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[tor-talk] Tor Project Fora Critique

----- Forwarded message from John Young <jya@xxxxxxxxxxxx> -----

Date: Thu, 05 Sep 2013 09:41:49 -0400
From: John Young <jya@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: cypherpunks@xxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Tor Project Fora Critique
X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version

Tor Project discussion lists have become characterized by a
a tone of dismissiveness, knee-jerkedness, when critiques
are presented. This is pretty common in such fora as they
age and lazy old-timers put down newbies as if a sport,
shooting fish in a barrel, or as in this instance, flogging a
dead horse.

Occasionally, again as in this instance of critiquing Hidden
Services, a thoughtful response is provided rather than a
putdown. The more experienced Tor contributors are not
as susceptible to putdowns as the middling and bottomers,
certainly not as offensive as the Tor Project promoters,
funders and fans.

It would be helpful to distinguish between those who know
onion-routing in depth and those who advocate its use
with what often appears to be primarily public relations and
advertizing disdain toward critics and inquirers.

Reviewing the depth of research at the Naval Research Laboratory
on network security and anonymization indicates that serious
research has been done long before Tor Project appeared.
Three of those researchers are affiliated with Tor Project
and keep it from being dubious flim-flammery in which
posing and pontificating front for technical inexperience.

Tor Project is more like a sales operation for scientific and
engineering endeavors. And in that role it boosts and promotes,
sounding sometimes like snake oil, another overused cliche,
than the skeptical and inquiring research at scientists and
engineers at the NRL.

Tor fora suffer the same consequences as this one, producing
mostly shallow bullshit, mea culpa, with occasional leads for
pursuing offline endeavors requiring much time for lasting

Chat and mail lists, like reader comments and polls, have
become promotional gimmicks, run by PR hustlers with
about as much knowledge of discussion topics as
salespeople usually have.

One clue to unreliability is when a former engineer takes over
sales and deploys promotional hyperbole as the principal
marketing tool on fora, at talks, with speeches, articles,
interviews, fund-raisers, documentaries, books, parties,
conferences, 2P2, F2F, debates, all aimed at dominating
a niche.

In Tor Project's case, propaganda for illusory anonymity
has become its main product, as befits an org established
and funded by the USG for that purpose.

Naval Research Laboratory should not be demeaned to
the level of the all too slick Tor Project. And chattering
on Tor fora should not to be confused with substantial
contributions to helping protect the non-technical public
from technical exploitation by sales and advertising

NSA is far from being alone in this USG-sponsored
dual-use, dual-purpose, duplicity. Layered security
like onion-routing is cloaking how things work with
How Things Work for Dummies.

----- End forwarded message -----
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