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

Re: [tor-talk] Tor and Financial Transparency

>I said nothing about being clueful in technical matters. I said that
>if you make clueful constructive criticisms you are typically likely
>to be in a position to make clueful constructive suggestions about the
>design. Many contributors to Tor, paid or otherwise, do so outside of
>the science and technology per se. If your focus is on political
>aspects that is where you could contribute, but I have yet to see more
>on that front from you than ad hominem attacks.

        I'm not sure what 'ad hominems' you have in mind. Rather, I'm sure that what I'm saying isn't an 'ad hominem' at all.

        On the other hand,  I see that people who are skeptical of the Tor project have been called "conspiracy theorist" and accused of wearing 'tin foil hats'. I was asked if I was 'taking my meds' and politely asked to "fuck off". This thread's subject was at some point changed to "SPAM Re: [tor-talk] Tor and Financial Transparency".

        All that seems more in line with 'ad hominems' perhaps? You know the basic structure :  "What X says is invalid because X is a conspiracy theorist wearing a tin foil hat and he didn't take his meds!" 
        Oh, and to top it off, seems that you are suggesting below that I might be 'trolling'? Gee, that wouldn't be yet another ad-hominem would it.

>(Note also that you straightjacket and oversimplify Tor by limiting it
>purely to a political dimension, 
>but if that is your hammer, and you
>are not simply trolling 
>please use it as a tool of more than
>destruction when hitting the Tor nail. I will not engage in political
>debate, so I will have to leave that to others. Please also make sure
>that political or otherwise, your comments remain constructive and
>relevant to Tor.)
>Something is not a flaw in a system if it is overtly stated to be
>beyond the the scope of the system. We've said since before Tor that
>onion routing by itself does not prevent an adversary able to watch
>both ends of a connection from determining who is talking to whom. So
>you cannot validly claim this is a flaw of Tor. You can note this as
>a limitation on what it currently offers.  But that is already
>frequently stated, so one must say more than that to make a
>Also, I have already pointed you at research by myself
>and others on the hard problems of quantifying the extent of this
>limitation and on designing to go beyond it.

        There's an interesting ambiguity here, it seems. First it's stated that onion routing doesn't protect against 'big' (in network terms) adversaries. But then no hard data is given about how 'big' the adversaries really are. 

        How well is Tor preserving the anonimity of its users? Well, there are "hard problems" to answer that question...

>I'm not going to address the moral/political claims you make since
>that is outside my current bailiwick. I will simply take them as
>premises of your argument without commenting on their soundness.  I
>will however note that this criticism is not valid regardless of how
>sound the premises may be. It commits a variant on a classic

        I asked "Why should Tor be trusted", given its connections to a criminal organization. 

        That's not even an argument. It's basically a question. And seems like a pretty  reasonably question to me, by the way.

        You can even drop the bit about criminality if it upsets you. 

        Product X is meant to defeat one of the main objectives of the very company that manufactures  product X. Shouldn't the users of X take a closer look at what that means? 

>As I used to teach my introductory logic students, if you
>reject an argument because it is given by someone evil (in your
>opinion) without addressing the merits of the argument itself, you
>commit an ad hominem fallacy.


        But I don't think that's what I'm doing here.

> Nate Freitas and others have given you
>lots of reasons that the work behind Tor (research, design, funding,
>code) is _by design_ set up for (and thus receives) 

        Well, here there seems to be a little fallacy...?

        "is _by design_ set up for (and thus receives)" 

        That would be a non-sequitur, I believe. 

        From "is setup for scrutiny" does not follow "it actually receives scrutiny" and it even less follows "it receives qualified scrutiny".

        "Unfortunately while OpenSSL is open source, it periodically coughs up vulnerabilities. "

        "We've also been saying that even open code like OpenSSL needs more expert eyes."


        I assume that what's true with respect to openssl is just as true with respect to Tor.

>as much scrutiny
>and verification as pretty much anything out there---and mostly
>more so than anything else out there.
>And, on a meta level, there is
>public discussion of the current limits and attempts to improve that,
>e.g., open hardware and deterministic builds. And since you are so
>focused on funding, there is also public discussion of how the Tor
>Project Inc. attempts to diversify its funding. If you can offer more
>than ad hominem reasons why this approach is flawed by design, I
>believe the opportunity to see how to improve Tor would be welcome.
>tor-talk mailing list - tor-talk@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>To unsusbscribe or change other settings go to

tor-talk mailing list - tor-talk@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To unsusbscribe or change other settings go to