Tor Weekly News — July 9th, 2014

Lunar lunar at
Wed Jul 9 14:54:22 UTC 2014

Tor Weekly News                                           July 9th, 2014

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

On being targeted by the NSA

Das Erste has published an article [1] and supporting material [2]
showing how the NSA explicitly targets Tor and Tails user through the
XKEYSCORE Deep Packet Inspection system. Several other media picked up
the news, and it was also discussed in various threads on the tor-talk
mailing list [3,4,5,6,7,8,9].

The Tor Project’s view has been reposted [10] on the blog. To a comment
that said “I felt like i am caught in the middle of a two gigantic rocks
colliding each other”, Roger Dingledine replied [11]: “You’re one of the
millions of people every day who use Tor. And because of the diversity
of users […], just because they know you use Tor doesn’t mean they know
*why* you use Tor, or what you do with it. That’s still way better than
letting them watch all of your interactions with all websites on the


More monthly status reports for June 2014

The wave of regular monthly reports from Tor project members for the
month of June continued, with submissions from Georg Koppen [12],
Lunar [13], Noel David Torres Taño [14], Matt Pagan [15], Colin C. [16],
Arlo Breault [17], and George Kadianakis [18].

Mike Perry reported on behalf of the Tor Browser team [19].


Miscellaneous news

An Austrian Tor exit node operator interpreted [20] their conviction in
a first ruling as judging them “guilty of complicity, because he enabled
others to transmit content of an illegal nature through the service”.
Moritz Bartl from [21] commented [22]: “We strongly
believe that it can be easily challenged. […] We will definitely try and
find some legal expert in Austria and see what we can do to fight this.”


Linus Nordberg is expanding the idea of public, append-only, untrusted
log à la Certificate Transparency [23] to the Tor consensus. Linus
submitted a new draft proposal to the tor-dev mailing list for
reviews [24].


Miguel Freitas reported [25] that twister [26] — a fully decentralized
P2P microblogging platform — was now able to run over Tor. As Miguel
wrote, “running twister on top of Tor was a long time goal, […] the Tor
support allows a far more interesting threat model”.


Google Summer of Code students have sent a new round of reports after
the mid-term: Israel Leiva on the GetTor revamp [27], Amogh Pradeep on
Orbot and Orfox improvements [28], Mikhail Belous on the multicore tor
daemon [29], Daniel Martí on incremental updates to consensus
documents [30], Sreenatha Bhatlapenumarthi on the Tor Weather
rewrite [31], Quinn Jarrell on the pluggable transport combiner [32],
Noah Rahman on Stegotorus enhancements [33], Marc Juarez on website
fingerprinting defenses [34], Juha Nurmi on the project [35],
and Zack Mullaly on the HTTPS Everywhere secure ruleset update
mechanism [36].


sajolida, tchou and Giorgio Maone from NoScript drafted a
specification [37] for a Firefox extension to download and verify Tails.


Tor help desk roundup

One way to volunteer for Tor is to run a mirror [38] of the Tor Project
website. Instructions [39] are available for anyone wanting to run a
mirror. Mirrors are useful for those who, for one reason or another,
cannot access or use the main Tor Project website. Volunteers who have
successfully set up a synced a mirror can report their mirror to the
tor-mirrors mailing list [40] to get it included in the full mirrors


Easy development tasks to get involved with

ooniprobe is a tool for conducting network measurements that are useful
for detecting network interference. When ooniprobe starts it should
perform checks to verify that the config file is correct [41]. If that
is not the case, it should fail gracefully at startup. The ticket
indicates where this check should be added to the ooniprobe
codebase [42]. If you’d like to do some easy Python hacking, be sure to
give this ticket a try.


Upcoming events

 July 11 16:00 UTC | Pluggable transports online meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
 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 Karsten Loesing.

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 [43], write down your
name and subscribe to the team mailing list [44] if you want to
get involved!

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