Tor Weekly News — May 28th, 2015

Harmony harmony01 at
Thu May 28 03:27:23 UTC 2015

Tor Weekly News                                           May 28th, 2015

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


 1. New faces in the Tor community
 2. Miscellaneous news
 3. This week in Tor history
 4. Upcoming events

New faces in the Tor community

Since the beginning of the year, the Tor Project, Inc. has made two
exciting new additions to its core team. Kate Krauss is Tor’s new
Director of Communications, working with journalists and activists to
make sure information about the Tor Project’s work gets to groups in
need and to the public at large. She has two decades’ worth of
experience in non-profit communications and outreach, earned at
pioneering AIDS advocacy groups ACT UP and the AIDS Policy Project, and
has also contributed to projects working against censorship and

Isabela Bagueros is Tor’s new Project Manager, coordinating the numerous
moving parts of Tor’s research, development, and outreach activities,
and ensuring smooth interaction between funders, developers, users, and
other communities. An active member of the free software community both
in Brazil and internationally, she contributed to the migration of
Brazilian government IT systems to free software, and has spent the last
four years working on growth and internationalization at Twitter. See
the press release on the Tor blog [1] to learn more about Kate and
Isabela, and the experience they bring to Tor.

Another newly-launched collaboration is that between the Tor Project and
Sue Gardner, former executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation and
award-winning activist for Internet freedom, transparency, and
investigative journalism. Sue will be expanding on her recent informal
advisory role to help develop a long-term organizational strategy for
Tor; this will involve public consultations with members of the Tor
Project and the wider Tor community “to develop a plan for making Tor as
effective and sustainable as it can be”, as Roger Dingledine wrote on
the Tor blog [2]. Thanks to First Look Media [3] for making this project

These new relationships are already bearing fruit in many areas of Tor’s
day-to-day operation. More new arrivals are expected in the near future,
too: while the board of directors handles the process of transitioning
to a new Executive Director following the departure of Andrew
Lewman [4], the Tor Project is looking for an Executive
Administrator [5] to help meet its administrative and organizational
needs in a time of rapid growth and development. If this sounds like
something you want to be in on, please see the job description for the
full details and instructions for applying.


Miscellaneous news

Nick Mathewson explained [6] what the recently-disclosed
“Logjam”/“weakdh” attack against SSL [7] might mean for Tor. In short:
not a lot, but you should take it as an opportunity to update Tor and
OpenSSL if you haven’t done so already. See Nick’s post for the
technical explanation.


Damian Johnson published a tutorial [8] covering techniques for
fine-grained handling of Tor circuits and streams using the Stem
controller library.


Donncha O’Cearbhaill, one of the students in Tor’s first-ever Summer of
Privacy program [9], introduced [10] his project for the summer —
improving the resilience and scalability of Tor onion services — and
asked for feedback from onion service operators concerning “the
use-cases, priorities and limitations for people who are experiencing
the current limitations of the onion service subsystem”.


Arturo Filastò sent out status reports for the OONI team, covering its
activities in March [11] and April [12].


This week in Tor history

A year ago this week [13], Yawning Angel announced [14] the development
of obfs4, a next-generation censorship-circumvention system based on
ScrambleSuit but using djb crypto, which (since you asked) means “a
combination of Curve25519, Elligator2, HMAC-SHA256, XSalsa20/Poly1305
and SipHash-2-4”. The now-mature obfs4 was recently made the default
pluggable transport offered to users requesting bridge relay addresses
from the BridgeDB service [15], and has gained over a thousand regular
users [16] since its inclusion in the stable Tor Browser series this
time last month.

Also celebrating its one-year anniversary is Micah Lee’s simple onion
service-based filesharing tool, OnionShare [17], whose fans include
national security journalists [18] and unnamed Tor Project members [19]…


Upcoming events

  Jun 01 18:00 UTC | Tor Browser meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Jun 01 18:00 UTC | OONI development meeting
                   | #ooni,
  Jun 02 18:00 UTC | little-t tor patch workshop
                   | #tor-dev,
  Jun 03 13:30 UTC | little-t tor development meeting
                   | #tor-dev,
  Jun 03 19:00 UTC | Tails contributors meeting
                   | #tails-dev,
  Jun 05 10:30 CEST| Jacob @ Summer school on real-world crypto and privacy
                   | Šibenik, Croatia
  Jun 10 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.

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