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Re: Torbutton : please offer better user agent choices

Mike Perry wrote:
We are not in the habit of providing features that are demonstrably
bad for anonymity for no reason, and I am certainly not going to
give such work priority over much more important things such as
improving the performance of the network as a whole (for ex, my latest
work: http://archives.seul.org/or/dev/Jan-2010/msg00012.html).

The answer is "Use UA Switcher to give yourself a unique ID if you
want", and that's final. Hell, go ahead and write the SHA1 hash of
your address and social security number in there if that turns you on.
It still won't make you look one bit less like a Tor user, I can
promise you that.


This thread reminds me of a nice analogy from a previous thread:

If Internet users are like the characters from the Peanuts comic strip, then Tor users - *regardless* of any settings they may use (Torbutton, UA, or otherwise), by virtue of their use of a Tor exit node IP alone - look like Charlie Brown.

Since nothing can change that Tor users are Charlie Browns, the key to maximizing anonymity - making it as hard as possible to tell any one of the Charlie Browns apart from the rest - is to make sure all the Charlie Browns look exactly the same.

This is what the standard UA in Torbutton attempts to do: Make sure all the Charlie Browns have that same yellow shirt with the zig-zag stripe on it. We'll call that UA "foo."

Now if one of the Tor users - one of the Charlie Browns - changes their UA to "bar," all of a sudden that Charlie Brown has a RED shirt on.

A red shirt - the "bar" UA - would stand out quite nicely against 4 million yellow shirts - the standard "foo" UAs. :o)

F. Fox
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