[tor-project] US congress wrote a letter to Google and Amazon on domain fronting

Kate Krauss ailanthus at riseup.net
Wed Jul 18 23:20:05 UTC 2018

On 2018-07-18 6:20 pm, Alec Muffett wrote:
> On Wed, 18 Jul 2018, 18:03 Kate Krauss, <ailanthus at riseup.net> wrote:
>> This is a helpful letter and domain fronting would probably benefit
>> from
>> more public advocacy. The letter did not get much media coverage.
>> There
>> will be lots of reporters at HOPE who may be interested and probably
>> more than one organization that benefits from domain fronting.
> Hi Kate!
> I stand by my criticism as posted at:
> https://twitter.com/AlecMuffett/status/1019468247823978496
> …in short: that DF is an ugly hack that relies on "SNI" - a feature
> of SSL which in daily life is leveraged to enable, not bypass,
> filtering and censorship.
> It may be artfully ironic with DF to leverage SNI "for good", but it
> would probably be wiser to learn to live without either/both, instead
> encouraging wider adoption of the controversial "TLS 1.3" standard
> along with the draft "encrypted SNI" feature. 
> This would be much more in keeping with the Tor ethos of "anonymity
> loves company". 
> That any Civil Society organisation is calling for the retention of
> SNI, is a bit perverse.
> -a
Hi Alex,

Aha, this is news to me. Could you possibly Explain Like I'm 5: Why is
SNI not good, why is TLS 1.3 controversial, and why is it not good to
have domain fronting as a tactic we use until we figure out a better one
(or preserve it as part of an evolving toolkit)? We could reach a lot of
censored users if we had it. I'm assuming this relates to "anonymity
loves company" but I don't understand how (literally).

Also, I'm troubled by Google and Amazon's willingness to make a
unilateral decision that negatively affects human rights. It is a bad



PS: Tor's mission statement, fwiw (it probably supports multiple points
of view on DF): "To advance human rights and freedoms by creating and
deploying free and open anonymity and privacy technologies, supporting
their unrestricted availability and use, and furthering their scientific
and popular understanding."

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