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[liberationtech] The missing component: Mobile to Web interoperability (in Internet Freedom Technologies)

Roger Dingledine arma at mit.edu
Wed Sep 25 22:52:14 PDT 2013


On Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 09:32:46PM -0700, coderman wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 1:34 PM, Jonathan Wilkes <jancsika at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > ...
> > Roger Dingledine has said that his biggest fear is that the
> > NSA has found a way to break Tor,
> 
> citation?  ;)

You left out the rest of his sentence (and maybe some different
punctuation would have helped too).

Once upon a time, we argued that sure, maybe NSA could break Tor if they
put enough resources into it, but at least we could rely on the fact
that if the FBI called them up on the phone and asked for some help
with a case, they sure wouldn't admit to it. And also, if they *did*
have an attack, surely they wouldn't "spend" their super-secret knowledge
on just any old situation:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coventry_Blitz#Coventry_and_Ultra

It's similar reasoning that might make you comfortable jaywalking in
front of a secret service agent -- surely they have more important things
to be doing with their time, or with our tax dollars, than coordinating
with the local police to bust you for something irrelevant, right?

And now here we are learning about a growing number of cases where NSA
actually does provide intelligence for cases that are totally outside
their scope or mandate, with sentences that start with "you didn't hear
it from me, but".

So the snippet of quote above is out-of-context -- I do think that an
organization that puts a lot of energy into surveilling large parts of
the Internet can probabilistically correlate some Tor traffic flows,
but I wouldn't call that threat my biggest fear. That said, I do really
worry about the slippery slope where everybody collects their own huge
database of Internet traffic and then eagerly shares their analysis
with everybody else. It shifts the balance of power even more in favor
of the surveillance state(s).

--Roger




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