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Re: [OT] another proxy, but not open source :-(

On Tue, May 25, 2010 at 04:01:43PM -0400, Ted Smith wrote:
> >   I couldn't figure
> > out why the author, Kurt Knutson of WGN TV, was so taken in by something that
> > isn't even available yet and about which there is so little publicly available
> > information.
> > 
> Maybe Tor Project should talk to his publicist ;-)

Tor certainly takes a different approach to publicity compared to
people like Haystack. We prefer to let our technology and deployment
do the speaking, and then explain it to people once it's clear there's
something worth explaining.

As has been made clear in all areas of technology over the past years,
though, the publicity side of things doesn't care whether you have the
technology sorted out or not.

Still, no thanks. I'd rather spend my time figuring out how to make the
technology actually work, than telling people about how great it'll be.

That said, massive publicity engines like this one can still do the
field some good. First, it reminds a much broader segment of society
about the issues. Second, it draws the attention of the censors. :)

> > >looks like they'll be running single-hop proxies from various hosts, and
> > >distributing that list inside the proprietary software they distribute
> > 
> >      That's more than I managed to extract from it, but that certainly
> > looks very bad if that is indeed what they are doing.
> > 
> They're just trying to tunnel traffic out of the "oppressive" countries,
> not provide actual anonymity (though they're very unclear about
> admitting this and should probably say it in big flashing red letters).
> They admit that tunneling Tor through their system would be a "good"
> thing.

Big red warning letters are actually something that these other projects
attack us about. After all, if you scare your users, they'll just go
elsewhere, or "worse", they'll stop trying to circumvent their firewall
as much.

It does worry me that so many of these projects see circumvention and
user privacy as totally unrelated goals. Iran sure has been learning its
lesson in that regard, with all the shiny new deep packet inspection
hardware their government is deploying. Check out these quotes from
Iran's chief of police:

For more reading, check out #5 at

It sure would be cool if somebody worked on pluggable ways to transport
Tor traffic in a more unobservable way. I suspect that starting over is
an unlikely route to get there though.


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