[tor-talk] Teaching Non-technical Folks About Tor...

Julian Wissmann juwi at da0s0a.de
Mon Mar 5 23:02:39 UTC 2012

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> However, I sat down recently and tried to sketch out how an
> in-class hands-on exercise might work that explained some of the
> core features of Tor.  Here is the result:
> https://josephhall.org/tor/tor-exercise.html 
> https://josephhall.org/tor/tor-exercise.text (Markdown input)

Awesome stuff! Love the ideas you've got, there ;-). Would you mind
people re-using that?
> This is my first draft. It really only works with a small class
> (mine is 11) or a sub-set of a larger class.  It also doesn't let
> the students choose much about the messaging (this is to avoid 
> distractions like the hunky guy getting a bunch of love letters
> during an in-class exercise! ... or more negative versions of the
> same.).
> However, it has some serious flaws... for example, the students
> don't "build circuits" through successive tunnels; the circuits are
> sort of handed to them.  Also, the way it works right now the
> instructor is a central big brother node.  I have tried to think
> about ways students could be assigned a message and recipient and
> then roll dice to decide the circuit path, but nothing seems
> terribly workable (and I don't want it to get much more complex!).
> Another self-criticism is that it's not immediately apparent what
> part of this who charade Tor takes care of. ::)

Don't make it too complex, else it probably won't work/be unreliable.
Maybe use this kind of exercise to introduce them into the subject,
then lay about the shortcomings and introduce them to Tor after they'd
had this exercise.
Also go into a little detail as to why services like Tor are needed,
to make sure they don't miss the point.

> best and thanks, Joe
Regards, Julian
> -- Joseph Lorenzo Hall Postdoctoral Research Fellow Media, Culture
> and Communication New York University https://josephhall.org/

Julian Wissmann
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