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Re: [tor-talk] Tor and solidarity against online harassment

On 12/12/2014 02:20 PM, Roger Dingledine wrote:
On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 03:23:42PM -0300, Juan wrote:
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We won't put backdoors in Tor. Ever.

	You work for the pentagon and are subjects of the US state.

	The US government has secret 'courts'  and secretly forces its
	subjects to tamper with all kinds of 'security'  systems, in the
	name of 'national security'.

	Whatever public declamations you make carry very little weight.
Hello Mr. Tor hater,

We get funding from a variety of groups, including US government groups.
We do not "work for the pentagon" but that is a separate discussion and
it shouldn't derail this one.

Hi Roger,
I'm afraid you're going to continue to hit up against this criticism for the foreseeable future, for the following reasons: 1) The NSA's betrayal of trust on the internet (and its standards) have all but removed good faith from the equation in the minds of a lot of people 2) practically speaking, Tor Browser Bundle _is_ private browsing mode for the time being. There is no other game in town (at least in terms of usability and being gratis)

So someone looks on your resume and finds a summer at the NSA. If the wider free software community was adequately funded to sustainably research and protect users privacy, that would be that. Tor would take a temporary hit and Privacy Software B's website would temporarily see more hits and development effort.

In the real world, however, there isn't a Software B. It will be a long time before even a Debian user can apt-get install and easily use Gnunet. Non-technical users see a world of NSA surveillance and a single usable, well-maintained piece of software available for anonymous browsing run by people funded by the U.S. government. Conspiracy theories flourish in that type of climate. And until there are as many (effective) private browsers competing with each other as there are normal browsers, these kinds of attacks will continue to be (at least somewhat) effective.

Anyway, for those who are willing to listen to a little reason and live in a country where encryption isn't illegal, here's a Pascal's wager for Tor Browser Bundle use:

                        Something to hide    Nothing to hide
                        -----------------    ---------------

Tor is a honey-pot: Tor use is BAD Tor use is No worse than not using Tor

Tor isn't honey-pot:    Tor use is GOOD      Tor use is GOOD

Of course this doesn't work if Tor use simply lands you in jail, or gets you disappeared by government agents. But if that is the case you have much bigger issues to deal with than private browsing.

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