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Re: [tor-talk] Tor and Financial Transparency

At 09:33 AM 9/12/2013 -0400, you wrote:
>On 09/12/2013 03:13 AM, Juan Garofalo wrote:
>>         I made a concrete point. Tor doesn't protect individuals from particular* governments. You replied with a general truism of sorts : It's better to have more security than less security. Well, yeah, true. But that doesn't address my point, I think.  
>>         *first and foremost, the US government and its 'allies'.
>My response was not a general truism. It was an important lesson for
>users of any system, that there is always a weakness, always an exploit,
>even if Tor were engineered itself to protect from all adversaries.

        I can't help but agree with the general idea - there's always a weakness. Still, I don't  think the remark is completely relevant if you are offering it as counterpoint to my comments about Tor. 

>When I work with Chinese and Tibetan activists, and they can actually
>get an obfs3 bridge connection working inside of China, they are happy
>to have it, but know it is only a matter of time before the IP is
>scanned and blocked. I am eager for all of the various pluggable
>transport R&D to help expand this time window to days, weeks and months,
>but I am under no impressions that any implementation will solve the
>problem forever. It will just force the Chinese surveillance system to
>spend more processing power, more money, more energy. That is NOT a flaw
>in Tor.

        Well, maybe it is a flaw in the general approach against surveillance? (which also includes Tor one way or another...)

>If we are still at the point where you are calling Tor a "US military
>project" then I am not sure I can make any case that would satisfy you.

        I could give you a hint, but if I did, your reply wouldn't be as interesting. Anyway, here it is. I get the impression that people try to brush off the connections between the US state and Tor. For instance, some clever fellow changed the topic of this thread to SPAM...

        So, what I would find 'satisfying' is a more serious analysis on that relationship.

>Google is a US Military Project (see USG/DARPA funding of Standard
>Digital Library research in the 1990s), yet you are using Gmail, you
>find value in it. 

        Yes, but I don't consider them an ally against surveillance. As you know, they are exactly the opposite. 

>If you have a mobile phone, that is largely the result
>of a US Military Project (World War II),

        Oh, sorry, that's sheer militaristic nonsense. The military and government are nothing but a parasite on civil society. Whatever they do is ultimately founded and relies on non-military research.

>and is clearly a tool for mass
>surveillance and logging. Perhaps you do not use one? Maybe.

        Right. I don't. But I use the internet all the time, so I'm probably just as screwed. 

>Ultimately, I come at this as an activists looking for tactics and tools
>to help me win.

        But win, what?

> I am not a cryptologist, I am not a mathematician. I
>believe myself clever enough, and the people I support, to use these
>tools in a way that provide maximum benefit, and outweigh their risks.
>Tor does a better job than any other technology product that exists to
>maintain my faith that the technology does what is says on the box. That
>is the best case I can make for it.

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