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Re: [tor-talk] I don't understand two things about the node "freja".

On Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 10:13:37PM -0000, sean_sullivan@xxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> I have questions about the Tor node ?freja?.
> First, according to https://torstatus.rueckgr.at/, the node is at
> which is in Italy. Yet WHOIS says the addresses
> are in Pune, India. The last IP from a
> ?traceroute? is and is in ?IT?
> (Italy) which suggests that https://torstatus.rueckgr.at/ is correct.
> Why would WHOIS inaccurately (I think) say the IP is in India?

whois, and geoip databases, are notoriously inaccurate. This is a fine
illustration that it's not good to rely on them for situations that
really matter.

In particular, there's a pattern where some European country "loans"
an address block to somewhere in Africa or Asia, and then takes it back
a few years later, but nobody bothers updating whois for a while.

This pattern is also illustrated by some of the periodic spikes we have
of hundreds of thousands of new Tor users in Uganda -- they're actually
Tor users in Germany, but the geoip is wrong.

(To make things more exciting, sometimes there *are* spikes of many Tor
users in Uganda. But it means every time you see a pattern on one of
the metrics graphs, you have to wonder what you're actually seeing.)

> Second, according to https://torstatus.rueckgr.at/, ?freja? is not an exit
> node. But if you use...
> StrictNodes 1
> ExitNodes freja
> ...then TBB will load the purple introductory screen ?Explore. Privately.?
> (I tried with other non-exit nodes and TBB typically gets stuck on
> ?Requesting Relay Information? and never loads the purple screen).
> However, then ?freja? will not load any pages.
> So if it?s not an exit node, why does the introductory screen load?

Tor Browser's "about:tor" screen is served locally -- it does not come
from any remote website.

This is one of the Tor Browser usability improvements from some years ago,
where "making users wait for their Tor to bootstrap, and then fetch a
remote page, before the browser window appears" is no fun so we fixed it.


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