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

On Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:07:19 +1100
Zenaan Harkness <zen@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> >
> >> 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.
> "Educating new users" must not be allowed to be seen the same as
> "hurting tor", I'm sure Juan would agree here.
> "Hurting tor" might not be the best term, but perhaps we can say
> 'scare-mongering' may cause potential users to run away, thereby
> reducing our community, and that this is undesirable; I'd hope Juan
> would agree with this.

	Yes, I don't mean to get people who benefit from tor to stop
	using it. Or to put it another way : as long as tor weakens
	state power, I think it's a useful tool. But, what does the
	bigger picture look like? What may happen is that while tor
	helps some people in some ways, it also consolidates US* state
	power. In that case I think tor is a legitimate target.

*and the power of 'allied' states too.

> But I have to agree that whenever we see "omg tor is so ponies and
> freedom", that Juan's voice of "whoah, slow the fuck down guys, Tor
> and TBB cannot save you from nation-state monitoring, and make sure
> you're aware of potential problems a b and c" is much better than no
> genuine voice of caution.
> And I have to say - every newcomer that appears here, must be the
> beneficiary of our best efforts in communication, for we simply cannot
> know if -this-particular- newbie is in need of the most careful advice
> to be cautious or not.
> So -because- Tor is the currently most viable "privacy of some level/
> some sort" newtwork today, we particularly owe it to be diligent and
> -never- fail to impress upon newcomers what they may need to keep in
> their minds.

	And, newcomers, who aren't likely to know too much about
	security take a look at 


	and see 

	"Defend yourself against network surveillance and traffic

	Traffic analysis? That's exactly what tor cannot prevent
	depending on who is doing the analysis. 

> > 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.
> Mirimir, your words in this email might make a good start for a "Quick
> educational caution" which newcomers ought be pointed to, say on the
> tp.o wiki.
> To help those who need it stay as safe as might be needed and/ or
> possible, certainly requires helping them, as early as possible,
> framing a mindset and certain understandings. Perhaps we can do better
> on this front.
> Over to others,
> Zenaan

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