[tor-dev] Tor Launcher settings UI feedback request

Mike Perry mikeperry at torproject.org
Sat May 4 19:54:35 UTC 2013

Thus spake Adam Shostack (adam at homeport.org):

> On Sat, May 04, 2013 at 02:09:33AM -0700, Mike Perry wrote:
> | Thus spake Andrew Lewman (andrew at torproject.is):
> | > One answer is the user shouldn't care. Tor Browser should automatically
> | > loop through the various kinds of connectivity and just connect.
> | > non-obfs bridges really should get wholly replaced with obfs bridges en
> | > masse. 
> | 
> | However, we can't just probe everything because we don't want to probe
> | for the public Tor network if you're censored. Best case: client IPs
> | that are observed to probe various known Tor transports get targeted for
> | more agressive censorship (the censor could just fail any unrecognizable
> | traffic for N minutes after someone touches a public Tor IP, for
> | example). Worst case: Targeted exploits are deployed that aim to subvert
> | their computer in general, via Tor or otherwise.
> |
> | It's tempting to say this means we should have either just two bundles
> | or perhaps just an "I'm censored" checkbox at startup.
> I think this might be the right direction.  The person running Tor
> knows two things: if they're worried about someone monitoring their
> network right now, and how technical they are (and their desire to tweak
> settings).
> The UI could thus start:
> "Should Tor do our best to figure out how to get connected, at risk of
> drawing attention and response if you're on a heavily-monitored
> network?"
> [I need to be careful, I'll configure things (Recommended) ]
> [ Probe the network (Riskier) ]  
> [ I'm not sure, please help me decide]

I like this direction. I think it can capture all of our concerns.

Right now, "Probe the network" would just mean "Try the public network".
Later, it can mean more extensive probing (of perhaps a selected subset)
of pluggable transports. At that point, we could break it out into "My
Internet connection is not censored or filtered" and "I am censored:
Probe some common circumvention mechanisms for me (Risky)"

That would capture Naif's request of having a one-click option that
allows people to just connect to the public network if that works for
them (which is still the lion's share of our userbase), and has an
explicit option to help people through any confusion.

I think we're getting closer!

Mike Perry
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