Proposal: Tor User Agent Carousel (TUAC)
lxixnxenoise at lavabit.com
lxixnxenoise at lavabit.com
Fri Apr 4 08:40:12 UTC 2008
I would like to propose an idea to the Tor community, in the hope that
someone with the coding skills could pick up on it and run with it to make
it a reality. The idea is a simple one, I call it:
Tor User Agent Carousel (TUAC)
- What is Tor User Agent Carousel? (TUAC)
It's an idea I'm proposing as a feature to be added to Tor Button, Tork,
Vidalia, or perhaps just a plugin for Firefox. It would allow the Tor user
to configure when their browser's user agent changes and how often, either
by randomly timed (role of the dice sort of time period) intervals or a
user defined set time (week,day,hour,seconds,etc.). TUAC would read the
user agents from a text file containing a list of user agents which the
user may add to with their own custom strings at any time. The rotation of
the user agent would be at random every time, or perhaps there could be an
additional choice for the user to select between several user agents (from
within the text file containing a list of user agents) to rotate between
in addition to the random feature.
- Isn't there already a plugin for changing the browser's user agent?
Can't Privoxy also do this?
Yes and yes, but these are operations the user must *manually* perform
each time they wish to change the user agent. In my searching on the
internet I've found no plugin or program which allows Firefox (or other
browsers) to rotate the user agent randomly and/or according to a set
pattern of time. This is why the image of a carousel came to me, with the
rotation of animals being symbolic of the user agent rotation I believe
tor users should have.
- Isn't this a silly idea? How does this help anything?
First, I believe this is a feature every tor user should have as an
option, regardless of what some naysayer may have to say about it, not
everyone likes or uses every feature any software product offers them, but
without additional features they would have less to choose from. Second, I
believe the static/manual changing of the user agent isn't enough, there
are many ways to fingerprint a particular browser by its configuration,
and I don't believe simply mixing in with the crowd is enough, as the user
is likely to have many other blatent Tor-like signs, especially with most
the tor user to randomize their user agent as they choose either on a set
time period for UA rotation or a time picked by the TUAC program at
random, it will further help in distancing themselves from fingerprinting
attacks. I didn't like relying on Privoxy or some browser plugin to switch
my user agent manually, I didn't want to do this each and every time I
wanted to appear as another browser, I want this done randomly without my
interaction! I'm not alone here, there are many others on the net looking
for a random UA rotation and I believe TUAC could deliver this. I'm sure
there may be a number of nay sayers, as with any idea, but regardless,
this is a feature I and many others have wanted, I'm sure, even if it was
just a Firefox plugin, it would be a simple matter to create by a bright
minded individual, and those who wanted to use it would.
- Couldn't this be just a browser plugin rather than an addition to a
Sure, like many of the Firefox plugins, I'm sure it would be a great
addition, even for the non-Tor users. However, I believe it would be
especially useful for Tor users, so I'm suggesting it here, as not all of
us use Firefox for Tor, so could this feature be added to another program
for Tor users regardless of browser? For Privoxy users, the UA can be
changed manually within one of the configuration files, but this means
Privoxy must be restarted for the change to be honored. Is there some way
around this, or could this just be done without touching Privoxy? What
about other programs used by Tor users, Tork? Vidalia? Polipo? Others?
- If I add such a feature to my program, or make a plugin for whatever,
can I name it TUAC?
Sure, if you like the name! Maybe add a little picture of a carousel with
different shaped, sized, and colored onions on it somewhere in place of
animals, or even a regular carousel? I rather enjoy the name and image for
this idea. You may wish to link to the Tor mailing lists @ torproject.org
so other people know about this fine place where they may discuss Tor with
others, but you need not mention me, I only care if this idea becomes
reality, nothing more. If I had the means to make something like this
myself rather than sit here typing about it, I would! But alas, I am no
programmer. Should you decide to develop this idea into a working
function, please post to this list about it.
Thank you for your consideration
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