Tor Weekly News — July 2nd, 2014

Lunar lunar at
Wed Jul 2 17:11:26 UTC 2014

Tor Weekly News                                           July 2nd, 2014

Welcome to the twenty-sixth issue of Tor Weekly News in 2014, the weekly
newsletter that covers what is happening in the Tor community.

Tor Weekly News turns one

The very first issue [1] of Tor Weekly News [2] was released on July 3rd
last year. Since then, we have been able to provide you news about the
Tor community every week (except one).

Tor Weekly News is a community newsletter, so let’s all appreciate
everyone who contributed so far: Andreas Jonsson, bastik, Colin, Damian
Johnson, David Fifield, David Stainton, dope457, Georg Koppen, George
Kadianakis, harmony, Jacob Appelbaum, Jesse Victors, Johannes Fürmann,
Karsten Loesing, Kostas Jakeliūnas, Lunar, luttigdev, malaparte, Matt
Pagan, Mike Perry, moskvax, murb, Nick Mathewson, Nicolas Vigier, nicoo,
Nima, Paul Feitzinger, Peter Palfrader, Philipp Winter, Phoul, qbi, ra,
rey, Roger Dingledine, Sandeep, sqrt2, the Tails developers, velope,
whabib, Yawning, and several anonymous contributors.

Join us [3]! The Tor community is always growing and there are always
interesting topics to report about!


2014 Summer Tor meeting

Dedicated Tor contributors are having a five day meeting [4] this week
in Paris. Expect less online activity while keyboards are put away in
favor of unmediated human interactions.

Pictures of post-it-note-based brainstorming sessions can already be
seen online [5], and more minutes should be coming soon.

Unfortunately, due to several factors, there will be no widely open
event around meeting this time.


Tails user experience experiments

Tails is experimenting on how to improve its user experience.

u. reported on the first Tails UX experiments session [6]. Five people
attended, trying to realize three different missions: “create a new
encrypted document of your choice […], and save it to Tails, using
persistence”, “find out the number of Tails downloads this month, and
pass on this information using GPG via email”, “find one or more
images [… and] clean up these files to erase any metadata”.

Some of what has been learned by watching users has already been
converted into concrete bugs and enhancement proposals. For the rest,
read the detailed and insightful report!

In the meantime, the first dialog window that appears when using Tails —
also known as “the greeter” — is being redesigned. A first round of test
images is now ready [7] for your feedback.


Monthly status reports for June 2014

While Kevin Dyer sent out his report for May [8], the wave of regular
monthly reports from Tor project members for the month of June has
started. Damian Johnson released his report first [9], followed by
reports from Pearl Crescent [10], Nick Mathewson [11], Karsten
Loesing [12], and Sherief Alaa [13].

Lunar reported on behalf of the help desk [14].


Miscellaneous news

Lunar shared some highlights [15] on a trip to Calafou, near Barcelona,
to attend Backbone 409 [16], an event for “projects actively building
infrastructures for a free Internet from an anti-capitalist point of
view”. Topics under discussion included hosting websites in the face of
legal threats; secure operating systems; and the logistics of running a partner organization.


Juha Nurmi submitted a status report for the Google Summer of
Code project [17].


Nusenu warned [18] users of the Tor Project’s RPM repository that an
updated package available in the official Fedora repo will cause their
tor to stop working, and set out two ways in which they can solve the


starlight gave an account [19] of their experience running a tor relay
using versions of OpenSSL and libevent that had been hardened with


While the fteproxy [20] pluggable transport has been integrated into the
Tor Browser, documentation on how to setup bridges was lacking. A
problem fixed by Colin who took the time to document how to setup
FTE bridges [21].


George Kadianakis gave an insightful answer [22] to Rick Huebneron’s
questions about the status of the “UpdateBridgesFromAuthority” feature.
The latter should allow bridge users to automatically update the IP
address of their bridge when it changes. But the feature is currently
turned off by default as several problems are currently preventing it to
be useful. Have a look at George’s summary if you want to scratch that


Tor help desk roundup

The help desk has been asked about the “ethics” behind Tor. Tor’s
technical design decisions are laid out in the various design
documents [23], but to understand the social and cultural motivations
for the Tor Project, videos like Roger’s talk at Internet Days [24], or
Jake and Roger’s talks at the Chaos Communications Congress in 2011 [25]
and 2013 [26] are good resources.


Upcoming events

   July 5-11 | Lunar @ Libre Software Meeting 2014
             | Montpellier, France
     July 15 | Researchers & Practitioners Meetup @ PETS
             | Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  July 15-19 | 14th Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium
             | Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by Lunar, harmony,
Matt Pagan, and Rob Jansen.

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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