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[tor-talk] Roger's status report, Nov 2012

Six big things I did in November:

1) Attended the NSF PI meeting for our new grant (joint with Georgia
Tech and Princeton). Met dozens of professors and renewed connections
to dozens more. One standout: I met a nice economist who framed our
exit relay funding debate as an "if you" vs "now that" game. When you
incentivize people with "if you X, I'll Y", they behave differently than
when it's "now that you've X, I'll Y".

2) Went to Georgia Tech to meet with Nick Feamster's group about the NSF
grant. It will be about Tor network measurement, circumvention evaluation,
OONI, and in the spirit of NSF grants, whatever other research projects
the group finds worthwhile. We (me, Jake, Arturo, Isis, maybe others)
will meet with them again in mid January.

3) Helped Nick Hopper submit an NSF "medium" proposal around
privacy-preserving Tor network / user behavior measurements. We're still
on track to hire Nick as our research director for his sabbatical year
starting this summer, and this funding would help him have good students.

4) Wrote proposal 213 ("Remove stream-level sendmes from the design"):
After discussion, one of the flaws in the proposal turns out to be a flaw
in the n23 congestion control algorithm too:
(thanks to Andreas Krey)

5) Attended Foreign Policy's "Global Thinkers Gala" where they named Nick,
Paul, and me as global foreign policy thinkers:
I talked to a lot of journalists who had never heard of Bluecoat or
their exports to Syria :(, as well as a lot of State Dept people whose
jobs are to create foreign policy. One person I met was tasked by Congress
with designing and deploying the US sanctions against Iran.

6) Released Tor
Released Tor, the first stable in the 0.2.3 branch:
But I still haven't mailed tor-announce because our new Windows and OSX
TBB packages still have bugs.


Six smaller things I did in November:

7) Finally crafted (with help from Wendy) a trademark faq entry for
researchers who use cute Tor-derived names in their research paper titles:

8) Wrote https://www.torproject.org/projects/obfsproxy-debian-instructions
based on original text from george (asn).

9) Made a list of SponsorF progress we've made that can be integrated
into the 'system development plan' that their funders want, and helped
Karsten to find the tex / txt sources to do so.

10) Jumped into the libtech 'silent circle' flame war ("re:
Got a bunch of responses from lurkers -- a whole lot of people read this
list, even though they avoid posting to it.

11) Participated in our Q4 board meeting, where we elected a new director!
More details coming soon.

12) Helped Rob Jansen, Karsten, and Steven track down another bug in
Shadow -- this one was preventing us from testing Shadow on Debian/Ubuntu


And five things I started but didn't get far enough on:

13) Started talking to Nathan Freitas / Guardian about my hopes for a
push-to-talk feature in Orbot, and general voip-over-tor usability:

14) Worked with Aaron Gibson to start migrating to our new
check2.torproject.org plan. Still todo is writing up the requirements
for the scripts to turn descriptors and consensuses into a more accurate

15) Tried some more to contact Noisebridge people about funding their
exit relays. I assume there are some internal politics preventing
them from wanting to touch government money (even without strings
attached). Hopefully I'll find them at 29c3 and learn some details.

16) Resumed the discussion with Will Scott about using his torperf-like
tools to make more realistic Tor performance measurements over time:

17) Started reviewing some tor-dev proposals, which led to noticing an
interesting potential attack:


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