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[tor-talk] Tor Weekly News â October 8th, 2014

Tor Weekly News                                        October 8th, 2014

Welcome to the fortieth issue in 2014 of Tor Weekly News, the weekly
newsletter that covers what is happening in the Tor community.

Setup ooniprobe in five minutes

New versions of the Open Observatory of Network InterferenceÂ[1] (OONI)
tools are out. On October 1st, Arturo Filastà announcedÂ[2] ooniprobe
1.2.0 and oonibackend 1.1.4.

âOne of the most interesting new features that are now part of ooniprobe
is the ability to generate test decks for the country you are in a way
that is much easier than beforeâ, writes Arturo.

He adds: âAs a matter of fact to start contributing useful measurements
itâs just a matter of 5 minutes of setupÂ[3].â So donât be shy about
adding your measurements to the project!


Monthly status reports for September 2014

The wave of regular monthly reports from Tor project members for the
month of September has begun. Juha Nurmi released his report firstÂ[4],
followed by reports from Georg KoppenÂ[5], Damian JohnsonÂ[6], George
KadianakisÂ[7], Matt PaganÂ[8], LunarÂ[9], Sherief AlaaÂ[10], Leiah
JansenÂ[11], HarmonyÂ[12], Pearl CrescentÂ[13], Nick MathewsonÂ[14],
Karsten LoesingÂ[15], Sukhbir SinghÂ[16], Nicolas VigierÂ[17] (in
addition to JulyÂ[18] and AugustÂ[19]), Arlo BreaultÂ[20], J.
TodaroÂ[21], and Colin C.Â[22]


Lunar also reported on Tor help deskÂ[23], Mike Perry for the Tor
Browser teamÂ[24], and Arturo Filastà for OONIÂ[25].


Miscellaneous news

Orbot users should rejoice at the news that orWallÂ[26] 1.0.0 has been
releasedÂ[27]! orWall will force selected applications through Tor while
preventing unauthorized applications to have any network access. âAny
feedback from Tor/Orbot users interests me in order to improve orWall. I
think the current release is pretty good, but as the main dev Iâm maybe
not that neutral regarding this statementâ joked CJ.


The OONI project has been âdeveloping a test that allows probes in
censored countries to test which bridges are blocked and which are notâ.
George Kadianakis is seeking helpÂ[28] to create interesting
visualization of the resulting data. He shared a sketch about countries
and pluggable transportsÂ[29] and another one showing time before blocks


Nick Mathewson announcedÂ[31] the release of TrunnelÂ[32] 1.3. Trunnel
is a code generator for binary encoders/decoders. Nick adds: âSome
code that it has generated has been merged into the Tor master branch
for the 0.2.6 release series, though that code is not yet in active


David Fifield sent a summaryÂ[33] of the costs incurred by the meekÂ[34]
pluggable transport for the month of September 2014. More details are
included in the email, but costs are currently very low: â$3.85 for
App Engine, $4.59 for Amazon, $0.00 for Azureâ.


Virgil Griffith sharedÂ[35] a yet unpublished tech report on Tor growth.
To pick just one finding, the Tor networkâs bandwidth has been doubling
every 13â14 months so far.


The Knight Foundation is going to fund projectsÂ[36] for âthe future
of librariesâ. The Library Freedom ProjectÂ[37] wants to teach
âlibrarians about privacy rights, law, and tech tools to protect patrons
from dragnet surveillanceâ. Itâs based on their previous experienceÂ[38]
promoting Tor and other privacy tools in Massachusetts libraries. Show
them support!


The US National Science Foundation is seeking inputÂ[39] to lay out a
future Privacy Research Strategy. The deadline being October 17th, Roger
Dingledine suggests: âif anybody here has partially written ideas that
they want to put together into a submission, please do!â


Thanks to opiÂ[40] for running a new mirror of the Tor Projectâs website
and software.


Easy development tasks to get involved with

oonibackendÂ[41] is used by ooni, the Open Observatory of Network
InterferenceÂ[42], to run in the background and perform tasks like
discovering addresses of test helpers and performing measurements that
require a backend system to talk to. When oonibackend was changed to fix
compatibility with Twisted 13.1 it lost its ability to start tor and
then drop privilegesÂ[43]. Arturo suspects that the correct way of doing
this is to place the logic for starting tor inside of preApplication or
startService. But from a quick research he suspects that Twisted does
not support returning Deferreds in there. He also points to two relevant
Twisted ticketsÂ[44, 45]. If you have experience with Twisted and want
to help debug or even solve this problem, be sure to post your thoughts
or patches to the ticket.


Upcoming events

 Oct 08 13:30 UTC | little-t tor development meeting
                  | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
 Oct 08 16:00 UTC | Pluggable transport online meeting
                  | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
 Oct 10 17:00 CET | OONI development meeting
                  | #ooni, irc.oftc.net
 Oct 13 18:00 UTC | Tor Browser online meeting
                  | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
 Oct 14 17:00 UTC | little-t tor patch workshop
                  | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
 Oct 23 10:10 CET | Andrew @ Broadband World Forum
                  | Amsterdam, Netherlands
                  | http://broadbandworldforum.com/agenda/day-3/#81301

This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by Lunar, harmony
and Karsten Loesing.

Want to continue reading TWN? Please help us create this newsletter.
We still need more volunteers to watch the Tor community and report
important news. Please see the project pageÂ[47], write down your
name and subscribe to the team mailing listÂ[48] if you want to
get involved!


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