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[tor-talk] Tor Weekly News â February 18th, 2015

Tor Weekly News                                      February 18th, 2015

Welcome to the seventh issue in 2015 of Tor Weekly News, the weekly
newsletter that covers whatâs happening in the Tor community.

Onion services

Anonymous web services hosted in the Tor network [1] have until now been
referred to as âhidden servicesâ. Although this name accurately
describes one of their properties, it does not convey some of the other
benefits that the system provides, like end-to-end encryption without a
purchased SSL certificate, or self-authenticating domain names outside
of the commercial DNS system. Furthermore, as Aaron Johnson points
out [2], words like âhiddenâ and âdarkâ have an unnecessarily negative

Aaron and other members of the SponsorR team declared themselves in
favor of using the word âonionâ (as in âonion routingâ [3]) to
characterize Tor-protected web services. âHidden servicesâ could be
renamed âonion servicesâ, while websites offered as onion services are
âonionsitesâ; an onion serviceâs URL is its âonion addressâ, while the
dreaded âDark Webâ becomes simply âonionspaceâ.

A full list of new and more precise terminology is in Aaronâs message
and on the Tor wiki [4]; please feel free to contribute to the
discussion on the tor-dev mailing list with your thoughts.

  [1]: https://www.torproject.org/docs/hidden-services
  [2]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-dev/2015-February/008256.html
  [3]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion_routing
  [4]: https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/org/sponsors/SponsorR/Terminology

Miscellaneous news

Nathan Freitas of the Guardian Project announced [5] the release of
version 15-alpha-3 of Orbot. This release includes more work on VPN
support, and builds on last weekâs early release of the PLUTO
library [6] to offer support for meek [7], although it is not currently
possible to use both at the same time. See Nathanâs announcement for
usage instructions and download links.

  [5]: https://lists.mayfirst.org/pipermail/guardian-dev/2015-February/004243.html
  [6]: https://github.com/guardianproject/pluto
  [7]: https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/doc/meek

Yawning Angel asked for comments [8] on an implementation of a
proposal [9] to let Tor create âephemeralâ onion services, using key
material that is supplied at runtime rather than stored on the disk. See
Yawningâs post for a detailed explanation of the concept and a link to
the new code; however, trying to run this untested and unreviewed new
so donât do that.

  [8]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-dev/2015-February/008279.html
  [9]: https://bugs.torproject.org/6411

Yawning also announced [10] version 0.0.4 of obfs4proxy, which âis more
useful for the Tor Browser people than anyone else, since it means that
the next build can remove the old go.crypto cruft from the build
process, and the ScrambleSuit client provider can be switched over to
obfs4proxy like obfs2 and obfs3 have beenâ.

 [10]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-dev/2015-February/008306.html

SiNA Rabbani announced that Faravahar, the directory authority which he
operates, will be moving to a new IP address on Friday [11].

 [11]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-dev/2015-February/008278.html

Thanks to cuanto [12] for running a mirror of the Tor Project website
and software!

 [12]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-mirrors/2015-February/000858.html

Thomas White published [13] a guide [14] to configuring an Nginx
webserver as a hidden service: âIt isnât intended to be a hardening
guide or an ultra secure way of hosting, but it is for people who want
to casually publish some static HTML files or with a little extra
configuration to host some applicationsâ.

 [13]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2015-February/036886.html
 [14]: https://www.thecthulhu.com/setting-up-a-hidden-service-with-nginx/

Collin Anderson and the University of Torontoâs Citizen Lab made a joint
submission [15] to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the
promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and
expression, examining the importance of digital security software such
as Tor in upholding free expression and the right to privacy.

 [15]: https://citizenlab.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/SR-FOE-submission.pdf

carlo von lynX wondered [16] about the truth of the statement that âit
would take latencies in the order of hours to fully make communications
impossible to shape and correlateâ. Roger Dingledine clarified [17]:
âItâs actually worse than that â we have no idea. Iâd love to have a
graph where the x axis is how much additional overhead (latency,
bandwidth, whatever) weâre willing to add, and the y axis is how much
additional security (anonymity, privacy, whatever) we can get. Currently
we have zero data points for this graph.â

 [16]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2015-February/036911.html
 [17]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2015-February/036912.html

Upcoming events

  Feb 18 13:30 UTC | little-t tor development meeting
                   | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
  Feb 23 18:00 UTC | Tor Browser online meeting
                   | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
  Feb 23 18:00 UTC | OONI development meeting
                   | #ooni, irc.oftc.net
  Feb 24 18:00 UTC | little-t tor patch workshop
                   | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
  Mar 01 - 06      | Tor Winter Dev Meeting 2015
                   | Valencia, Spain
                   | https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/org/meetings/2015WinterDevMeeting
  Mar 24 - 25      | Roger and Jake @ RightsCon 2015
                   | Manila, Philippines
                   | https://www.rightscon.org/manila/

This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by Harmony and Roger

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