Tor Weekly News — December 3rd, 2014

Harmony harmony01 at
Wed Dec 3 12:02:17 UTC 2014

Tor Weekly News                                       December 3rd, 2014

Welcome to the forty-eighth issue in 2014 of Tor Weekly News, the weekly
newsletter that covers what’s happening in the Tor community.

GetTor is back

Some Tor users need to access the Internet from networks so heavily
censored that they cannot reach the Tor Project website, or any of its
mirrors, to download Tor in the first place; with these users in mind,
GetTor [1], an alternative software distribution system for Tor Browser,
was created.

After a period of neglect, GetTor has been revamped and redeployed:
users can now email the name of their operating system to
gettor at, and in return they will receive Dropbox download
links for the latest Tor Browser and the package signature, as well as a
checksum and the fingerprint of the key used to make the signature.

The lead developer on this project is Israel Leiva, who did most of the
work on it during this year’s Google Summer of Code. Israel took to the
Tor blog [2] to explain the background and outcome of the redevelopment
work; please see that post for more information, or put GetTor to the
test yourself and send your comments to the community!


Monthly status reports for November 2014

The wave of regular monthly reports from Tor project members for the
month of November has begun. Damian Johnson released his report
first [3], followed by reports from Juha Nurmi [4], George
Kadianakis [5], David Goulet [6], Philipp Winter [7], Sherief Alaa [8],
Tom Ritter [9], Nick Mathewson [10], Georg Koppen [11], Griffin
Boyce [12], Karsten Loesing [13], Andrew Lewman (for both October [14]
and November [15]), Noel Torres [16], and Harmony [17].

George Kadianakis also sent out the SponsorR report [18], while Colin C.
reported on behalf of the help desk [19], and Mike Perry for the Tor
Browser team [20].


Miscellaneous news

Nathan Freitas announced [21] version 14.1.4 of Orbot, the Tor client
for Android, which brings with it further improvements to background
service operation, as well as theme and layout tweaks.


After much back-and-forth, work by Andrea Shepard to make Tor’s cell
scheduling mechanism more efficient was finally merged [22]. Although
performance is not yet affected, these changes could form the basis of
other improvements to managing congestion caused by “mismanaged socket
output” in the Tor network, as discussed by Jansen et al. in “Never Been
KIST” [23].


Following a discussion with David Goulet, Nick Mathewson posted a draft
proposal [24] of possible improvements to integration testing for Tor.


Sebastian Hahn informed [25] users of the Tor Project’s git repositories
that cloning via the unauthenticated git:// protocol is no longer
supported — secure https:// access has been and still is the preferred
method for retrieving code.


Gareth Owen started a discussion [26] of suspicious relay behaviors that
automated Tor network tests could scan for, in addition to those that
are already monitored.


Tor help desk roundup

The help desk has been asked how to set up a relay on a Windows laptop.
We don’t recommend running a relay on a laptop: the relays that are most
useful to the network have faster bandwidth than most home internet
connections can offer. Relays also need to have as much uptime as
possible, and a laptop that gets put to sleep and woken up once a week
or more is not a good computing environment for a relay that should
serve the network in a consistent way.

We are not able to provide much help to users who report errors when
using any of the Vidalia bundles, as Vidalia is no longer maintained.

Upcoming events

  Dec 03 13:30 UTC | little-t tor development meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Dec 03 16:00 UTC | Pluggable transports meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Dec 03 20:00 UTC | Tails contributors meeting
                   | #tails-dev,
  Dec 08 18:00 UTC | Tor Browser online meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Dec 08 18:00 UTC | OONI development meeting
                   | #ooni,
  Dec 09 17:00 UTC | little-t tor patch workshop
                   | #tor-dev,

This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by Matt Pagan, Nick
Mathewson, Roger Dingledine, and Harmony.

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 [27], write down your
name and subscribe to the team mailing list [28] if you want to
get involved!


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