[tor-project] User Feedback Report - January 2019

Maggie maghaughey at gmail.com
Tue Feb 26 00:00:12 UTC 2019

Hey, team!

Welcome to the January 2019 user feedback report! I hope 2019 is
treating you well so far. For more information on what users and
community members were talking about this month, check out the December
2018/January 2019 User Feedback pad [1].


There were a bunch of releases this month, and a few user bug reports in
the blog post comments. Reddit was about the same as always (with a
focus on VPN and fingerprinting questions), and RT brought in a lot of
questions about problems connecting with bridges.

- The question I see most often across platforms is 'why can't I connect
to Tor?'. I think we should provide more information to users when they
run into problems connecting. Ideally, we would implement error messages
that let users know exactly what's wrong, and what they can do to fix
it. Until then, it would be very useful to have a guide to finding and
understanding Tor logs. I've opened a trac task for this [2]. I will
need some assistance from the browser/applications team, so if you're
able/willing to help teach me how to read these logs better, please
reach out!

- Reddit is mostly full of the same questions we saw last month (i.e.
'will doing x allow me to be fingerprinted?' & 'my bridges aren't
working - what do I do?'). Hopefully the second problem can be addressed
by the Tor log document proposed above.

- Tor is still broken for screen readers. I've been receiving some
messages about this in RT from folks affected by the issue. They're
having to use TB 7 instead of TB 8, since updating breaks screen reader

Now, on to the feedback! Scroll further down to see a summary of Reddit
posts, some points from Google Play Store reviews, a list of the most
common Stack Exchange tags from the month, and a collection of some
notable issues and bugs mentioned by users in January.


Most common questions on Reddit:
- Will doing _____ allow me to be fingerprinted?
- Why can't I connect/why aren't my bridges working?

One Reddit user is having a lot of trouble connecting from Turkey [3].


TBA Reviews & Feedback on Google Play Store:

The average review score is still at 4.2 stars.
Some people are a bit confused about bridges - it seems they don't know
what to do once they run into connection issues. We should provide some
more guidance, perhaps in the form of links to information about
bridges. Some users were still experiencing crashes in January when
saving files, as well.


Most common stack exchange tags:

configuration: 20 this month
tor-browser-bundle: 15 this month
connection: 11 this month
hidden-services: 7 this month
relays: 7 this month


Notable bugs, fixes, & issues:

#27503 [4] - Disabling accessibility on Windows breaks screen readers - OPEN

#29238 [5] - TBA: Prevent crash following upgrade - OPEN

#28705 [6] - Tor Browser on Android is crashing on newer Android devices
(>= Android N) by file download - CLOSED

#29175 [7] - Tor 0.3.5.x mishandles empty socks5 auth - CLOSED

#29327 [8] - TypeError: hostName is null on about:tor page - CLOSED


Other user suggestions:

- "I want to suggest making a personalized .iso distro for people that
want to run relays...We should be able to download something that is
already configured with everything you need software wise to run the
relay. The only thing we should have to do is open up the correct ports
for port forwarding in our router. If this was procedure, I think there
would be many more relays and exit nodes than there are."

- "I understand why you've rolled Orbot into TB, but can you add an
option to use the "legacy", separate Orbot into the settings?  I used to
have TB as the default browser on my 'droid, but now that every time I
open it I have to sign into a second instance of Orbot (as a big chunk
of traffic from my phone is Torified, I have Orbot on all the time) -
since this takes a long time, I've resorted to using Firefox Klar/Focus."

- "I want to set Tor Android Alpha to clear all personal data on exit so
I went to Privacy -> Clear private data on exit. It works except for
Downloads, which get un-ticked every time I re-launch Tor. It's probably
a minor issue as other things like history and cookies do get cleared
and stay like that. Although to be honest it would be nice to just have
a single setting for always-on Private Tab whenever I launch Tor."

(notably, I have not been able to reproduce the issue they describe with
Download privacy settings resetting after a restart.)


That's it for the month of January! If you want to know more, please do
check out the December 2018/January 2019 User Feedback pad [1] or reach
out to me via email (waywardwyrd at riseup dot net) or IRC (wayward).

Before signing off, I'll leave you with this gem of a post [9].

Thanks for reading! I'll see you all back here next month!

- wayward/Maggie

pronouns: she/they | twitter: @meochaidha
pgp: 0626 9C68 D0CC 1A5B E41B 72F2 615E B878 975C 4CDC


2. https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/29584
4. https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/27503
5. https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/29238
6. https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/28705
7. https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/29175
8. https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/29327
9. https://www.reddit.com/r/TOR/comments/akqh58/when_i_think_of_tor/

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