[tor-talk] Tor and solidarity against online harassment

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 13 18:28:28 UTC 2014

On 12/12/2014 02:20 PM, Roger Dingledine wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 03:23:42PM -0300, Juan wrote:
>>> You might like
>>> https://www.torproject.org/docs/faq#Backdoor
>>> We won't put backdoors in Tor. Ever.
>> 	LOL!
>> 	You work for the pentagon and are subjects of the US state.
>> 	The US government has secret 'courts'  and secretly forces its
>> 	subjects to tamper with all kinds of 'security'  systems, in the
>> 	name of 'national security'.
>> 	Whatever public declamations you make carry very little weight.
> Hello Mr. Tor hater,
> We get funding from a variety of groups, including US government groups.
> We do not "work for the pentagon" but that is a separate discussion and
> it shouldn't derail this one.

Hi Roger,
I'm afraid you're going to continue to hit up against this criticism for 
the foreseeable future, for the following reasons:
1) The NSA's betrayal of trust on the internet (and its standards) have 
all but removed good faith from the equation in the minds of a lot of people
2) practically speaking, Tor Browser Bundle _is_ private browsing mode 
for the time being.  There is no other game in town (at least in terms 
of usability and being gratis)

So someone looks on your resume and finds a summer at the NSA.  If the 
wider free software community was adequately funded to sustainably 
research and protect users privacy, that would be that. Tor would take a 
temporary hit and Privacy Software B's website would temporarily see 
more hits and development effort.

In the real world, however, there isn't a Software B.  It will be a long 
time before even a Debian user can apt-get install and easily use 
Gnunet.  Non-technical users see a world of NSA surveillance and a 
single usable, well-maintained piece of software available for anonymous 
browsing run by people funded by the U.S. government. Conspiracy 
theories flourish in that type of climate.  And until there are as many 
(effective) private browsers competing with each other as there are 
normal browsers, these kinds of attacks will continue to be (at least 
somewhat) effective.

Anyway, for those who are willing to listen to a little reason and live 
in a country where encryption isn't illegal, here's a Pascal's wager for 
Tor Browser Bundle use:

                         Something to hide    Nothing to hide
                         -----------------    ---------------

Tor is a honey-pot:     Tor use is BAD       Tor use is No worse than 
not using Tor

Tor isn't honey-pot:    Tor use is GOOD      Tor use is GOOD

Of course this doesn't work if Tor use simply lands you in jail, or gets 
you disappeared by government agents.  But if that is the case you have 
much bigger issues to deal with than private browsing.


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