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Re: [tor-talk] Tor banned in Pakistan.
>>> It is very bad news because I am affraid that another tyrannical regimes
>>> such as Russian can make do it too.
>>> But it seems to me that Tor-users can use bridges and etc. for avoiding
>>> repressive measures from "law enforcement bodies" of their countries (if
>>> the termin "law is applicable to such bodies :) ).
>> Hi Orionjur,
>> Sorry to burst your bubble, but Russia is one of the last places I can
>> imagine banning VPN's and Tor, especially from what I gather from my
>> contacts in Russia...
> Russia is very strange country, very strange... Last time many not only
> tirannycal but also idiotical norms were included into the Russian
> In the list of them are laws banned people younger than 18 to be in the
> streets after 10 PM, ones banned alcohol selling after 11 PM and etc.
I've heard about these laws, and agree that they're quite idiotic, but
they're no different to a lot of other countries (try getting a drink
somewhere in London after 11-12 PM, even on a Friday/Saturday night -
> In the beginning of this year the press-service of the FSB notified that
> it needed by their opinion to ban the Tor and even the skype and the Gmail.
> The Kremlin refuted that information but we in Russian know that in
> means only they intend but scanning of society reaction.
> I am in doubt that they can do it.
> It seems that the Russian government aspire to ban all things which able
> or unable to be ban.
If you have any links for this, even in Russian, I'd be very curious! A
lot of governments are not happy with Skype, because it does use very
strong point-to-point encryption (i.e. you can intercept the traffic
between two people, but not decode it unless you have access to the
company's backdoor). Even worse with BlackBerry.
Not sure if they're trying to ban Tor, but I think they'd have a tough
time banning VPNs and encryption (like in Pakistan) - a lot of Russia's
Internet service providers work on Ethernet connections to the home, and
the log-in is done via VPN...
> the FSB already has direct access to all Internet
>> connection hubs (i.e. in an apartment building), completely by-passing
>> ISPs and legal requirements!
> Do you mean the so-called "SORM"-system? But as I know in the USA and in
> the European countries works similar systems ("Echelon" and etc.).
> Do you thinks that the SORM can break my tor connection and sneef my
> Tor-traffic in the unencripted view?
Yep, the SORM - https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/SORM
It's similar to ECHELON, but on a more local level - ECHELON is truly
global, and will no doubt scan this e-mail before it gets to the mail
I think SORM can sniff the traffic going through a connection, but I
don't think it can decode Tor traffic - it would need access to your
computer, the private keys etc. I'm no expert on Tor encryption, but I
don't think they could get to it that easily, even if they can send a
virus to your computer (someone, help? :)) They would see an encrypted
stream flowing through, that's all.
It would be even better if you run as a node on the Tor network, even if
you use a small part of your connection - that way it's much much more
difficult to correlate traffic!
>> Have you seen the Russian net? The amount of piracy (as well as Tor
>> traffic!) that goes through there is staggering!
> It seems to me that the Putin's and Medvedev's junta have no real
> interest in fighting with piracy because they have no incoming from the
> show-bussiness or that income is so small that the have no real interest.
From what I gather, Putin's fortune is estimated at over $30 billion,
more than Abramovich, so I doubt he'd have any interest from income in
the show-biz! ;)) And in case anyone's interested, rutracker.org most
likely puts suprnova, mininova, pirate bay etc to shame with the amount
of content it tracks, very usable with Google Chrome/auto-translate! ;))
> But there are many wild cries of Russian governmental officials, owners
> and servants of private organisations works for the FSB and etc. like
> Kaspersky AntiVirus Lab and even of hierarch ot the Russian Orthodox
> Cherch across over all Russian press and Internet for banning the Tor
> and another anonymizing remedies.
As long as government is calling for Tor and other
encryption/anonymizing solutions to be banned, it means that we're on
the right track, and that it's still too expensive/time consuming for
them to crack it (if at all possible)!
It's much easier to arrest someone for using VPN, like in Pakistan, or
to force someone to hand over the passwords to your keys, like in the
UK, than to hack it!
> Sometimes ago the Live Journal became the mainest Russian oppositional
> informatinal playground. Because it, the Putin's junta gave order to
> their commercials to by the LiveJournal and ... they bought is!!!
> Now the LiveJournal belong to the so-called name "SUP Company" which
> works for the secret services of Russia.
I know about the crackdown on LiveJournal, but never knew that it was
bought out by SUP... I thought it was still American (and that that's
why it couldn't be shut down by FSB)?!
> And it is so stange to me that the US Government permit that spying
> activity of Russian secret services in the US territory...
No one ever 'permits' spying, it just happens ;)
> Regardless of all of
>> the capabilities, authorities are simply not interested in you unless
>> you *really* step on some toes (and, hint hint, running a Tor relay or
>> exit node hasn't drawn their wrath so far)... And if you do happen to be
>> such a person, it is much easier to break your door down using existing
>> laws (using the crackdown on pirate copies of Windows as an excuse, for
>> example) than amending the laws to include VPNs!
> For break a oneman's door they need to know that it is a door of that
> man. Simply talking, they must find where that man live.
> As I can confirm the Tor helps us resolving that problem about 4 - 5
> years and they - till the present time - cannot find locations of our
> friends through our friends' Internet activity.
> If they can, it is more strange to me why our friends don't arrested or
> killed such long time.
Tor goes a long way towards solving that problem, but it's not immune.
If the FSB can see all traffic going into the network through the SORM
system, and then filter out everything but the Tor traffic, and then
correlate that with some bogus exit nodes it sets up around the world,
it's not impossible to imagine they have the ability to correlate
traffic that goes in and traffic that goes out...
This is why Tor should only be your first line of defence - any e-mail
or other potentially-sensitive information should only be sent over
Another thing - knock on wood - you and your friends might not be
"interesting" enough to the authorities to come after... You may be
opposed to Putin and Medvedev, but then again, so are a lot of Russians,
their ratings have been going down the toilet over the last few years.
I can imagine them doing a lot of things, becoming more authoritarian
and draconian, but I'd argue that Stalin-style raids about as likely in
the US or UK
as in Russia!
>> But you're definitely right about the danger of the capability to block
>> VPN's - I thought it was restricted to China and other such extreme
>> regimes. If they can break your door down *just* because they're seeing
>> encrypted traffic, there's definitely a problem!
> It is a real problem! If they intend to arrest all people using the Tor
> and etc. it could be very serious problem for fighters with regim and
> for all people of my poor country...
Like I said, knock on wood, so far there's no indication that they would
go that far, and such a crackdown would be really bad news for its
rapidly developing economy... It's impossible to go back to Stalinist
control without blocking Internet, TV, radio, computers, mobile phones,
killing 20 million people and taking the country back to the dark ages!
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