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Re: [tor-talk] Is this still valid?

On Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 10:04:31AM -0700, Seth David Schoen wrote:
> Seth David Schoen writes:
> > If you read the original Tor design paper from 2004, censorship
> > circumvention was actually not an intended application at that time:
> > 
> > https://svn.torproject.org/svn/projects/design-paper/tor-design.pdf
> > 
> > ("Tor does not try to conceal who is connected to the network.")
> The connection to censorship circumvention is that, on a censored
> network, people are normally not allowed to connect to censorship
> circumvention services (that the network operator knows about).  So if
> you allow the network operator to easily know who is connecting to the
> service -- as the 2004 version of Tor always did -- they can block it
> immediately (as several governments did when they noticed Tor was
> becoming popular in their countries).
> Now that Tor also has censorship circumvention as a goal, there are
> several methods it can use to try to disguise the fact that a particular
> person is connected to the Tor network.

This is all correct, but Tor (and for that matter the instances of
onion routing we built before it) always provided censorship
circumvention even if we didn't always call it that. We were conscious
and intentional that these systems could permit access to data,
services, and network locations that might be locally blocked at the
client end or might be blocked at the destination end for access from
specific network locations. As Seth noted, what has been added (and
continues to be developed) since the early 2000s version of Tor are
various methods to obfuscate that someone is connecting to the Tor network.

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