Tor Weekly News — July 22nd, 2015

Harmony harmony01 at
Wed Jul 22 21:02:34 UTC 2015

Tor Weekly News                                          July 22nd, 2015

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


 1. More TSoP status reports
 2. Miscellaneous news
 3. Upcoming events

More TSoP status reports

The students in this year’s Tor Summer of Privacy continued work on
their respective projects, as their status reports show. 

Jesse Victors made significant progress [1] on his DNS-like Onion Naming
System (OnioNS) project at the recent onion service development meeting
in Washington, DC. Many bugs were fixed and the software is now in a
demonstration-ready state. The issue of implementing a global source of
randomness, which is important for the next generation of onion
services [2] as well as for OnionNS, was also worked on. “The
server-to-server communication needs a few bug fixes, but most of that
code is in place. As soon as that is complete, I should be about ready
for a beta test.”

Israel Leiva sent the first report [3] on his GetTor enhancement
project. GetTor now distributes links to copies of Tor Browser hosted on
Github as well as Dropbox, and the text of the autoresponder was
expanded with more information. Upcoming additions include a Google
Drive script, distribution of mirror links, and the promotion of Github
to the default download source.

Cristobal Leiva also sent his first report [4], for the relay web status
dashboard project. A prototype UI has been created [5] and development
milestones have been prioritized: “Over the next two weeks I’ll be
coding the graph and log components”.

Finally, Donncha O’Cearbhaill’s OnionBalance load-balancing system [6]
has been enhanced with unit tests, and has received some real-world
testing courtesy of s7r [7].

Exciting progress all round!

Miscellaneous news

The Guardian Project announced new releases of Chatsecure and Orbot.
Chatsecure v14.2.0 [8] is “all about squashing bugs, reducing memory and
improving network stability”, while Orbot 15.0.3-RC-3 [9] features
“overall improvements to system and server stability, improvements to
Apps VPN mode support…improved launch and hidden service API for
third-party app interaction”, and updates to Tor and OpenSSL.


Anthony G. Basile announced [10] a new release of tor-ramdisk, the micro
Linux distribution whose only  purpose is to host a Tor server in an
environment that maximizes security and privacy. Version 20150714
includes updates to the distribution’s core software.


Nick Mathewson published proposal 248 [11] , which offers a migration
path for “finally removing our old Ed25519 keys”.


Following the recent outage of meek-azure [12], David Fifield published
a workaround [13] for those who want to use this backend.


The Tails team is planning [14] a sprint in November, possibly
face-to-face, focusing on porting Tails to the current stable release of
Debian, Jessie. “If you want to join the fun, let me know. If you’re
interested in having a face-to-face sprint to work on this in November,
let me know. If these dates don’t work for you, let me know”, wrote


The Intercept’s Micah Lee published a detailed beginner’s guide to
secure online chat [15], including how to configure your chat client to
use Tor.


For those who wish the modern world looked more like “Johnny Mnemonic”
than “CITIZENFOUR”: you can hear Keanu Reeves narrating an unexpectedly
soothing animation [16] about the “Deep Web” and Tor onion services as
part of Alex Winter’s upcoming documentary film on the subject [17].


Upcoming events

  Jul 27 17:00 UTC | OONI development meeting
                   | #ooni,
  Jul 27 18:00 UTC | Tor Browser meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Jul 28 18:00 UTC | little-t tor patch workshop
                   | #tor-dev,
  Jul 29 13:30 UTC | little-t tor development meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Jul 29 14:00 UTC | Measurement team meeting
                   | #tor-project,
  Aug 03 19:00 UTC | Tails contributors meeting
                   | #tails-dev,
  Aug 05 02:00 UTC | Pluggable transports/bridges meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Aug 10 09:30 EDT | Roger & others @ 5th USENIX FOCI Workshop / 24th USENIX Security Symposium
                   | Washington, DC, USA

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

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