suggestion for 'is my installation of tor working?' page

Ringo Kamens 2600denver at
Fri Feb 16 05:34:40 UTC 2007

I agree, people are working on network-wide attacks (which is great)
but the biggest and most obvious risk to user privacy/anonymity is
scripts. Perhaps firefox and noscript should come bundled and
Ringo Kamens

On 2/15/07, James Muir <jamuir at> wrote:
> Nick Mathewson wrote:
> > On Sun, Feb 04, 2007 at 08:58:36PM -0800, Wesley Kenzie wrote:
> >> I've got an initial version up now at
> -
> >> feedback welcome!  More content and links to come!
> >
> > As others have noted, this is really excellent, but there's way too
> > much information there for it to be useful for unsophisticated users.
> > There's no way that my dad, for example could tell that his window
> > width and height identify him far more uniquely than do his User-Agent
> > or his "DMA code".
> >
> > Maybe there should be some kind of "What I Learned" section at the
> > top, with parts like:
> >
> >   Javascript said:   "Your IP is x.y.z.w".
> >      (Learn more about how to disable Javascript _here_.),
> >   Java said: "Your IP is x.y.z.w.":
> >      (Learn more about how to disable Java _here_.)
> >
> > That is, sort information by order of significance of disclosure, and
> > for each piece of information, tell users what it means, how much it
> > isolates them, and how to stop disclosing it.
> >
> > Also, is there some way to see, use, and distribute the source for
> > these pages?  As long as you operate them, yours will of course be
> > most popular, but my free software instincts make me ask "what do we
> > do if Wesley is unavailable for a while?"
> Along with having a web page which attempts to educate Tor users about
> the dangers of executing Java, JavaScript, Flash, etc. in their
> browsers, I think there also needs to be a stronger warning about this
> on the main Tor web site (  There is a warning on the wiki
> but this is something that's important enough to promote to the main
> page (and have translated).
> There are Java and Flash applets that, when run in a Tor user's browser,
> will open non-proxied connections back to their originating web sites
> and thus expose a user's real IP address.  This is, I think, the most
> serious threat to Tor users who don't disable these in their browsers --
> never mind fingerprinting my machine by capturing my screen resolution,
> etc. with JavaScript.
> The NoScript extension with FireFox works great -- it disables all
> scripts and plugins.  I hope people who really need anonymity are using
> these.  However, I expect that many are using IE.  I don't run Windows,
> but I would guess that there probably isn't an easy way to disable Flash
> in IE.  A clear warning with the Tor client installation instructions
> might help new Tor users better protect their anonymity.
> -James

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