Tor Weekly News — June 11th, 2015

Harmony harmony01 at
Thu Jun 11 20:18:27 UTC 2015

Tor Weekly News                                          June 11th, 2015

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

Blocking-resistant communication through domain fronting

David Fifield, lead developer of the meek [1] pluggable transport,
co-authored a paper [2] entitled “Blocking-resistant communication
through domain fronting”, the technique that meek (along with other
software such as Lantern and Psiphon) uses to ensure that its
connections to the Tor network can’t be blocked by a censor without
incurring significant collateral damage. The paper is based on the
experience of operating domain-fronting systems on the real network.
Congratulations to the researchers on this milestone in their project!

David also published the monthly summary of costs [3] incurred by the
infrastructure for meek. Rate-limits have now been imposed on some
backends in order to keep the operating costs sustainable.  This
sophisticated pluggable transport is a vital tool for thousands of users
in areas that censor all other circumvention systems, so if you know of
(or are) a friendly funder looking for a worthy project to support,
please let the community know!


The Art of Dissent

Laura Poitras, Pulitzer Prize-winning director of the Academy
Award-winning “Citizenfour” and public advocate for Tor and Tails [4],
documented a collaboration between the Tor Project’s Jacob Appelbaum and
artist Ai Weiwei — both of them “artists, journalists, dissidents,
polymaths — and targets” — involving a “zone of hyper-surveillance”,
shredded NSA documents, and several cuddly toy pandas.

Laura’s film is available to view on the New York Times website [5] as
part of its “Op-Docs” series, accompanied by an article in which Laura
describes her interest in “the way being watched and recorded affects
how we act, and how watching the watchers, or counter-surveillance, can
shift power”.


More monthly status reports for May 2015

The wave of regular monthly reports from Tor project members for the
month of May continued, with reports from Isis Lovecruft [6]
(maintaining Tor’s bridge distribution system along with other
coding/organizational work), Israel Leiva [7] (leading the GetTor
project), Sukhbir Singh [8] (working on Tor Messenger, TorBirdy, and
GetTor), and Arlo Breault [9] (also developing Tor Messenger, and
maintaining Tor Check).

The Tails team published its monthly report [10], while George
Kadianakis sent out the report for SponsorR [11], and Arturo Filastò
reported on the OONI team’s May progress [12].

Tor Summer of Privacy Students Donncha O’Cearbhaill [13] and Jesse
Victors [14] also sent out their first project status reports.


Miscellaneous news

Giovanni Pellerano announced [15] version 3.1.41 of Tor2web, the tool
for non-anonymous connections to onion services from regular browsers.
This version of the software allows users to download Tor Browser from
any running Tor2web instance, as well as other improvements. See
Giovanni’s message for more details.


Donncha O’Cearbhaill published the results [16] of his call for input
from onion service operators on the challenges of running
high-performance sites and services through a Tor process.


teor published a guide [17] to obtaining a copy of OpenSSL on Mac OS X
that is recent enough to build a working copy of Tor.


Thanks to Justaguy for running another mirror of the Tor Project website
and software archive [18]!


Upcoming events

  Jun 12 19:00 UTC | Tails low-hanging fruit session
  Jun 15 18:00 UTC | Tor Browser meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Jun 15 18:00 UTC | OONI development meeting
                   | #ooni,
  Jun 16 18:00 UTC | little-t tor patch workshop
                   | #tor-dev,
  Jun 17 13:30 UTC | little-t tor development meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Jun 24 02:00 UTC | Pluggable transports/bridges meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Jun 30 - Jul 02  | Many Tor people @ 15th Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium
                   | Philadelphia, USA

This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by Harmony and the
Tails developers.

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 [19], write down your
name and subscribe to the team mailing list [20] if you want to
get involved!


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