[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: [tor-talk] Italy - third highest number users

On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 9:59 PM, Fabio Pietrosanti (naif) <
lists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> On 9/19/12 9:41 PM, Paolo Palmieri wrote:
> > It is also interesting to note that, after this, a sizable portion of
> > Italian Internet users now uses a DNS other than the one supplied by
> > their ISP, and usually a foreign one. This reduces the impact any
> > further censorship imposed at the DNS level might have.
> So dumb form of censorship... unfortunately effective for dumb people!

I'm not sure the Tor usage in Italy would be reduced as a censorship
bypassing technology.

as first, the DNS blockage is apply only for gaming. The general purpose
censor tech in Italy is the IP-blocking, requested to obtain a "remote
interdiction" of a server (every time a persecutor want to close a foreign
server "to avoid reiteration of an offense". IP block  law is born for
specifics content, then has been used in the most various cases.) anyway
users overcome on this issue without Tor (they simply found a more or less
similar, not yet blocked, service)

as second,  I believe a certain percentage of users has start to be
affected by the privacy advocacy. Maybe they not understand correctly their
threat.. but I've got unexpected people that asked to me supports in Tor.
and not because I was promoting Tor, just because "I'm the guy expert with
"Just for know, why you want Tor ?" I asked, "just to prove it, you know,
for personal security during the navigation" the answer.

And this remind me a common mistake of ours as privacy advocate. more than
10 years of conferences by winston smith project, various university with
an eye for the human right apply to the network, had bring to a _public
request for protection solutions_. ... plus, the advocacy moved the target
audience from the technical people, to the "influencing people".

As common behavior, when I/we explain the importance of some technical
properties like "integrity" "end to end encryption" "metadata filtering"
(applied to the public company, to the journalist, to the lawyers...) and
someone ask "ok, but which software I need to use to obtain protection ?"
you have two options:

. explain the VPN services, explain encryption for browser plugins, explain
the GPG, explain that some issue are not solved by software but only with
aware behavior...
. or simply: "use Tor"

(closed source software is not acceptable in the answers :) )

The second one is not the most technical truly answer, but it's an answer
easy to be be remembered, and is the only software that with few clicks
give an immediate feedback to the user.
Just to be clear, I/we use the first answer, when there are time, when
you're confident that your audience is not crumbing by sleep, and that is
able to understand a technical answer more complex that: "this is Tor, use
it". But is obvious that users remember tend to remember the simpler
solution available.

Ok, take this behavior, imagine these words spread continuously in the
journalist environment and in the lawyer environment. After years of this
inertia, you start to found free press in the underground station talking
about Tor. and this is happen, it's not an hypothesis :) (just for
Italians: Milano-X, free press, had dedicated a central page to Tor and
panopclick, Nova of Sole24Ore talk about Tor every time a journalist need
to drop a Tip about safety). And I'm not talking about hacktivism related
press, but general purpose. dealing with more influencing people, aiming
for their influenced users, mean that only simplified solutions would be

and if we can be happy about this Tor spreading, we know also that is not
the correct path. It's a security tip applied to various and uncertain
threat model. Tor its an easy answer, because is _the most usable tool_ for
"privacy and security enforcing" that should be suggested to an user.

I wonder if this behavior would bring more issues in Tor, than positive
feedbacks, in a long term.

I strongly believe, that if a suite of tools providing:

censorship circumvent,
browser security
end to end encryption for daily communication

might be accessible with easy like TorBB, the amount of Italian adopters of
Tor would decrease.

tor-talk mailing list