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Re: [tor-talk] Iran cracks down on web dissident technology

1st, thanks for the refresher, Paul. I'll bet most users didn't know Tor was started by the NRL. Unfortunately, for many, that won't ease their minds much.

I don't have the knowledge & skills to check Tor's source code & bet well > 90% of users don't either. I know (knew) my comments on Tor being funded (or started) by any Fed organization would not be well received. Neither were the handful of people w/ inside knowledge after 9-11 attacks, shouting there was no justification in attacking Iraq. They were shouted down & quickly labeled as unpatriotic. Even today, surveys show a significant percent of people still believe Iraq was responsible for 9-11 attacks. "Don't confuse me w/ facts - I've already made up my mind."

Again, WHY would Sam develop or fund technology that would make it possible for * their enemies * to communicate anonymously and privately, possibly allowing them to plot against him, with ABSOLUTELY no way to decipher that communication?

It's a serious question. Please save the "check the source code yourself" comments. Open source code means literally nothing. Did it mean anything when Iraq cracked down on Tor users? Researchers often show that. What makes this project different than other govt funded projects? (This seems like the, "It'll never happen here / to us" mentality).

It * IS * happening to us in pretty much every aspect of citizens' privacy. That's no secret. What makes Tor any different? If one govt can figure out how to identify Tor traffic, so can others. Above ALL else, govts NEVER reveal the full extent of their intelligence capability. That would be foolish.

I've never known Sam to get involved in, or fund something - especially like this - * w/o wanting something in return.* Ever. WHETHER or not they make known, to anyone, what they want or intend to do. It's been shown for over 50 - 60 yrs (probably much longer) that even people in charge of entire govt projects (or govt funded ones), often don't know the *full* extent of what's being done w/ the research, technology, info, etc. If you want to ignore history, go ahead.

On 3/20/2011 11:46 PM, Paul Syverson wrote:
On Sun, Mar 20, 2011 at 10:04:45PM -0500, Edward Langenback wrote:
Hash: SHA256

Joe Btfsplk wrote:
On 3/20/2011 5:08 PM, Eugen Leitl wrote:

Iran cracks down on web dissident technology...

...  The value of ???internet freedom??? technologies to US
foreign policy has not gone unnoticed in Washington: the Tor Project???s arms
race with Iranian authorities is_funded in part by grants from both the
Department of Defense and the State Department_.
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You've GOT to be kidding.  Tell me that's a mistake.  Tor Project,
dedicated to privacy&  anonymity, takes $ from DoD&  Sam?  While the US
spies on it's citizens, unconstitutionally?  That's rich.
Honestly, this enlightenment will make me reconsider ever using Tor for
anything I don't want sent directly to DC.  It's like trusting car
magazines' reviews that get their advertising $ from car manufacturers.
There is no way the fed is going to give $ to any "privacy" organization
w/o wanting something (cough, back door) in return.  Every ISP has been
forced into violating users' privacy.  Why would Tor project, after
taking $ from Sam, be any different?  OK users, go ahead&  stick your
head in the sand.

EVEN if it's not true, for me, Tor project has lost a good deal of its
credibility through its associations.  Of course, no government would
ever lie&  neither would a company (AT&T, Ford, Google, R.J. Reynolds...).
If I'm not mistaken, not only has TOR had at least some government /
DOD funding from the start, the original project was started by the

People seem to need a periodic refresher on this.
I will just state the long public and published facts.
Interpret them as you like. You can read more details at
but here's a quick summary:

I invented onion routing at NRL with David Goldschlag and Mike Reed in
1995-96 as a US Naval Research Laboratory project with initial funding
from ONR. All of us were NRL employees at the time. Our first deployed
system was in 1996 and source code for that system was distributed
later that year. (Code was entirely US government work by US
government employees, so not subject to copyright.)

As part of a later NRL project, I created the version of onion routing
that became known as Tor along with Roger Dingledine and Nick
Mathewson starting in 2002. I have been an NRL employee throughout all
this.  Roger and Nick were contractors working on my project. NRL
projects funded by ONR and DARPA were the only funding they had to
work on Tor until 2004. The first publicly deployed Tor network was in
2003, which was also when the source code was made available and
publicly licensed under the MIT license.  The first funding Roger and
Nick got to work on Tor that was other than as part of an NRL project
was from the EFF starting in 2004.

Tor got funding from a variety of sources after that, including several
U.S. government projects, both before and since becoming a US 501 (c)(3)
nonprofit. You can find a summary at

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