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[tor-talk] Teaching people to use Tor

Hello, Tor Teachers!

I am a hobbyist programmer from Asia, where the general public don't use Tor. My spare time job is raise people's awareness on mass surveillance and teach them how to protect their identities on the Internet when they are doing sensitive, controversial and semi-illegal activities.


- Tor is heavily censored in China. Internet is heavily censored in China. But people don't know how Internet censorship works. Though there is a big firewall, many people don't know how will digital surveillance affects their safety. The general computer users are more than eager to install govt-sponsored adware and spyware to use the Internet more conveniently [1]. Web browsers from China don't check for HTTPS certificates and Man in middle attacks. Citizen Labs caught Baidu on spying on their users. [2]

[1] https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/11/millions-android-devices-vulnerable-remote-hijacking-baidu-wrote-code-google-made
[2] https://citizenlab.org/2016/02/researchers-identify-security-and-privacy-issues-in-baidu-browser

- Tor is not used widely in Japan, though Japan does not have heavy Internet censorship. They prefer to use "homemade" software, for example the close source, discontinued P2P software Perfect Dark [1], which is not safe at all.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_Dark_%28P2P%29

- Controversial events occurred, which has the potential raise people's awareness of privacy, anonymity and mass surveillance.
    (On extraorbitant profits) Theories suggest a Chinese video streaming company filed complaints to Kyoto cyber police, asking local police to arrest Chinese college students: http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2016/09/28/kyoto-police-arrested-two-chinese-men-for-illegally-uploading-arslan-prisma-illya-anime
    (On legality) Chinese headlines suggest it is the first case in which Japanese cyber police actually took action to arrest people for torrenting. Before that, torrenting in Japan is a grey area.
    (On public anger) Protest in Hong Kong against police arresting fansubbers: http://www.acgdoge.net/archives/11917 (Use StartPage proxy to see it)
    (On lack of security knowledge) People don't know how BitTorrent works. Many technical discussions afterwards still recommend future people use unreliable OPSEC methods, including using the Baidu Drive over HTTP port 80, using WinRAR volumes to "destroy traffic feature" and, using the defunct Perfect Dark.

My methods:

- I need to test and evaluate these software first. Many software has confusing translations, and has bugs handling file system encoding.

For example, OnionShare and Stem don't work on my computer. I doubt it is that the directory name contains Chinese characters. I emailed OnionShare and Stem developer about this.

- Despite that I am a little bit late, I still need to teach the general people how to use anonymity and privacy software, in a way easy to understand, easy to memorize and hard to censor.

I tried to translate tutorials into familiar memes, so people will hopefully feel obvious to use anonymity software.

A modern Chinese meme goes like this: a forum moderator [*] wanted to teach people how to take screenshots, so he pretended to be a professional (a professional on taking screenshots), showed three obvious ways of taking screenshots on Windows 7: (1) Ma Hua Teng [**] presses the big button in his chat software; (2) dear Bill Gates presses the big button which says "Snipping tool"; (3) "The God of Computer" presses the big button on the keyboard. In the last picture, it says: "This is you. You still want to use cellphone camera in front of computer screen." [***]

[*] http://imgs.aixifan.com/content/2016_05_30/1464571016.jpg
[**] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma_Huateng
[***] https://img.alicdn.com/imgextra/i1/1934989275/TB2HWa6gFXXXXbeXXXXXXXXXXXX_!!1934989275-0-taoxiaopu_sell.jpg

I want to making using anonymity software obvious, too. I made a poster in the meme style, pretending to be a pseudonymous professional, to raise curiosity first, and showed what celebrities in computer world want "you" to use, but what "you" decided to use at last. I even created a printable version: https://github.com/m-ajiao/Dr.-Tanaka-Says/blob/master/Your_Upload_Buttons.pdf

At last, the problem I am aware of after making this, is that using these software doesn't seem to be easy. Tor Browser comes without many required configurations, has a straightforward UI design, but this is not the case for I2P, Tahoe-LAFS and RetroShare. There is still many work to make anonymity software more accessible to computer beginners, which requires not only developers' effort but also public awareness and support.

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