Tor Weekly News — January 8th, 2013

Lunar lunar at
Wed Jan 8 13:14:34 UTC 2014

Tor Weekly News                                        January 8th, 2013

Welcome to the first issue for the year 2014 of Tor Weekly News, the
weekly newsletter that covers what is happening in the impressive Tor
community. The tor-news mailing list has reached a thousand subscribers.
Thanks for following us!

Tor at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress

The Chaos Computer Club held its thirtieth congress [1] in Hamburg,
Germany during the days and nights of December 26th-30th. The congress
had over 9,000 participants. The topic of pervasive surveillance was
more present than ever, and Tor was a common answer to many questions.


“We are living in interesting times” was the subtitle of Jacob Appelbaum
and Roger Dingledine’s talk for this year [2]. Their tour of what
happened to Tor in the past years and more importantly in the past
months was seen by more than 3,000 attendees in Hamburg and a couple
more from the live stream and recordings. Later on, Sophie Bayerlein had
decorated a wall with her visual summary of the talk [3].


The talk was quickly followed by a “How to help Tor?” workshop. Lunar
reported [4] “an overwhelming success as more than 200 people showed up.
We were not prepared for helping so many folks waiting to learn how they
can help Tor. It still created interesting discussions, I believe, and I
hope we will find ways to interact more with the larger community in the
upcoming weeks, especially concerning outreach to the general public.”


Earlier the same day, a meetup of Tor relay operators was held. The
small room was packed with at least 60-70 attendees. Several relay
operator organizations reported on their progress: DFRI [5], Frënn vun
der Ënn, Icetor [6], Noisetor, Nos oignons [7], Swiss Privacy
Foundation [8] and Zwiebelfreunde. Many of these projects did not exist
last year, and new organizations are still being created, like The
Torrorists [9] who also gave a quick status update. Nikita Borisov gave
a quick presentation of the traceroute research experiment [10] and
encouraged more operators to run the test script. Several operators of
important relays and directory authorities also assisted the session.
Let’s hope everyone shared the same feelings as Jason from Icetor: “It
was really excellent meeting all of you and great for my morale to see
all the people understanding and working towards common goals. Perhaps
it’s just due to my remoteness, but I rarely get to discuss projects
like this at such an intricate level.”


On the lightning talks front, Kai Engert presented DetecTor [11,12,13],
David Fifield covered the basics of Tor pluggable transports [14], and
Michael Zeltner introduced tor2tcp [15,16]. Some OnionCat [17]
developers have also been spotted in the corridors.

  [12] Slides:
  [13] Video:
       at 1:56:25
  [16] Video:
       at 1:41:00

The Chaos Communication Congress is one of the rare events where an
impressive number of members of the Tor community have a chance to
interact. Let’s hope it has been a fruitful time for everyone!

Tor website needs your help!

One of the outcomes of the “How to help Tor?” session at the 30C3 was
that there were quite some people interested in helping the Tor project
with its website. In order to foster anyone’s participation, a larger
call for help [18] has been sent.

It starts by acknowledging that “Tor has shifted in the recent years
from being a project prominently used by researchers, developers, and
security experts to the wider audience of anyone concerned about their
privacy”. As its primary audience shifted, “it is again time for
important changes” to the website structure and design.

As one can read in the call or browse through the website related
tickets [19], it’s going to be a challenging task. A new mailing list
has been created [20] to coordinate the efforts. Join if you want to


Monthly status reports for December 2013

The wave of regular monthly reports from Tor project members for the
month of December has begun. Philipp Winter released his report
first [21], followed by reports from Pearl Crescent [22], Sherief
Alaa [23], Colin C. [24], Damian Johnson [25], Tor’s help desk [26],
Lunar [4], Karsten Loesing [27], Matt Pagan [28], Georg Koppen [29],
Ximin Luo [30], Nick Mathewson [31], and Nicolas Vigier [32].


Miscellaneous news

Anthony G. Basile released version 20131230 of Tor-ramdisk [33] — a
uClibc-based micro Linux distribution whose only purpose is to host a
Tor server — with an updated Linux kernel and Tor


Gregory Maxwell started discussion on how to improve Hidden Services key
management [34]: “It would be preferable if it were possible to have a
HS master key which was kept _offline_ which could be use to authorize
use for some time period and/or revoke usage.” As Nick Mathewson pointed
out [35], the timing is right and such issues have a chance to be
addressed with the current redesign process [36,37].


The Tails team has announced: “The MAC address spoofing feature is ready
for testing. This feature prevents geographical tracking of your network
devices (and by extension, you) by randomizing their MAC addresses.”
Testing on a variety of hardware is now needed, give it a try [38]!


The next Tails contributor online meeting [39] will be held January 9th
on the IRC channel #tails-dev (OFTC) at 21:00 UTC.


The “test/rjb-migration” branch has been merged into the Tails
development tree [40]. It should now be fairly straightforward to run
the automated test suite on a Debian Wheezy system.


The Tor Project’s website has gained another new mirror, thanks PW [41]!


Johannes Fürmann asked [42] the relay operators community to review a
short documentation [43] on how to run multiple Tor processes on one


Some users have been tricked into downloading malware from the domain. Action is on-going [44] to shutdown the domain. In
the meantime, watch out!


Tor help desk roundup

Multiple people have now asked the help desk for support using the Tor
Browser on Windows RT. Windows RT is a new edition of Windows 8.1
designed for ARM devices like the Microsoft Surface. There is no
supported way of using Tor on Microsoft RT.

Many people have been emailing the help desk to ask how to get a new
identity or set up a relay now that Vidalia is no longer included in the
Tor Browser package. Vidalia is still available as a standalone
package [45]. More information on the transition away from Vidalia can
be found on the Tor Browser 3 FAQ wiki page [46].


Upcoming events

Jan 13-15 | Tor @ Real World Crypto 2014
          | New York City, USA
Jan 14    | Roger @ NSF WATCH Seminar Series
          | Arlington, VA, USA

This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by Lunar, Matt Pagan,
dope457, Sandeep, weasel, rey, murb and nicoo.

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 [47], write down your
name and subscribe to the team mailing list [48] if you want to
get involved!

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