d rather not host. But I will accept that for the purpose of providing a truly private storage option for those who really need that privacy for the good.

If there were a magical switch that would keep the bad guys out without damaging the privacy of others, we’d all jump on the opportunity. But I guess we don’t have access to such magic. :slight_smile:

Edit: For what it’s worth, I’m really proud to be helping customers like the Internet Archive and CIMMYT.


Nice to meet you too @MYname ,

Can the adult industry at one point decide to host their materials within the system?
Yes so long as the data stored is legal.

If yes, how does Storj handles the legal part of providing this service?
Which part exactly?
You are responsible for all adult industry specific compliances such as FOSTA-SESTA

How Storj will get to know that their system is being used for such activity?
As the others have said, the platform encrypts your data so we would not know if it was adult when uploaded. We would know if it was reported to us for sharing something illegal, in which case Storj must remove the data for legal reasons.


I think it’s also important to understand that there is no difference here at the client end versus any other storage provider. You can store illegal content on Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Amazon S3, Drop Box, and a hundred other providers. You can encrypt it and lock it away from the host’s eyes so they have no idea that it is there. You can, depending on the service, offer this content to the public.

In the case of Storj, there are times when the company receives legal take down notices, and the company complies. The same as any other provider.

When it comes to a node itself hosting third party content. As explained it is an encrypted piece of a highly fragmented file. What your region of the world determines is your legal responsibilities is something you’d have to discuss with a lawyer. Some places have legal protections for service providers, especially if they don’t knowingly host such content and comply with takedown notices. But other countries may have more restrictions. It’s best to just discuss it with a lawyer if you’re unsure.