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

On 12/13/2014 11:15 PM, Zenaan Harkness wrote:
> On 12/14/14, andre76@xxxxxxxxxxx <andre76@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> On Sat, Dec 13, 2014, at 03:30 AM, kendrick eastes wrote:
>>> dont feed the troll. If you ignore them they go away faster.
>> I was interested in hearing what he had to say. You folks may argue
>> against him/her but it seems to me he had some valid points though the
>> poster probably knows that no one will listen to his frustration.
> Juan's voice is an important voice, as he is hard-core "BE CAREFUL",
> and this is a very good thing for anyone who might genuinely -need-
> privacy in their communications, against USA Corp.

Upon reflection, I totally agree. And I apologize to Juan for being mean
and dismissive.

> In particular, a healthy (very healthy :)  paranoia enema is important
> for some people. And if a newcomer comes to this list genuinely
> needing privacy, and everyone speaks "TOR is, OMG, like soooo awesome,
> it's just the greatest privacy for everyone", then that newcomer is
> likely to guarantee themselves a serious problem.

Indeed. In that regard, I am most troubled by the Tor browser.

> So caution, paranoia, attention to detail, proper assessment of the
> risks and technical foundations/ requirements/ possibilities of what
> TOR can, and more importantly cannot provide, is (in such
> circumstances) of utmost importance.

Yes. I write a lot about such matters.

However, as Jonathan Wilkes noted yesterday, there's a risk of
frightening away users and potential relay operators. For better or
worse, Tor is the best low-latency anonymity network around. In the
short term at least, hurting Tor benefits many enemies of freedom.

There is no question that Tor was developed for the US military. And the
Tor Project is still funded largely (and for argument sake, entirely) by
the US government. But even so, I've seen no credible evidence that Tor
is backdoored or intentionally vulnerable.

It is true that Tor's threat model explicitly excludes global
adversaries, who can break anonymity by correlating entry and exit
traffic. It's also true that some proposed low-latency anonymity
networks may resist traffic analysis far better than Tor does. However,
these are highly technical matters, and there is much room for debate. I
am by no means qualified to have an opinion on the merits.

One might argue that the US government funding gives Tor an unwarranted
advantage, or even that it suppresses work on alternatives. As paranoid
as I am, that seems unworkable. But of course, I defer to evidence.

> On the other hand, for those on this list for some time, the old
> refrain becomes, well, an old refrain.


> If I personally were in a position to need some level of privacy in my
> online communications, I would be -very- grateful for Juan's voice of
> caution, no matter that I might disagree with some (or even many/most)
> of his points in particular.

Many of his epithets are way over the top, for sure.

> His message of caution is so much more the important thing here, in my
> so very high opinion :)

True enough. It's the Pando-style innuendo that's getting to me :(

> Stay safe if you need it,
> Zenaan
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