Tor Weekly News — April 22nd, 2015

Harmony harmony01 at
Wed Apr 22 13:52:23 UTC 2015

Tor Weekly News                                         April 22nd, 2015

Welcome to the sixteenth issue in 2015 of Tor Weekly News, the weekly
newsletter that covers what’s happening in the Tor community.


 1. A new era at the Tor Project
 2. Tor Summer of Privacy — chosen projects announced!
 3. Miscellaneous news
 4. Upcoming events

A new era at the Tor Project

Andrew Lewman, who has overseen the Tor Project’s business operations
since 2009 as Executive Director, will shortly be moving on [1] to a new
position at the head of an internet services company. During Andrew’s
time as Executive Director, Tor has developed into a leading privacy
tool used every day by millions of users around the world, and the Tor
community has grown to include more engineers, researchers, activists,
and volunteers than ever before. Thanks to Andrew for everything he has
done for the Tor community, and best of luck for the future!


Tor Summer of Privacy — chosen projects announced!

The application period for the first-ever Tor Summer of Privacy [2] —
the funded development season inspired by Google Summer of Code — closed
last week, with twenty-two proposals submitted before the deadline. All
the project ideas were of a very high standard, but sadly funding and
mentoring constraints meant that only four could be chosen, and Damian
Johnson took to the Tor blog [3] to share the list of the winners.

Donncha O’Cearbhaill will be implementing a system [4] to increase the
availability of large onion services by balancing requests across
several back-end servers, each running its own Tor instance; Jesse
Victors will be working on a project entitled “The Onion Name System:
Tor-Powered Distributed DNS for Tor Hidden Services”, based on his
thesis [5]; former GSoC student and GetTor project leader Israel Leiva
will be returning to carry out further work on the alternative
distribution system for Tor software [6]; and Israel’s twin brother
Cristóbal will be developing a web-based status dashboard for Tor
relays [7].

These are all exciting and important projects, and as Damian wrote,
“we’re thrilled to have them with us”. Even if you submitted a proposal
that wasn’t chosen, please don’t be discouraged: a number of the
projects rejected for lack of resources are still high on Tor
developers’ wishlists, so if you can find any way to contribute in the
future, feel free to seek advice and assistance from the community.

Coding for Tor Summer of Privacy officially starts on May 25th.  In the
meantime, congratulations to the four students!


Miscellaneous news

Yawning Angel announced [8] obfs4proxy-0.0.5. This release is better
able to detect whether the parent Tor process has crashed, and also
brings IPv6 support to clients. All users are recommended to upgrade:
please see Yawning’s announcement for further details.


Anthony G. Basile announced [9] version 20150411 of Tor-ramdisk, the
micro Linux distribution whose only purpose is to host a Tor server in
an environment that maximizes security and privacy. This release
includes updated versions of Tor and the Linux kernel.


David Fifield wondered [10] about the cause of a sudden large increase
in the number of Tor clients using the meek pluggable transport that
occurred around April 15th.


Upcoming events

  Apr 22 13:30 UTC | little-t tor development meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Apr 24           | Roger @ CTIC Privacy Conference
                   | University of Pennsylvania Law School
  Apr 27 18:00 UTC | Tor Browser online meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Apr 27 18:00 UTC | OONI development meeting
                   | #ooni,
  Apr 28 18:00 UTC | little-t tor patch workshop
                   | #tor-dev,
  Apr 29 02:00 UTC | Pluggable transports/bridges meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  May 03 19:00 UTC | Tails contributors meeting
                   | #tails-dev,

This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by Harmony.

Want to continue reading TWN? Please help us create this newsletter.
We still need more volunteers to watch the Tor community and report
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and subscribe to the team mailing list [12] if you want to get involved!


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