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[liberationtech] Securing internet traffic/communications with Tor

Roger Dingledine arma at mit.edu
Mon Apr 30 12:24:45 PDT 2012


On Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 11:41:36AM -0700, Brian Conley wrote:
> 2. Using TOR will, if somebody at network central is monitoring, turnon
> klaxons. VPN is to common to do that, the network central office becomes to
> noisy so nobody can sleep on their desk.

It depends what country you're talking about, but I think you're
underestimating how universal Tor use is at this point.

With 40k-60k daily Tor users in Iran (and that number could well be a
factor of ten lower than the real number of users -- privacy-preserving
user counting is an ongoing research problem and we tend to be
conservative), the typical Tor user in Iran is just using Tor to (safely)
get to websites that probably shouldn't have been blocked in the first
place. If you declare them all dissidents and round them up, you'll end
up rounding up your whole Internet-using population.

Similarly, Syria has ~10k daily users plus another ~10k daily bridge
users.

See point 'e' at https://www.torproject.org/download/download#warning
for more discussion and some recommendations.

You could also use a transport like Obfsproxy to make it even less likely
that your traffic flow will be noticed in an automated way:
https://blog.torproject.org/blog/obfsproxy-next-step-censorship-arms-race
but since not many other people are using it yet, you may be trading off
some of the 'safety in numbers' component of your security.

--Roger




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