Tor Weekly News — July, 24th 2013

dope457 dope457 at
Wed Jul 24 12:06:09 UTC 2013

Tor Weekly News                                          July 24th, 2013

Welcome to the 4th issue of Tor Weekly News, the weekly newsletter that
covers what is happening in the great Tor community.

The next newsletter is going to be posted to the resurrected tor-news
mailing-list. Just subscribe! [1]


Summer Development Meeting 2013

About 40 core Tor contributors gathered over July 22-23 at the
Technische Universität München [2] in Germany for this year's Summer
Development Meeting [3]. That's quite a number, and as could be
expected, there are a huge number of topics up for discussion — the
brainstorming session generated around 150. Gunner from Aspiration
Tech [4] is once again facilitating the meeting, helping everyone focus
on the most pressing issues.

Rough notes from some of the break-out sessions are now up on the
wiki. A list of the topics and a brief summary of the discussions are 
given below:

  * Love for volunteers: strategies for outreach and long-term support;
    identifying where they're most needed [5]
  * Censorship and pluggable transports: documenting the now-large number
    of pluggable transports; discussing countries' differing censorship
    strategies [6]
  * Fundraising: funding outlook seems to be positive, although diversity
    in funding sources is needed to reduce dependency on single institutions
    like the US Government [7]
  * Website Translation: notes from a discussion which led to the
    definition of a new translation review process and a list of
    actionables [8]
  * Service infrastructure: multiple fundamental services could use some
    more love: GetTor (TBB by email), website, Trac,,
    BridgeDB; shutting down unmaintained services [9]
  * Operational security: random notes on OpSec for Tor people [10]

On the sidelines of the dev meeting, Roger and Jake are doing a public 
talk on the topic of 'Tor and the Censorship Arms Race'. [11]

If you want to meet people who spend their day making Tor a reality,
you can join them for a public hack day [12] on Friday, July 26,
2013. Bring your ideas, questions, projects, and technical expertise
with you!


Remote descriptor fetching in Stem

Damian Johnson announced [13] having implemented remote descriptor
fetching in Stem [14], a feature to migrate more metrics measurement
tools to Python [15]. “Its usage is pleasantly simple” wrote Damian. See
for yourself in the excellent documentation! [16]


Orbot 12.0.1 call for beta testing

After a long interval, Nathan Freitas announced the release of a new
version of Orbot - a client for the Tor network on Android mobile
devices [17]. For Orbot 12.0.1, the developers have “switched
versioning styles to a simpler major.minor.bugfix model”, wrote Nathan.

He continues with a call for testing: “Since we haven't done a release
in a while, and we have some new build tools, I mostly want to make sure
I have not done something terribly wrong in the build process. Please
confirm back if you are able to successfully use this release.”

Updates in 12.0.1:

  * Updated to Tor
  * flashy screen bug fixed now shows traffic
  * Stats in notification area
  * better handling of preference settings
  * Changes added superuser permission for Cyanogen

You can download and start testing this release here [18] or here [19].


Miscellaneous development news

Lunar reported on the trip to Brussels for LSM 2013. [20] To sum it up,
“people are really supportive of what we do these days”.

anonym outlined [21] the release schedule for Tails 0.20.

intrigeri announced [22] that Tails has switched to a more conventional
task manager. It might now be easier for you to see what needs to be
done. Have a look at the current list of 496 open issues [23], there
might be something waiting just for you.

Tor developers would love to find an easier way to debug tor when the
daemon crashes. Nick Mathewson came up with an initial piece of code
that could (when complete) dump stack traces on assertion, crash, or
general trouble to the logs. There's more work to be done before
it can be merged in Tor. Feel free to help — especially if you know how
to do this on Windows or BSD. [24]

Nick Mathewson along with Andrea created a wiki page for initial 0.2.5
series ticket triage [25]. If you have your own agenda for 0.2.5, you
should be talking to them now!

Kostas Jakeliunas reported on their GSoC project about producing a
searchable metrics archive. [26]

Arturo reported on his activities on Ooni probe in June. [27]

Pierre Lalet announced [28] that he started working on an implementation
of the Tor protocol in Python. The intent is to have an independent
implementation to test Tor. As the author puts it, "the purpose is NOT 
to implement a secure or robust implementation that could be an 
alternative to Tor." Have a look at the code [29]: "Comments, fixes and 
questions welcome !"


Upcoming events

Jul 26    | Tor Hack Day
           | München, Germany
Jul 31-05 | Tor at OHM
           | Geestmerambacht, Netherlands
Aug 1-4   | Runa Sandvik @ DEF-CON 21
           | Rio Hotel, Las Vegas, USA
Aug 13    | Roger at the 3rd USENIX Workshop on Free and Open 
Communications on the Internet
           | Washington, DC, USA

This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by Lunar, dope457,
harmony, moskvax, malaparte, whabib, and David Fifield.

Want to continue reading TWN? Please help us create this newsletter.
We still need more volunteers to watch the Tor community and report
important news. Please see the project page [30], write down your
name and subscribe to the team mailing-list [31] if you want to
get involved!


More information about the tor-news mailing list