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Tor Named One of the Year's Best Products

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the whoami dept.

Privacy 160

Iorek writes "PC World lauds Tor, an anonymous Internet communication system, as better than its paid competitors, and one of the best 100 products of 2005. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is supporting Tor development, has a press release as well."

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AC posting on slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12787758)

gets second place on that list!

Such hypocrisy. (5, Interesting)

King_of_Prussia (741355) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787760)

How does slashdot get away with publicly lauding Tor as the great application that it is, while simultaneously blocking over 90% of the nodes from posting to slashdot? Try it now, it took me thirty tries to post a comment to slashdot using Tor the other day.

Re:Such hypocrisy. (5, Interesting)

stormcoder (564750) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787785)

I've complained repeatedly about this and I haven't gotten a response.

Same here. (3, Interesting)

Jerk City Troll (661616) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788553)

I was banned within hours of settiing up Tor on my host.

Re:Such hypocrisy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12787793)


For the same reason you have a right to free speech but you don't have a right to be listened to?

Re:Such hypocrisy. (1, Insightful)

noneloud (891263) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787794)

If people wouldn't abuse it, they wouldn't have to.

Re:Such hypocrisy. (2, Interesting)

King_of_Prussia (741355) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787823)

So you're saying that having no crapfloods or troll posts (which can be filtered out with the moderation system anyway) is more important than some oppressed chinese guy getting his opinion out on a part of the web banned in China?

The editors have gone beyond a simple lack of faith in the moderation system, they are actively undermining it with broad account* and IP bans. For a website that makes such noise about being anti-censorship these are pretty funny actions.

*fun fact: if you log out and request the password for an account named "sllort", you will never post to slashdot again with that IP. Ever. Is this the same slashdot that has an entire section called "Your Rights Online"?

Re:Such hypocrisy. (3, Insightful)

noneloud (891263) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787892)

Let me ask you something: If we have too many crapfloods, and trolls, how will anyone's voice be audible over the white noise. Yes, anonymity is important expecially for people in China and other restrictive places you talked about. However, If people abuse a system too much (including the moderation system...which they do as well), then that system can't sustain itself.

Re:Such hypocrisy. (2, Interesting)

Frodo Crockett (861942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787990)

However, If people abuse a system too much (including the moderation system...which they do as well), then that system can't sustain itself.

So why not just give out mod points more often to moderators with a good track record?

Re:Such hypocrisy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789096)

Because there's even more people abusing the metamod system.

How about... (1)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787995)

Slashdot either eliminate "Anonymous Coward" posting, or else allow posting from TOR nodes?

Re:How about... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788232)

The ability to post anonymously is actually very important. It allows for posts to be taken at their content value, instead of coming from some suckup or karma whore who's just parroting the statements of the current popular political party (currently the Dems in the USA).

Of course, the ``Anonymous Coward'' option is only anonymous when you draw the system line around the forum; you aren't really anonymous. This is fine for having a technical discussion where people add their own experiences, but not good if you're talking about the accuracy of your homemade rifle if you live in a country that restricts one class of people or another from firearm possession.

Slashdot is whatever its owners want it to be, but if Slashdot bans anonymous posts and Tor routed networks, then some other Internet forum will become The Important Place on the Internet.

And as for Lynx users, the captcha thing could be changed into some sort of natural language equation, sort of like the email address obfustication Slashdot has.

Re:How about... (5, Insightful)

caluml (551744) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788301)

Slashdot either eliminate "Anonymous Coward" posting

No - it should leave the ability to post anonymously, but only if you are logged in to an actual account.

You have discovered the Great God ENTROPY! (1)

NOPteron (838244) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788708)

Only one point, though ( the other one disappeared, it seems)

--

More seriously, that's an accommodation of humanity: it's more convenient to erode worth than to grow it, and if one wants to get one's own gain, then one has to be more aggressive a predator-of-worth than Others are, so. . .

The only problem with that equasion is that there are different /kinds/ of worth, and some are worth more to any individual than are others.

I find autonomy, quiet, harmony, freedom-of-intelligence, spiritual freedom, etc. to be worth more than
{ belonging, social-sentience, status, position, image, money, "self-esteem" which is One's Social-Circle's Opinion Of One, a car, a partner, "education", etc }.

Therefore I can't be manipulated to sacrifice the kind-of-worth I hold-to, in order to have the kind-of-worth I /don't/ so deeply value.

BUT, since the entire "education" of a someone in the society/machine we /made/ on us, is oriented to making our lives' expenditure/work into grazing-fodder for "corporations" ( keeping in mind that governments, churches, etc are other-appearing instances of what I really mean here, not just business-entities ), then what result is inevitable?

WWIII will change that, because it'll be a pogrom/tantrum so deep/profound that humanity is going-to learn the difference between kinds-of-values.

ANY sufficiently profound obliteration-experience /can/ induce such learning ( think of ones who have endured near obliteration, over the course of years, say reasonably-advanced Huntingtons, or something, and ask what their values are, compared with "money". . .

WHEN humanity experiences something that heavy, humanity will change the same way, but not before: ideas and understanding are different in substance/nature, see. . . )

Cheers,

-me

Re:Such hypocrisy. (1)

LandownEyes (838725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787982)

I bet you he'd still just write "First post" with it.

Re:Such hypocrisy. (2, Insightful)

drsquare (530038) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788258)

For a website that makes such noise about being anti-censorship these are pretty funny actions.

There's nothing wrong with censorship on a private site. Complaints about censorship apply to governments and other authorities stopping people exchanging certain information, i.e. passing laws banning obscene material. That's completely different from say a shop refusing to sell porn magazines. Slashdot has no obligation to post anyone's comments at all, but that doesn't mean that government censorship is acceptable.

This discussion also begs the question of the value of dissidents using anonymous Slashdot postings to get their message out. Is anything really changed by some Chinaman bitching about being opressed? If he posts it anonymously, no-one will read it because no-one is reading Anonymous Coward comments because they're 99% crapfloods. The irony of this is, if you want dissidents to be able to provide information anonymously, there needs to be a system to filter out the crapfloods and trolls. Maybe if the lameness-filter and moderation systems were less broken and corrupt, no IPs would need to be banned. But that would require both better programming from the site administrators, and more maturity and intelligence from the moderators. Are either likely?

Re:Such hypocrisy. (1)

antiMStroll (664213) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788781)

"There's nothing wrong with censorship on a private site."

Unless that site prides in portraying itself as anti-censorship. See: Hypocrisy.

"Is anything really changed by some Chinaman..."

"Some Chinaman"? Enough said.

Re:Such hypocrisy. (1)

madmancarman (100642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788932)

Is anything really changed by some Chinaman bitching about being opressed?

Dude, "Chinaman" is not the preferred nomenclature... Asian-American, please.

Re:Such hypocrisy. (1)

PyWiz (865118) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789086)

Asian-American, please.

Actually, dude, we are not talking about an "Asian-American" since the oppressed person in this case is actually a Chinese national (NOT an American citizen). Your attempt at being politically correct was actually not only politically INcorrect, but it also displayed your vast ignorance and American-centered views. Good try though.

Re:Such hypocrisy. (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789081)

This always comes up: it private it's ok to censor.

Well I have a problem with that because the information content and flow it less and less controlled by goverments and more by private corporations. So tell me : when all information is controlled by corporations that can do whatever they want with it, where I'm going to find unbiased information?

Try to find a website that is not is some way using a corportion equipment, network, software or OS.

Re:Such hypocrisy. (1)

tveidt (726264) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788354)

> more important than some oppressed chinese guy getting his opinion out on a part of the web banned in China?

Slashdot would probably be the last place he would turn to to get his opinion [about the regime] out. First, one sane voice would not be heard among thousands of screaming kids, and second, the Chinese undercover state security officials would mod him redundant within seconds. ;-)

Re:Such hypocrisy. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787828)

Tor is created by the US navy and defense deparments, so I'm not sure if its actually annonymous. Anyone care to comment on this?

Re:Such hypocrisy. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12787902)

How anonymous Tor is is well understood by the folks who do anonymity research. In short, it is most likely not anonymous against the US government.

There is a recent paper by George Danezis and Steven Murdoch about attacks on Tor. (IEEE Security and Privacy)

Re:Such hypocrisy. (3, Informative)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788162)

There is a recent paper by George Danezis and Steven Murdoch about attacks on Tor. (IEEE Security and Privacy)

I think you're referring to "Low-Cost Traffic Analysis of Tor" (PDF) [cam.ac.uk] .

Re:Such hypocrisy. (2, Insightful)

sinner0423 (687266) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787881)

Because Tor works, apparently.

It's the same with any other internet service - give it a few days, and watch the abuse roll on in. Web, Email, Chat, they can ALL be used for great things but the perpensity for abuse lurks just around the corner, and Tor isn't an exception to this.

If they allowed 100% of the Tor connections, the comments would be flooded with more ascii goatse pics, GNAA Postings, tubgirl links, and all kinds of wonderful trollish crap. It already is bad to a certain degree, and that's with a publicly moderated rating system and IP filtering already in place.

I'm all for internet anonymity and free speech, but there are very few reasons why someone would need to visit the slashdot comments section with a proxy.

Re:Such hypocrisy. (4, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787919)

If they allowed 100% of the Tor connections, the comments would be flooded with more ascii goatse pics, GNAA Postings, tubgirl links, and all kinds of wonderful trollish crap.

That's what the moderation system is designed in part to deal with. (Of course, with the addition of friends and freaks, and score modifiers for them, it's turned into more of a way of ensuring that your world view is never disturbed by reading things you don't agree with, but I digress...)

There's also nothing stopping the editors from deleting such crap. The ASCII pics and GNAA posts are easily seen at a glance, and it'd be trivial to produce a private interface that had a "delete this shite" button against each comment (or checkbox and single "Delete the shite" button, or whatever)

I'm all for internet anonymity and free speech, but there are very few reasons why someone would need to visit the slashdot comments section with a proxy.

Corporate whistle blowers, people in countries with oppresive regimes commenting on stories about some aspect of that regime (eg net censorship in China), people discussing first-hand experience of illegal activities, etc. No, it doesn't happen very often, but when it does it could potentially lead to very interesting comments.

All of that is beside the point, however. It most certainly does seem rather odd that the Slashdot editors praise Tor while simultaneously seeking to prevent access to the site with it. It's effectively saying "Yes, annonymous internet access is necessary and good, but not to *my* site!"

So, what, other sites should allow it, but not /.? "Do as I say, not as I do"? If you want to convince people that something is good, allowing it yourself is generally seen as a necessary first step.

Re:Such hypocrisy. (1)

sinner0423 (687266) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787958)

There's also nothing stopping the editors from deleting such crap. The ASCII pics and GNAA posts are easily seen at a glance, and it'd be trivial to produce a private interface that had a "delete this shite" button against each comment (or checkbox and single "Delete the shite" button, or whatever)

Well yeah, but I don't think slashdot would spring for the resources to check every single comment for a troll just because they've allowed all connections. It would be trivial to do so.

It is hypocritical of them to block a lot of the users. I'm assuming somewhere along the line they weighed the amount of decent posts versus trolls, and acted accordingly. It really is a shame, but I can't think of a feasible solution to the problem.

You've mentioned a few reasons for people wanting to view slashdot using Tor, but I suppose in the editors eyes, trolls > legit users. It boils down to how much intervention they choose to do in regards to the comments on here, versus tossing a blanket 'fuck you' to everyone using Tor.

Reason to use TOR (1)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788014)

I'm all for internet anonymity and free speech, but there are very few reasons why someone would need to visit the Slashdot comments section with a proxy.
If traffic is being traced, the authorities might figure out who's posting critical commentary.

For example, China has sophisticated monitoring of the internet.

As another example, a company with aggressive surveillance might retain data being posted, to be analysed. If Slashdot had an SSL connection, that risk might be avoided, but they don't. One side-effect of TOR is that packets arrive and leave multiply encrypted.

Re:Reason to use TOR (1)

TCM (130219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788752)

One side-effect of TOR is that packets arrive and leave multiply encrypted.

They enter multiply encrypted. If the requested protocol is HTTP, they exit unencrypted, just as if the exit node had made the request itself.

Huh? (4, Informative)

poptones (653660) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787903)

I don't understand why you would need tor to hit here. Just put slashdot on the "exception list" in your proxy config and it works great. The ads still get killed (if you are using privoxy) but the content is fast and complete.

You might also trying setting up your tor config file. You do not HAVE to use the "trusted gateways" for the final drop, that is only how it is configured OOTB. Add "exit" to the untrusted gateway nodes permissions - heck you can even remove "exit" from the "trusted nodes" permissions. Now you're not connecting via those "known tor nodes."

BTW it ain't just slashdot. Lots of sites still use IP information instead of session variables and it will drive you nuts trying to post to one of them or even stay connected without having to log in again every two minutes. Simple solution is to just add those sites to the "don't proxy these sites" list. May not be the solution you want if it's a "controversial" site that could lead to leagal attention, but if you're really worried about that sort of thing you're a fool for using tor for it anyway.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788438)

I don't understand why you would need tor to hit here
That's because you're not a troll like the author of the grandparent comment is.

Tor was used to flood slashdot discussions with thousands of comments containing large ASCII swastikas and random comments from previous stories.

Re:Huh? (0)

AnusesCheeses (702826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789033)

Its a troll to suggest that the people who might want to use Tor legitimately can't do so because of Slashdot's hypocrisy? What about people in places where Slashdot is blocked?

And how do you know Tor was used to post those ASCII swastikas?

Re:Huh? (1)

poptones (653660) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789113)

What about people in places where Slashdot is blocked?

Use a CGI proxy in the URL. Simple.

And how do you know Tor was used to post those ASCII swastikas?

When I first read this I had no idea what the hell you were even talking about and still wouldn't if someone in another reply to me hadn't told me about this "abuse" of tor. So my question to YOU would be "I didn't - but you did and it's obviously pressing on your mind... so... why do you ask?"

Comment spam is still speech. Even ascii shit and viagra ads. That's what the moderation system is for. If /. is blocking IPs then I'd agree they're not living up to their end of their geekly agreement.

Re:Huh? (1)

TCM (130219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788788)

You might also trying setting up your tor config file. You do not HAVE to use the "trusted gateways" for the final drop, that is only how it is configured OOTB. Add "exit" to the untrusted gateway nodes permissions - heck you can even remove "exit" from the "trusted nodes" permissions. Now you're not connecting via those "known tor nodes."

1) With the development version of tor, any node whose port is reachable gains some "half verification". This means it can and will be used as an exit node. It can not, however, be used explicitly by adding ..exit to the hostname or in a ExitNodes statement in the config.

2) I heard that Tor blacklists are done in a very clumsy way. They don't check exit policies, for example. This means that even if your node doesn't allow any connections to the outside, it will appear in the blacklist. This should definitely be changed, so that if I ran a website, I would only block Tor nodes that allow *:80. But I could be wrong here.

Re:Such hypocrisy. (1)

Randseed (132501) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787904)

I complained about this, and the support monkey who responded said "Are you the administrator of Tor Network?" Then I explained it, and never got a response back.

If Slashdot wants to be a bunch of dicks about it, then they should stop lauding the software.

Re:Such hypocrisy. (1)

slashdotnickname (882178) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787937)

how do you get away with claiming that /. is lauding tor just because they post a story about it?

Parent infamous troller, craploodist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12787963)

If you don't believe me, feel free to take a look at his posting [slashdot.org] history [slashdot.org] , which contains nothing but offtopic/troll/flamebait/FP comments.

Re:Parent infamous troller, craploodist (0, Troll)

AnusesCheeses (702826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789015)

There are only two modded down posts in his post history. The majority of his posts are actually modded UP.

Re:Such hypocrisy. (1)

blue_adept (40915) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788849)

a few days ago I submitted a story about anonycat.com [anonycat.com] , which is an open source anonymous surfing proxy that you CAN read slashdot with (plus you don't even have to download it if you dont want) and it was rejected in favour of a story about Google finding a new way to take a sh#t. oh WELL!

and BTW anonycat need a few good mirrors, if any slashdotters are interested.

Porn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12787762)

Now I can browse child porn in safety!

Yet another great achievement for the internet... (1)

Macgyveric (879573) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787769)

The first being pr0n...this being anonymous pr0n!

tor blacklists :-( (3, Insightful)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787770)

These lists will become more and more common as people figure out what Tor is.. it's a nice idea but..

Even freenode has banned known tor connections. But that's what happens when you give 12 and 13 year old uber el3et linux hax0rs more power than they deserve.

Re:tor blacklists :-( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788854)

tor isn't blocked on freenode anymore. that was a temporary measure to deal with a bot attack as far as I know.

Publicity a good thing or not? (5, Insightful)

Critical_ (25211) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787771)

I have been a Tor users for a very long time and, to a certain extent, the fact that it is not very well publicized has kept the system relatively free of the possibilty abuse. When I say possibility of abuse, I am talking about the media saying that Tor is a way to do anonymous torrents of copyrighted material, transferring child porn, etc. As Tor becomes more publicized, will I have to deal with articles from self-proclaimed experts accusing Tor of being a vehicle for such activity? Will I then see some politician try to pass legislation against anonymizer type software? Maybe I'm being alarmist, but these days anything is possible.

Re:Publicity a good thing or not? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787777)

I am talking about the media saying that Tor is a way to do anonymous torrents of copyrighted material, transferring child porn, etc.

Just look up.

KFG

Re:Publicity a good thing or not? (2, Interesting)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787781)

Any plans in the TODO for steno-tor in the near future ? I don't really keep up with the dev list to know what's going on with the project anymore.

Re:Publicity a good thing or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12787782)

i feel the same way, and since i just started using tor about a month ago, i feel i have wasted my time in getting it all setup, and all my apps tuned to use it, especially since it just made slashdot front page. i have found a few other apps almost like tor, but they do not allow me to use applications other than ones that use a http protocol.

Re:Publicity a good thing or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12787804)

That's good that it hasn't been "abused" by the media calling it names like that but.... wouldn't they be correct? Isn't it possible for Tor to be used for all those things and terrorism too?

I haven't tried Tor but I tried Freenet once. I saw a site in it that claimed to be child pornography. I immediately shut down and removed Freenet right after that, and haven't looked back.

I can love freedom without loving it THAT much.

Re:Publicity a good thing or not? (2, Insightful)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787875)

Is possible and highly probably, and you should be damned proud.
If you only want freedom for people who agree with you, you're no better fundamentaly than the most oppresive of rulers. If you had the power to remove all kiddie porn from tor/freenet/$PRODUCT_X, would you? What if a christian fundamentalist had the same power to remove all talk of homosexuality? (a sins a sin..) Bush removing all info about the cipro(anthax antidote) a month prior to the whitehouse being anthraxed?

You either have free speech or you don't, anything less than entire freedom(especially for those of controversial subjects) is as worthless as not having any at all.

Bush can do whatever he wants (0, Troll)

elucido (870205) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787890)

if the Patriot act passes, Bush has the power to do anything he wants and censor any speech he wants.

Re:Publicity a good thing or not? (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787887)

That's perfectly OK: you don't like it, you don't use it. Nobody will abuse you for not using it :)
What's more important is that nobody steps in and tries to limit it or shut it down. So that those who do want to use it can do so.
An of course it can be used to do just about anything. It's a smart tool, all smart tools have several uses.

Re:Publicity a good thing or not? (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787858)

Will I then see some politician try to pass legislation against anonymizer type software?

Well, it's already happened. I can't remember the details but some court in the USA ruled against some guy who had encrypted stuff on his box *because* he had it. The reason: you have suspicious stuff -> you are guilty.
So the real question is not "will they pass such legislation" but "how long until the whole world adopts china's standards of sentencing you to death for the mere possession of unapproved software?". And I'm not kidding, check it on the web.

Re:Publicity a good thing or not? (1)

Ronald Dumsfeld (723277) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787957)

Tor is a way to do anonymous torrents of copyrighted material, ...
I've already heard of people trying to run Bittorrent with Tor. The bandwidth requirements quickly lead to the exit node blocking Bittorrent traffic.

Re:Publicity a good thing or not? (2, Interesting)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787971)

What do you use it for?

Tor Router App? (2, Interesting)

HeX314 (570571) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787792)

Anyone know if there is (or will be) a Linux Tor binary for NAT routers? I have a Linux router, and I'd like to use it as a client in the Tor network but a server for local computers (behind the router).

Re:Tor Router App? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12787802)

check the wiki from the tor site, im sure it can be done, and done quite easily

http://wiki.noreply.org/wiki/TheOnionRouter/TorFAQ [noreply.org]

Re:Tor Router App? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788375)

I agree, not hard... I have TOR setup on my gateway... it's all in the permissions you setup in the privoxy - and a few tweaks in the TOR config.

Hmm (0, Troll)

MattWhitworth (858990) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787796)

The thing I don't get with Tor is why someone would need that much encryption, unless they were transferring something illegal like copyrighted material. Why is an anonymous network like Tor needed?

Re:Hmm (5, Insightful)

kingofalaska (885947) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787819)

Scroll down, read the articles about the so-called "Patriot Act", or censorship, or...

There are many reasons. Yes, it can be abused, just as a stick or a rock can be abused.

KOA

Giant Missile Defense Radar Sails [blogspot.com]

Re:Hmm (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787842)

The government knows about Tor, they are the ones who made it. DARPA is funding its development. So if you think that by using Tor you are going to be annonymous to the US government I think its the opposite unless Tor is open source and you reviewed and compiled the code yourself.

Re:Hmm (3, Informative)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787921)

did you even for one instant read the f.ing article???

Tor: Packages and source [eff.org]

Tor is distributed as Free Software under the 3-clause BSD license.

Do you even think for one nanosecond that the EFF would be supporting it if it were closed???

Re:Hmm (5, Insightful)

stevey (64018) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787821)

I don't get why so many people put letters in envelopes, what have they got to hide?

Why not write on the back of postcards so everybody can make sure they're not hiding illegal words..

It's a slippery slope. Encryption is useful.

There is no privacy online (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787869)

So I'm not really sure why Tor is useful. It's not for file sharing, it does not really protect you completely from spyware, freenet seems to be better.

Re:There is no privacy online (1)

womby (30405) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787978)

Freenet is an astoundingly better concept than tor, all tor does is hide the ends of a connection from one or both peers. But tor works right now, and Freenet doesn't.

Freenet guaranties that data cannot be removed from the network once it is injected, tor hides the ends of the connection.

And yet, tor (and i2p) allows users to setup forums and wikis accessible only across the network which for the purposes of freedom of speech is not half bad.

Re:There is no privacy online (1)

Frodo Crockett (861942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788006)

Freenet is an astoundingly better concept than tor, all tor does is hide the ends of a connection from one or both peers. But tor works right now, and Freenet doesn't.

You're entirely right. For example, what happens if someone decides to run dozens* of Tor nodes? They could intercept and possibly trace a lot of traffic.

*I have no clue how many Tor nodes there are right now, so substitute a sufficiently large number if dozens won't do the trick.

Re:There is no privacy online (2, Interesting)

qubex (206736) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788157)

I'm British but I live and work in China. Many websites are unreachable because of the censorship here (e.g.: news.bbc.co.uk).

Tor lets me surf those websites and find out what is going on in the world, and find out the things the PRC government doesn't want its citizens knowing about.

In short, it is my window on the world.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12787992)

Christ, what a breathtakingly half-witted comment.

Slashdot needs to put "NO ANALOGIES" in big, red, blinking letters at the top of the comment submission page.

Re:Hmm (1)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788406)

The letter analogy doesn't work in this case though. On a letter it says where it is going and where it came from. And it also has the post office seal over the stamps showing where it was processed. Under TOR this is exactly what you are hiding--your tracks. To be honest the main purpose of the letter is that it holds more material inside than a postcard and whatever is inside is sealed up not so much for the content but to insure the contents are not lost; something TCP/IP takes care of but not the Post Office.

Re:Hmm (5, Insightful)

Dr Damage I (692789) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787832)

The fact that one does not wish the state or ones ISP to know ones secrets does not imply that those secrets are illicit in nature. A person could be transmitting commercially sensitive material which if released could be used by ones competitors, or one could simply be averse to having people know that one uses ordinary, legal porn.

It's a simple fact that People like privacy and place a non zero value on it. The phrase "what are you trying to hide" is the last refuge of the voyeur.

Re:Hmm (1)

NickHydroxide (870424) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787879)

I don't even believe that one should be required to justify's one use of tools which protect one's privacy. There is no need to say why I choose to use Tor (such as commercial secrets or pornography, as you have stated). The simple fact remains that I should be entitled to my privacy.

But, it does appear that you would agree with my opinion, so this isn't really directed at (or attacking) what you are saying.

Re:Hmm (1)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788384)

I believe in the "none of your f-ing business" concept. I also lock my doors to my house and car.

The reason? Because it's no one else's business what the hell I do, what I like, where I browse, etc..

I deeply despise parasitic corporations that seek to suck my soul away by following my every move, tracking my every breath and step and force feeding shit to me in a fruitless effort to get me to turn over my hard to come by $$ to them in exchange for a cheaply made piece of shit that I don't need and don't want.

I don't want big brother (the New KGB) sniffing my farts. F*ck them all. Leave me alone. Stay the f*ck out of my life. It's none of your GD biz..

Why is it always instantly assumed that anyone that doesn't want to share every intimate momenet of their lives with the rest of the planet, that that person is some evil ne'er do gooder??

Now that there are 6bn people on earth, SOME of them assume that everyone wants to live in one huge, happy hippy commune.. Bzzzzt... Some of us don't like that plan. Some of us simply like to be left the hell alone..

Insightful? (3, Insightful)

poptones (653660) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787865)

This isn't even an insightful question. "That much encryption?" What the hell does that mean? If the encryption is easily cracked it's not worth doing, you might as well just be doing your banking over something like ROT13 encoded connections, huh?

I've been wondering why the hell the network has been getting slower and slower and slower over the last weeks. I guess now I know.

Why is an anonymous network needed? Well for one thing it's not anonymous regarding the type of uses the critics like to trot out i.e kiddie porn and cracking, since a good many of the connection nodes originate in the US or Germany, two of the most monitored countries in the world. Your connection can go through a hundred drops after that it won't matter at all if you make that first hit straight to MIT or some .de domain and you're doing anything to interest the FBI.

What it IS useful for (that is before it became so terribly overloaded every click ends up taking thirty seconds or more to respond) is surfing without worrying about your local "community standards" enforced ISP looking over your shoulder or the bazillions of admonkies being able to snoop. Tor is commonly packaged with privoxy, the two together make moving about the net a lot nicer (even slashdot).

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12787878)

Well Matt, I suggest you go away and ponder deeply about freedom of speech, human rights and privacy.... And read 1984 while you are at it. By George Orwell if you have not heard of it.

And maybe have a think what a governemnt or a company could do if they watch all your internet traffic.

Anyway, congratualations to Roger Dingledine, Nick Matthewson, Paul Syverson and all the rest of the folks who worked really hard on Tor over the last few years.

Re:Hmm (5, Insightful)

Motherfucking Shit (636021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787911)

The thing I don't get with Tor is why someone would need that much encryption, unless they were transferring something illegal like copyrighted material.
In some places [msn.com] , discussing things like "democracy" and "freedom" is illegal. In some places, it's verboten for women to bare their necks or ankles (much less anything else) in public. In some places, it's illegal to read books that involve sexual behavior, or criticize the government, or any number of other things.

Are you still convinced that a network of potential "illegal" uses is such a bad thing?

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788002)

These laws are passed for a reason; becuase they reflect community standards. Who are you to advocate breaking them?

Re:Hmm (3, Interesting)

Motherfucking Shit (636021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788118)

These laws are passed for a reason; becuase they reflect community standards.
First, this is a blatant troll. For example, the Taliban forbade women from getting an education. Now that the Taliban have for the most part been defeated in Afghanistan, Afghani women are pursuing all sorts of educations, jobs, and are even walking around without burqas on their heads. If it was all about community standards, these women would never dare such things, lest the rest of the community notice and take action against them.

"Community standards" had nothing to do with it; the standards were set by a fairly small group of lunatics who happened to have a lot of guns. The same can be said of places like North Korea, Iraq, Sudan, and (dare I say it) perhaps even the United States. The FCC, backed by the federal government, which happens to have a lot more firepower than you or I, decides what is or isn't OK on television. As in several other above-listed states, the relatively small group with the superior firepower are the ones who set the rules, communities be damned.

Community standards are hogwash, anyway. I live in the deep south, the Bible belt. I know people who are staunch conservatives, or republicans, or Bush-Frist voters, or whatever you want to call them. These are the guys who go to that annual rally (I forget what it's called) where they profess their faith to God and their wives, and denounce pornography and infidelity. Yet I run into these guys at the strip clubs, at the liquor stores, you name it. All of the "sins" they're supposedly dead-set against, they more often than not participate in themselves.

Your average Bible-belter will vote against gambling, but then you'll find him in the casinos in Tunica or Biloxi. He'll vote against a state lottery, but darned if you don't run into him buying Powerball tickets at the gas station. He'll write to the FCC complaining about Janet Jackson, but as you drive past the adult bookstore, you see his car parked outside. He set the so-called "community standards" when he voted, but he doesn't even follow them himself. That's your average "community standards" progenitor.

Look no further than the Parents' Television Council for evidence of this. The PTC - which as you may recall from prior articles here is responsible for some 98% of all complaints to the FCC - proudly hosts on their own website the offensive clips from television shows they complain about. Even (gasp) children can surf by and find the stuff that's so offensive, they don't want their children to see it. How's that for irony?

For several months they hosted a video clip at http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/clips/WithoutaTrace_o rgy.wmv [parentstv.org] which was ranked #2 and #3 in Google on a search for "teen orgy party." (They removed it after I wrote to them about their hypocrisy, but you can still find references [google.com] to its existence.) The trend is ongoing; for example, they're currently hosting the video of the Paris Hilton Carl's Jr. commercial [parentstv.org] which they describe [parentstv.org] as "extremely graphic and sexually explicit."

Earth to Parents Television Council, your website is fully accessible to any child who has internet access, why are you hosting "extremely graphic and sexually explicit" content there? Fucking hypocrites.

Who are you to advocate breaking them?
A human being who has tasted freedom, who knows about life without oppression, who understands the value of the right to read and speak freely, and who hates seeing women all covered up.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788316)

You mean this video [parentstv.org] found on this page [parentstv.org] ?

They do warn that the video is graphic, but there's no law being broken by having it posted there (except the Slashdot law they broke when they used WMV when Ogg Theora would've been freer (and Ogg Tarkin 313373|3)). Without illustrating examples of what they're railing against, nobody at all would take them seriously.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788178)

Where the "community standards" = "one person's standards"? It's often in dictatorships these laws are in effect...

Re:Hmm (2)

mrsev (664367) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788095)

>>In some places, it's verboten for women to bare their necks or ankles (much less anything else) in public....

Well where I live it is illegal for my wife to bare her naked breasts in public. I demand her freedom!

But seriously they have their laws and we have ours, you cant really compare human rights with laws regarding decency. Dont get me worng I am all for emancipation but please choose your battles better.

On a interesting side note , in the UK I believe we do not have a freedom of speech. CAn someone confirm this?

Re:Hmm (1)

NetNifty (796376) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788111)

"in the UK I believe we do not have a freedom of speech. CAn someone confirm this?"

We don't: "Piggins is also charged with two counts of possession of the magazine Stormer" [newswatch.co.uk] . Charging people for posession of a damn magazine doesnt sound like freedom of speech to me - I can see why distributing the magazine would be illegal under "incitement to racial hatred" laws even if I disagree with them, but having people charged because they posess a magazine is absurd in my opinion.

Re:Hmm (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788306)

The problem is for people in China and probably Iran Tor is useless or worse dangerous.
To use tor you have to know where a tor site is. If you know where it is so do the security people in china. Since in China going around the Great Firewall is a crime connecting to Tor is a crime.
So Tor is really only useful in countries that have some degree of freedom of speech.
That means it will be of most use for people that are going to abuse it.
Now I need to figure out how to block Tor on my office network.

Re:Hmm (1)

jamesangel (621361) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788311)

Discussing democracy is illegal on MSN? Figures...

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788125)

Seeing as how you value anonymity and privacy so little, you wouldn't mind giving me your credit card number would you? :)

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788657)

Because some of us live in China.

Is Tor open source? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787813)

If I remember right isnt Tor created by the US government?

Re:Is Tor open source? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12787835)

Yes, the US Naval blah blah funded the original development and in fact they said that civilian use of the service would help mask any "other" usage - so I consider it a patriotic duty of every citizen of the USA to run a TOR node - to aid the US government in its fight against terrorism and to assist their intelligence efforts.

Re:Is Tor open source? (0, Flamebait)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788531)

As if the EFF would you something the Bush government created.

Onion routers are by no means new but Tor is (5, Interesting)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787880)

Tor uses something called Onion Routing [wikipedia.org] . But interestingly the original system was heavily patented and Tor had to work around all of those with something called "Telescopic Circuits". The problem (as far as my feeble brain understands) is that this is suitable for connection oriented data, but not for routing each packet a different way - seriously I'd love to run Tor as tun0 so that my IP packets head a different way and do point-to-point, but that seems to be a distant dream. Right now it seems to be just protocol proxying.

And the problem with onion routing is that it is neither high-bandwidth or low-latency - just anonymous. Sharing files over Tor is a blatant misuse - but tracker comm over it is perfectly valid (Azureus already has a plugin - though I like dht better).

Interestingly, I2P [i2p.net] calls them Garlic routers [i2p.net] (the pun is not lost on some of us).

Re:Onion routers are by no means new but Tor is (2, Funny)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788528)


Seems a little ironic that a project that provides anonymity should be hindred by patent infringements.

Tor 40 on the list... (1)

chrono13 (879557) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787964)

Windows Media Player 10 is 47th.

"Version 10 combines a compact interface with an innovative DRM technology for enabling music subscriptions that you can take with you on your MP3 player."

Better DRM features help Microsoft onto the list?

I wonder how many advertising spots MS buys through PC World?

Commercialized Already (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12787991)

It seems one of the first companies to jump on the Tor bandwagon is VPM. They are selling a Linux desktop on a 128MB USB stick [newsforge.com] with everything preconfigured to connect using Tor. Sounds like a neat idea even though you could make it all yourself without paying $45.

blah blah (1)

XO (250276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12787998)

If they'd just let the things I wanted IRC to do before there was a split from one unified IRC network, then we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Tor like to thank the Academy (5, Funny)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788082)

Tor very happy to win award. Make Tor happy. Tor not smash now.

SSH Attacks (1)

datadriven (699893) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788243)

Using Tor can help you anonymize web browsing and publishing, instant messaging, IRC, SSH, and more.

Don't we have enough problems with script kiddies trying to SSH into our machines without making them anonymous?

Re:SSH Attacks (1)

benji fr (632243) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788554)

yep,

Don't we have enough dissidents or journalists who want to tell everybody about our so called 'censorship' on information ?

--
Chinese gvt information minister.

PS: depending on your preferences, replace "Chinese" with "North Korean" or "Iranian" or even "Japanese" or "French" ...

Suse 9.3 install?? (0, Offtopic)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788556)

It complains that libevent isn't installed, which it IS... Seems the rpms are for fedora, and the source won't compile because of the libevent problem..

help?

And Firefox is THE product of the year (3, Interesting)

hey (83763) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788602)

page 1 [pcworld.com]

Tor is ok, but (3, Interesting)

blue_adept (40915) | more than 9 years ago | (#12788836)

if you want to surf anonymously without downloading and installing stuff, check out anonycat.

http://anonycat.com/ [anonycat.com]

it's open source, so you can download and run it from your own computer if you want, but you can also just surfy anonymously from the main page.

it's pretty good for viewing slashdot, too, which you can't do with Tor.

Tor Rendered Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12788920)

Tor is a great idea but is becoming largely useless for anything but casual web browsing. Here are some of the things I have observed while using Tor:

- Blocked on Wikipedia from editing
- Blocked on Slashdot from posting, in some cases, I am blocked from even browsing
- Blocked on most IRC networks

Those are just a few of the places I noticed, I'm sure there are more.

Tor isn't much good if you can't get your message out. It seems like many places preach about the freedom from censorship it gives (i.e. Slashdot) but are willing to block Tor.

Good article - tor server count will soar (2, Interesting)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789128)

Every time tor is mentioned on Slashdot, the networks gains speed thanks to a surge in runnin server numbers.
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