[tbb-bugs] #18361 [Tor Browser]: Issues with corporate censorship and mass surveillance

Tor Bug Tracker & Wiki blackhole at torproject.org
Mon Feb 22 22:23:00 UTC 2016

#18361: Issues with corporate censorship and mass surveillance
 Reporter:  ioerror                       |          Owner:  tbb-team
     Type:  enhancement                   |         Status:  new
 Priority:  High                          |      Milestone:
Component:  Tor Browser                   |        Version:
 Severity:  Critical                      |     Resolution:
 Keywords:  security, privacy, anonymity  |  Actual Points:
Parent ID:                                |         Points:
  Sponsor:                                |

Comment (by lhi):

 Replying to [comment:10 marek]:
 > @ioerror: you are doing this again. You are mixing your opinions with
 technical reality. Please stop insulting me. Please focus on what can we
 can technically do to fix the problem.

 ??? where did ioerror insult you? I looked hard and the only thing I could
 find is discussions about "human bits" and spurious distinctions between
 tech and politics, which might be construed as insulting our intelligence.

 technology is politics and politics is technology in times of mass
 surveillance and big data, and so is corporate policy that discourages
 anonymity and defines legitimate behavior. no one brought politics into
 this except that it was there from the beginning. sorry for being rude. I
 am angry about all the CAPTCHAs I have seen.

 I also think this discussion is being derailed.

 you claim to put it back on track by proposing some expensive idea on TBB
 side, which is overkill and would cause a shitload of new artificial
 problems while we already have real ones. I contend that responsibility
 for the debacle lies squarely with your company, not with Tor. to some
 extent, granted, abusive bots and the general makeup of the web are also
 to blame, but you mishandled it by serving impossible puzzles and causing
 lots of collateral blocking.

 > (POST is hard) First, what actually the proxy should *do* on the POST?
 Abort your POST, serve captcha, and ask you to fill the POST again? Or
 accept your 10meg upload, serve captcha and ask you to upload it again?
 Now think about proxy behaviour during an attack. Doing captcha validation
 on POST is not a trivial thing.

 you're the MITM, you can see whether there is already an auth token of
 some kind right? disallow POST otherwise. think of something. you're the
 ones breaking things for people right now.

 > (blocking regions) Second, during an "attack" (call it ddos or
 something) the website owners often decide to block traffic from ceirtain
 regions. Many bus.nesses care only about visitors from some geographical
 region, and in case of a DDoS are happy to just DROP traffic from other
 regions. This is not something to like or dislike. This is a reality for
 many website owners. Serving captcha is strictly better than disallowing
 the traffic unconditionally.

 how often does that happen? most of the time for a given site there's no
 DDOS, certainly.

 > (Not only spam, load as well) Third, there regularly are bot "attacks"
 that just spam website with continous flood of GET requests, for example
 to check if the offered product is released, the promotion started or
 price updated. This is a problem for some website owners and they wish to
 allow only traffic from vetted sessions.

 what about slowing down recurrent requests? it's really not something that
 can be solved on the Tor side.

 > The underlying problem, is that for any ddos / spam protection system
 the source IP address is a very strong signal. Unfortunately many Tor exit
 IP's have bad IP reputation, because they _ARE_ often used for unwanted

 in other words, you're happy to overblock Tor because IP blocks are just
 so convenient? probably also because as far as cloudflare is concerned, we
 just don't matter. I don't understand why you (or jgrahamc) bother with
 this discussion anyway. what's in it for you?

 I have already aired a comment about the "human bit", which I think is an
 appalling idea in this context.

Ticket URL: <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/18361#comment:71>
Tor Bug Tracker & Wiki <https://trac.torproject.org/>
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