[tor-reports] November status report

Jacob Appelbaum jacob at appelbaum.net
Tue Dec 17 01:30:11 UTC 2013

Highlights from November:

After six months or so version 0.0.7 of tlsdate was released. It has
been packaged for Debian and it is pending a review before upload. This
version is awesome because nickm contributed some code that fetches the
data over HTTPS connections. Hooray!

Sukhbir and I finished our sponsored work and released version 0.1.2 of
TorBirdy. We've released it and pushed out the update to everyone
through Mozilla's Add On service.

I was invited to give a speech about surveillance related topics at the
ACM CCS2013 - I'm told that it went well:


I was invited to speak in Brussels at the EU Parliament again. It was a
quick trip:


Deutsche Telekom invited me to their yearly Cyber Security Summit - it
was an interesting mix of workshops and discussions about privacy by
design issues. It was mostly C level executives from across Europe
gathered for some interesting discussions. I had a funny encounter with
Ehud Barak where he gave me some advice: "Good luck, you're going to
need it." I also had an interesting debate with Howard Schmidt published
in December:


I attended Elevate in Graz, Austria. This is a political, artistic and
technical festival with a heavy emphasis on discussions by day, music
and art by evening. It was a lot of fun, I also met with the director of
Plastic Planet, Werner Boote and discussed the topics of surveillance on
camera for his next film.

I took a short personal trip to Switzerland to meet with a cryptographer
in Neuchâtel.

As an additional personal note, I stopped by the state theater of
Cologne and had my German theater state premier:


The show was also followed by a panel discussion on both days. The topic
was of course about surveillance, how regular folks might take steps to
protect themselves and so on.

I traveled to Ecuador with Aaron, as well as other Tor folks and spoke
at the really fun Minga tech free software event:


I also encouraged Bruce, David and David to attend MingaTech - they
released Orchid, a pure Java implementation of Tor:


I'm quite hopeful that Orchid will be integrated into lots of
applications that otherwise do not have Tor support. Lantern would be a
good application, I think. I'm halfway through packaging it for Debian -
I mostly just need someone to review the package.

I met with a number of interesting ministers of the Ecuadorian
government and impressed on them the danger of passing Article 474 of
their pending penal code - effectively a draconian data retention law -
ID cards for internet cafes, dragnet surveillance, video cameras in
those internet cafes, etc. Along with many other members of Ecuadorian
civil society, I spoke out about the need for a right to anonymity, the
importance of a free press, the need for practical anonymity with Tor
and so on. The good news is that during this trip - the National
Assembly announced that they would be scrapping Article 474!

Aaron and I hosted a hackfest at MingaTech that largely consisted of
OONI related contributions.

One Ecuadorian ministry has asked me to contribute to an upcoming
advisory group about how to increase privacy on the internet in Ecuador.
I've agreed to assist.

All the best,

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