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Re: [tor-talk] Fox News bans my Tor Browser

On 1/16/2015 5:28 PM, l.m wrote:
TBB's new identity feature is considered more anonymity safe [1].
Vidalia's new identity doesn't consider how inter-tab traffic can
identify you. It also doesn't consider how changes to the browser
window make you unique (and trackable) across changed identities. TBB
will close open tabs and shutdown any traffic that may cross
identities. It also resets the browser window to some common size
within Tor's user-base.
Yes, I'm sure Torbuttons' New Identity is more anonymous (safer) than Vidalia. And I use it. But what I find happens - more than a few times, when a site doesn't like an Tor exit (it's IP, or it's location), using New Identity often selects another circuit *very* similar to the previous; often definitely in the same country & similar IPa to previous one. When that happens, site still block Tor (fairly often).

UPSHOT: When sites block or require captcha (captchas often don't work) from a geo-location or from a range of IPa's, clicking the New Identity button often doesn't fix anything. But, I've found dozens or hundreds of times, it's not because the sites "block all Tor." It's because they block specific countries, IPs - or ranges of them. Torbutton "New Identity" doesn't handle this very well, - from the aspect - of getting you connected to a site that blocked exits from specific countries.
I'm not sure of a better solution for this.

Just one example: Say, https://ixquick.com/ (or Startpage), requires a captcha. Getting a new identity *often* doesn't remove the captcha requirement - but sometimes does. I started looking at possible reasons why. Using Vidalia (*ONLY* so I could see the circuit locations, IPa's, etc.).

It became clear, at times, that simply closing the existing circuit, then watching (in Vidalia) the new circuit & exits - OFTEN in the same country, or had similar IPa, still caused Ixquick (and MANY other sites) to still block or require captcha. Captchas that may / may not work.

I notice the same thing using "New Identity" button (while observing countries, relay names, IPs, etc. of the old & New Identity). Repeatedly getting a New Identity often doesn't fix the blocking or presenting captchas. On many sites. I'm guessing it's often because the exit relay locations (countries) and / or IPa ranges, etc., are too close to the last one.

Often, if I Torbutton new identities enough times in a row, that through ? luck of the draw?, the exit relay geo-location and / or IPa range changes significantly, the sites then work fine. Five successive, new identities - all w/ exits in "XYZ-stan(s)" countries may never allow access to a site. Then work immediately on getting an exit in Germany, US. (Note: I'm not biased against relays base on their country - but the sites blocking them are.)

Thanks for link / info on TrackHostExits & AllowDotExit.
Reading those command descriptions, sounds like they're useful mainly if you "must" access a site w/ Tor, but don't care so much about anonymity? Which may be acceptable, depending on one's reason for Tor - on a given site. Just as long as a user knows the risks.

TrackHostExits host -- try to reuse exits for the host [2]
AllowDotExit -- specify an exit to use with an address using dot
notation [2]

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