Tor Weekly News — December 24th, 2014

Harmony harmony01 at
Wed Dec 24 12:04:04 UTC 2014

Tor Weekly News                                      December 24th, 2014

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

Stem 1.3 is out

“After months down in the engine room”, Damian Johnson announced [1]
version 1.3 of Stem [2], the Tor controller library written in Python.
Among the many improvements in this release, Damian singled out the new
set of controller methods for working with hidden services, as well as
the 40% increase in descriptor parsing speed.

Please see the changelog [3] for full details of all the new features.


Miscellaneous news

The team of researchers working on the collection of hidden service
statistics [4] asked relay operators for help by enabling these
statistics on their relays in the coming days and weeks. They included a
step-by-step tutorial [5] for enabling this feature, which has recently
been merged into Tor’s main branch.


Building on Andrea Shepard’s recently-merged work on global cell
scheduling [6], Nick Mathewson announced [7] that the KIST socket
management algorithm proposed earlier this year [8] to reduce congestion
in the Tor network is now “somewhat implemented” for Linux.  You can
follow the testing and reviews on the associated ticket [9].


Nick also asked for feedback [10] on the proposal to increase the
interval at which Tor relays report their bandwidth usage statistics
from fifteen minutes to four hours [11]: “Will this break anything you
know about?”


Moritz Bartl invited [12] Tor relay operators to a meet-up [13] at the
upcoming Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg: “We will do quick
presentations on recent and future activities around,
talk about events relevant to the Tor relay community, and what lies


Thanks to Thomas White for keeping the community updated [14] following
a brief period of suspicious activity around his exit relays and Onionoo
application mirrors!


This week in Tor history

A year ago this week [15], Tor Browser hit version 3.5, bringing with it
a pioneering deterministic build system [16] that set a new standard in
software distribution security, and has since drawn interest from many
other projects, including the Debian operating system [17]. It also laid
the long-obsolete Vidalia graphical controller to rest, replacing it
with the faster, sleeker Tor Launcher. The privacy-preserving browser is
now approaching version 4.5, and users can look forward to a security
slider [18] offering finer-grained tuning of security preferences, as
well as features that restore some of Vidalia’s circuit-visualization
capabilities [19].


Upcoming events

  Dec 24 13:30 UTC | little-t tor development meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Dec 24 16:00 UTC | Pluggable transports meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Dec 27-30        | Tor @ 31st Chaos Communication Congress
                   | Hamburg, Germany
  Dec 29 18:00 UTC | Tor Browser online meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Dec 29 18:00 UTC | OONI development meeting
                   | #ooni,
  Dec 30 18:00 UTC | little-t tor patch workshop
                   | #tor-dev,
  Jan 03 20:00 UTC | Tails contributors meeting
                   | #tails-dev,
  Jan 07 09:00 GMT | Roger @ Real World Cryptography Workshop 2015
                   | London, England

This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by Harmony and Karsten

Want to continue reading TWN? Please help us create this newsletter.
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important news. Please see the project page [20], write down your
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