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[liberationtech] dumb question

Adam Fisk a at
Wed Sep 15 10:49:48 PDT 2010

Hi Daniel- I was imprecise in my language, and I apologize. I think
the confusion comes from the notion that a Haystack user would be
undetectable as a result of hiding in otherwise innocuous looking
traffic. That's clearly different from anonymity, but it it does give
the illusion of safety. At the end of the day, the practical danger is

I also would love to see a complete version of Haystack that works and
does not endanger anyone. Lord knows I've had some experience writing
beta software, and I don't mean to dishonor anyone's hard work. The
stakes are just so much higher in this case, making releasing any
early test version much trickier. I think we're all calling the test
version "Haystack" because we have nothing else to identify as
"Haystack." That said, I'll be more precise next time, and thanks for
pointing it out!


On Wed, Sep 15, 2010 at 12:06 AM, Daniel Colascione
<dan.colascione at> wrote:
> Hi, Adam. I appreciate your nuanced post. You are right: there is plenty
> of room for other tools in the gap between Tor and a bare proxy. Every
> solution involves certain trade-offs, and not everyone prefers the
> trade-offs made by Tor.
> By the way, I noticed certain misunderstandings in your post. I hope you
> don't mind my correcting them.
> On 9/14/10 11:30 PM, Adam Fisk wrote:
>> The key is not to confuse the two. Haystack is such a disaster because
>> it purported to be an anonymity tool
> The CRC made many hyperbolic claims, but in the interest of historical
> accuracy, we didn't make this one. From the Haystack FAQ,
> "Tor focuses on using onion routing to ensure that a user's
> communications cannot be traced back...Haystack focuses on being
> unblockable and innocuous while simultaneously protecting the privacy of
> our users. We do not employ onion routing, though our proxy system does
> provide a limited form of the same benefit."
>> but really was just a
>> semi-functional circumvention tool.
> I assume you're talking about the broken test program that was released.
> If so, I urge you not to perpetuate this myth. Haystack was never
> completed. The program that was released was never meant to be Haystack.
> Sincerely,
> Daniel Colascione
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Adam Fisk | |

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