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Tor Usage More Than Doubles In August 186

Posted by timothy
from the gee-fellas-I-wonder-why dept.
hypnosec writes that the Tor network has witnessed a massive rise in the number of users connecting to it for the month of August. "The privacy-enhancing network is known for providing an anonymous browsing experience through the use of a series of encrypted relays, and has had as many as 500k users throughout this year so far. But if we check the latest statistics available through Tor Metrics Portal there has been a whopping 100 percent increase in the number of Tor clients and as many as 1,200,000 users are connecting to the network. The previous peak for the network was in January 2012, when it saw as many as 950,000 users."
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Tor Usage More Than Doubles In August

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  • by barlevg (2111272) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @10:14AM (#44706157)

    (a) Awareness of NSA surveillance has caused people to seek out TOR, or

    (b) Increased awareness of TOR, thanks to the coverage of NSA surveillance, has caused people to try to evade said surveillance?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Either way, it's a bunch of people saying "fuck you" to the NSA.

      The NSA can eat shit ... and so can the USA and their "spy on the world" bullshit.

      You want to understand why the rest of the world is starting to lose patience for America? The NSA and their spying is a pretty good example -- self entitled assholes who think their wishes trump everything else.

      The rest of us have no interest in giving up our rights for your benefit. Just because you guys are giving up all of yours doesn't mean we need to, or s

      • by Noxal (816780) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @10:25AM (#44706267)

        I'm a US citizen that's strongly opposed to all of this bullshit. I've lost my own patience for my government.
        What should people like me do to show people like you that we're just as fed up as you are, if not more? Protest? Rebel? Sign some pledge? Comment on Slashdot?
        What more do you want to see from the people of the United States?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Just tell your opinion to anyone who asks you, like you have done with this post. Some widespread protest would be nice, but to be fair it doesn't seem to happen in other countries either.

          Oh, and by the way, if you go abroad please just ignore those morons who troll Americans in real life and on the Net with Anti-American opinions, trying to drag them into 'political' discussions (or just assuming that every American loves baseball). I know how annoying they can be but they are really just a loud minority a

        • by somersault (912633) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @10:56AM (#44706585) Homepage Journal

          Protest, yes. Regular protests, everywhere, until something is actually done. I don't understand why a bigger deal wasn't made of the Patriot act. I'm not even that into politics, but that one was very obviously a no-no, fancypants Constitution or not.

          • Did you write your representatives? I know there were lots of people who wanted something done but did anyone other than me bother writing or calling their representatives. I wrote mine but Mark Kennedy, Wellstone, and Dayton all voted for it.
            • I'm not American, so no..

              • I just see so many people bitching about this sort of thing and yet none of them have ever bothered to try to make their voices heard to their reps and thus erroneously thought you were one of the many who don't bother to stay involved beyond just voting.
        • by Digital Vomit (891734) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @11:00AM (#44706607) Homepage Journal

          If the entirety of human history is any indicator, the governed won't see any changes in a situation like this until they're willing to use lethal force against those who govern them.

          When enough of the key positions of political and economic power in a society are filled with sociopaths, the only way you can stop them is to kill them. You can't vote a replacement or try to replace them by running for office yourself because they have the power to corrupt the voting process and to filter out those who attempt to run for office who pose any real challenge to their own power. You can't stop them with protests because they have the force the police to crush any serious protests and they have the force of the media to destroy the message of such protests. The only thing that works when corruption gets really, really bad is lethal force by the governed.

          So, unless you're willing to take up arms against your fellow man, you'll just have to bend down and take it. We all know this is true, and we all try to dance around this fact because we like to think we're civilized and above the use of violence, but the fact of the matter is that a small portion of the population is extremely selfish and has no compunction against using violence against you. When enough of these sorts of people get into the place where they have most of the money, power, and weapons, they *will* use those things against everyone else in order to retain their position.

          Yes, violence sucks. Yes, it's bad. Yes, we should avoid it if at all possible. But there comes a point when that's all you can do, and that's when the sociopaths hold *all* the cards. How far off do we all think that is? There comes a time when violence is necessary because there are evil, selfish people in the world.

          To quote one of The Founding Fathers of the USA, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

          So, to answer your question of "What more do you want to see from the people of the United States?", here's an answer that will work: gather together a million like-minded, armed citizens and take the White House and Capitol Hill. Depose all the corrupt leaders by killing or imprisoning them and seizing all their assets. It won't be pretty, and you'll probably end up splitting the US into smaller nation-states, and you'll likely have to do it all again in a few generations, but it's the only way to keep the boot of the government from stepping on the face of humanity forever.

          But, good luck with all that, because I hear Miley Cyrus is twerking again or something.

          • If the entirety of human history is any indicator, the governed won't see any changes in a situation like this until they're willing to use lethal force against those who govern them.

            Let's take at the history of nonviolent resistance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_resistance [wikipedia.org]

            In fact, if you look at, it looks as if through the entirety of human history non-violent resistance is really in these days :)
            (In fact, never before in the history of mankind have you as an individual ever been more empowered than now).

            • by geek (5680) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @11:50AM (#44707099) Homepage

              If the entirety of human history is any indicator, the governed won't see any changes in a situation like this until they're willing to use lethal force against those who govern them.

              Let's take at the history of nonviolent resistance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_resistance [wikipedia.org]

              In fact, if you look at, it looks as if through the entirety of human history non-violent resistance is really in these days :)

              (In fact, never before in the history of mankind have you as an individual ever been more empowered than now).

              Tell that to Syrians, Iranians, North Koreans, Yemen etc etc. Hell, tell it to Russian homosexuals

              • That wasn't the argument. The argument was "no change has ever happened without lethal force". You're arguing "because non-violent change has sometimes not born fruit, violence always has to be used to bring about change." The actual argument is "non-violent change has been quite successful quite frequently. Here's how. It's cheaper than violence. Try it." Pay attention.

            • Many people are fed up with the unconstitutional government programs that violate our rights to online privacy. The question is what we, as good citizens, do to effect change. Those voices which advocate violence bring more harm than good into the discussion IMO. There is simply no need for it, as we have the technical know-how to protect our online privacy using tools like encryption, virtual networks, Tor, and Freenet just to name a few. If there is a need for better tools, we will develop them. That is t

              • by jopsen (885607)

                It is an American, patriotic act of nonviolent civil disobedence.

                Awesome... That's the kind of thing we need... and the right way to respond...
                Unfortunately this is a tech issue, you need to reach a significant amount of people, do you really think that's realistic?

                I mean just getting people to use duckduckgo would take forever, TOR, probably never going to happen.. Encrypted emails, I seriously doubt it...

          • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @11:49AM (#44707089) Journal

            Yes, violence sucks. Yes, it's bad. Yes, we should avoid it if at all possible. But there comes a point when that's all you can do, and that's when the sociopaths hold *all* the cards. How far off do we all think that is? There comes a time when violence is necessary because there are evil, selfish people in the world.

            The only reason that time is not now is that there aren't enough like minded people to join the revolutionary army. If you look at the Declaration of Independence, most of those grievances are trifling next to what we read about in the news every day. The crimes committed by the thugs that call themselves our government more than justify revolution today. All we need are people willing to lay down their lives for freedom. Unfortunately, as you note, more people care about their bread and circuses than they do freedom and justice.

            • by Seumas (6865)

              Good luck with all that, fellas.

              How many missiles, jet fighters, tanks, machine guns, infantry, medics, apaches, and nukes do you have for all this "standing up to tyranny" stuff? Don't get me wrong, I understand that the intention of the founding fathers was to provide the means for people to defend themselves - as a people - against the inevitable tyranny of governments . . . but in our modern world with our modern military, it's a little unrealistic even if you had 100% of the citizens involved, don't yo

              • by shaitand (626655)
                Exactly who is you think secures and operates those tanks, guns, missiles, chopers etc? The men and women of the military are sworn to uphold the constitution and to the people and have already indicated they are willing to shed blood to defend those oaths. Do you really think there would be no defection to the revolution bringing arms with it? What about the national guard units and armories?

                I was in the military. I know a lot of other people who were in the military. Just because they follow orders and se
              • Actually protest coupled with armed self protection is a great fight against government tyranny. Sure the state has all these weapons of war, but there are so much more of us than them. Plus unless all government employees get presidential level protection they are extremely vulnerable to assassination attempts. Any person with 1500 bucks can purchase a rifle capable of killing at distances of 1000 meters or more. Another 1500 for the optics to use it and a few months of training and they can take out Almo
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by NeutronCowboy (896098)

            God damn you're a fucking idiot. There's plenty of change that happened in the last 50 years that didn't involve violence - groundbreaking, fundamental change that tossed out the current power structure in its entirety. The most significant examples are probably South Africa and India. If you can't name the people involved, you have no standing in this discussion.

            Furthermore, there are purely logical, sociological and philosophical problems with your approach.
            Off the top of my head:
            Logical: the entire point

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            Egyptians got rid of their dictator and then their elected government without using lethal force against them. Sure, afterwards the military did kill some Islamists, but the protesters themselves never had to kill anyone. The police were unwilling to fight the protesters too much because they basically supported them.

            Recent human history suggests that protest, on a large enough scale, is effective and does not require lethal force to work. There has to be a majority behind the protests though.

            • by Applekid (993327)

              Egyptians got rid of their dictator and then their elected government without using lethal force against them. Sure, afterwards the military did kill some Islamists, but the protesters themselves never had to kill anyone. The police were unwilling to fight the protesters too much because they basically supported them.

              The price for change remained, it was merely the payment terms that were rescheduled.

              • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

                Yes, there is no way we could possibly learn from their mistakes. History always repeats itself.

            • by chihowa (366380)

              A military coup d'état is exactly overthrowing a government using lethal force. Their government was deposed under the imminent threat of overwhelming violence. That's exactly what the GP was referring to.

              The protests were nice, and may have motivated the military, but the protests didn't get rid of the dictator. The guys with the guns did that part.

          • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @05:45PM (#44711081)

            So you overthrow the feds. And then what? Now you're beholden to your local authorities which are far worse, far more small minded, far more despotic. Overthrowing the govt is not going to result in the small-power libertarian utopia you think it will. It's going to result in a feudalistic system composed of arbitrary overlords. Read the history of England and see how it goes. The fifedoms which predated the nation state we call England were no where a libertarian wanted to be.

            If you want to change things, then repeal the immunity from prosecution prosecutors enjoy. Ditto Congress. As it stands, they have zero fear because voting to defacto take away your rights isn't anything they're every going to be called to account for.

            Ditto prosecutors who engage in phenomenal overreach, over charging, subornation of perjury, hiding of of exculpatory evidence as just SOP in nearly all cases, not to mention the incredible expansion of criminal laws into every aspect of life so that nearly everyone is guilty of something even if they don't know it combined with the rolling back of statute of limitations which makes it impossible to mount any kind of effective defense basically ensures that most of the population is properly intimated all the time.

            The system is corrupt, but the corruption comes from a total lack of fear of consequence. If Congress had to worry that a future Congress or electorate would find them guilty of gross dereliction of duty, if the people in the TLA organizations actually had some level of fear that their actions would be subject to citizen overview if the prosecutors were forced to keep video documentation of every interaction they had over the course of developing cases and the police likewise then there'd be some sort of hesitation. As it is we ambitious sociopaths like Carmen Orttiz going snarling hog wild against our kids.

            Overthrowing the government is a losers gambit because even if it's successful, you haven't done jack shit about the forces that caused the corruption in the first place. They just reconstitute themselves because in reality you're fighting some very ugly aspects of human nature - sociopaths as you termed them, which is about right.

            What we have is a system that is broken but when your car is broken, you don't smash it then start with reinventing the wheel. you just fix it because that's better than starting all over again.

            Remove the immunity from prosecution that Congress enjoys for the laws they pass. Remove the immunity Carmen Ortiz enjoys and which enables her to use her office to abuse due process. What controls sociopaths is fear combined with the high certainty of getting caught. Video tape everything that happens everywhere in the criminal justice system from the courts to the lawyers offices to the jails to the cops. Make that available to citizens investigatory efforts. Ditto Congress. If we're to live under TIA, then guess what comes next- so are they. We actually have a more compelling case to videotape absolutely everything they do since the potential consequences for abuse look like Aaron Schwartz. Give them no place to hide and we'll see big changes, fast.

        • by magical liopleurodon (1213826) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @11:10AM (#44706701)

          I'm a US citizen that has lost patience with the American people. Anonymous Coward is exactly right. Where were the riots over this? The outrage just wasn't there. But then there are riots all over the U.S. over the Trayvon Martin verdict. Stupidest fucking thing I've ever seen. And the media trying to make this a white vs black thing, even though George Zimmerman is hispanic. Zimmerman should probably go in the witness protection program and change his identity......and there you have it right there. The U.S. government really *is* a reflection of the American people. The American people do not respect rights and due process. So neither does the government. The American people are uninformed on The Constitution, so, like the American people, the government ignores it too.

          What do I want to see from the people of the United States? idk, it seems like a lost cause. How many are even aware of the NSA spying? Do they care? They probably care more about Miley Cyrus 'twerking'.

          A minority of Americans have woken up (Libertarians/Ron Paul crowd -- which is growing). Will it be enough to change the direction of the country? I hope so. Julian Assange is right about libertarianism being America's last hope.

          • by Stuarticus (1205322) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @11:49AM (#44707085)

            And the media trying to make this a white vs black thing

            More one of those murderers vs minors things.

          • The weird thing is, it hasn't seemed to affect Obama's popularity at all (see here for one example of a daily tracking poll [rasmussenreports.com]). I can understand not protesting, since it's tough work, but how can people brush it off so easily? Is it possible that the only people who are upset about NSA tracking are people who didn't like Obama anyway?
            • by Seumas (6865)

              Our last couple generations have been raised in an educational and society system that coddles us and makes us obedient to authority. We aren't independent, we aren't taught critical thinking skills, and we not only accept that our government is overstepping these bounds, but *expect* that they should be doing *more* . . . so they can "provide" more for us and "protect" us more.

              So, why aren't more people pissed off and doing something about it? Because they don't think anything is wrong.

          • by FhnuZoag (875558)

            Libertarianism merely cuts out the middle man in letting the rich own you.

        • I'm a US citizen that's strongly opposed to all of this bullshit. I've lost my own patience for my government. What should people like me do to show people like you that we're just as fed up as you are, if not more?

          Anything really, just do something, please...
          But may I ask, if you have:
          - Donated to the EFF?
          - Signed all applicable petitions? (optin.stopwatching.us, perhaps? and more...)
          - Written a personal letter to your representatives?

          Those things are the least you can do... as a concerned citizen it is probably you moral duty to do so...
          These things don't really cost you anything, nor does it cost you anything to get your friends and family to do the same.

          Many will tell you that these things don't change

        • by fl!ptop (902193)

          What should people like me do to show people like you that we're just as fed up as you are, if not more?

          Vote. Talk to your neighbors. Get involved. Volunteer. Organize. Protest at your local county courthouse.

          "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." - Thomas Jefferson

        • I'm a US citizen that's strongly opposed to all of this bullshit. I've lost my own patience for my government. What should people like me do to show people like you that we're just as fed up as you are, if not more? Protest? Rebel? Sign some pledge? Comment on Slashdot?

          Buy more ammo!

        • by Sloppy (14984) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @12:22PM (#44707405) Homepage Journal

          I'm a US citizen that's strongly opposed to all of this bullshit. I've lost my own patience for my government.
          What should people like me do to show people like you that we're just as fed up as you are, if not more?

          Fuck it. It's not true, but if it helps, think of it like this: the president ordered the NSA to order Snowden to "leak" what they've been up to, as a sort of Public Service Announcement to America and the rest of the world, to make us think about privacy issues.

          Your own federal government is just one of a hundred potential adversaries. The fact that they intercept network traffic is not merely a statement from your government that they have malicious intent. It's also a proof-of-concept that there are technical problems with the network; that parties with malicious intent are able to do damage. And that means that even if your government didn't have malicious intent, you would still have the problem and adversaries would still be spying on you.

          You can't solve that second half of the problem by running for Congress or persuading your government to become benevolent. You solve it by working on key exchange. That is what everyone needs, because we have had some great tech for decades now, but there's some kind of difficulty that is keeping people from using it. Solve it, for everyone from grandma to teenager, and you're the hero of the century.

          If you want to work on the civics problem in parallel with the technical+techsocial problems, ok. But don't for a moment ever lie to yourself and think it will make one iota of difference as to how much privacy anyone has. The AC you replied to, doesn't get it. The US government isn't his real problem either; he just thinks it is. He hopes his bitching will shame one of the adversaries on his hundred-long list, to shape up and behave civilized, leaving him with a mere 99 to go. That is a doomed strategy.

          • by jwhitener (198343)

            "Your own federal government is just one of a hundred potential adversaries"

            Yeah, but they are the one who most likely can change my life for the worse. I really don't care if North Korea knows my browsing habits. But I do care if the NSA has some keyword search running on all internet traffic, detects that I searched for "some bad thing", and informs my local police department.

        • by Patch86 (1465427)

          Have you tried:
          1) Writing to your Congressman?
          2) Writing directly to the White House?
          3) Signing (or set up) a petition?
          4) Voting (or intend to vote at the next opportunity) for a privacy-focused political party, such as the Pirate Party?
          5) Supporting a privacy-focused political party either with a monetary donation or volunteer time?

          All of these are pretty minimal effort steps that you, as a democratic participant, can and should take if you feel strongly about an issue. If you're not willing to do any of t

        • What should people like me do to show people like you that we're just as fed up as you are, if not more? Protest? Rebel? Sign some pledge? Comment on Slashdot?

          Which will amount to nothing. All this has been done in the past and it amounts to nothing. It's time for a revolution. No, don't go get your gun, not that kind of revolution. But its time to over throw the current government. Its time for the states to remove the current government.

          In short it time for the states to call for a constitutional convention and ether rewrite the constitution or amended the current one to remove the sitting government. Its with in the power for the states to remov

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      (a) Awareness of NSA surveillance has caused people to seek out TOR, or

      (b) Increased awareness of TOR, thanks to the coverage of NSA surveillance, has caused people to try to evade said surveillance?

      Probably both.

      And probably a field day for the NSA as well because well, it's so easy to pick up on TOR traffic if you're an exit node. (Especially since most "dumb" people use it so the traffic being sent out the node would have tons of identifying stuff on it).

      Hell, the NSA probably runs quite a few monitored

    • I'd say that one significant factor is the easy to install and use Tor Browser bundle with FIrefox.

      Not all that long ago, setting up Tor was kind of laborious. Now, you can do it as easily as you install any other new piece of software.

      And to be honest, I wasn't even keeping up with it enough to realize they'd put something like that out, until I read the recent news article revealing the govt. was finding out the source IP addresses of some Tor users thanks to a security vulnerability in the older version

      • Yep, never use the use the same browser for Tor and non-Tor sessions. Better yet, boot from a live linux distro, surf via Tor and then reboot to Windows/Mac.
    • There was a recent story where they used malware to infect 80% of the people on TOR so they could trace them. It got mainstream coverage because it is the kind of makes law enforcement look good piece they like to push. Thus mainstream now knows about TOR.
    • by tqk (413719)

      "We meddle. People don't like to be meddled with." -- Serenity.

      "What are you rebelling against?"
      "What'cha got?"

      Pick a side and fight.

    • by Minupla (62455)

      c) the fact that Defcon was in august meaning ~15,000 ppl needed to get onto Tor

  • by wbr1 (2538558) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @10:14AM (#44706167)
    Especially since freedom hosting and tormail are gone.

    Maybe a percentage of that was FBI agents infiltrating The Silk Road?

    • re: SIlk Road (Score:5, Insightful)

      by King_TJ (85913) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @12:19PM (#44707369) Journal

      Speaking of SIlk Road -- have you ever actually looked around that site at any length?

      After ignoring it for the longest time, I finally created an account there and took a good look at it, just to satisfy my curiosity.

      What surprised me the most about it was the LACK of anything really exciting up there for sale! I mean, when you read the news hype and all the supposed angst from politicians and law enforcement over its existence, you expect the place to be a hotbed of sex slavery, child porn, virus/malware dealers, email spammers, and what-not.

      In reality, I saw a fair number of people simply offering to exchange your bitcoin for US currency or bars of silver, a few people selling used electronics gear, and a lot of offers to sell information on how to supposedly do such things as hacking an ATM machine (reminds me of the old "G-Files" people passed around the local BBS's in the late 80's except those were free!).

      Sure, there were some people offering to sell you pharmaceuticals and even small amounts of drugs like cocaine, but that's one category out of dozens - and there wasn't even a dramatic number of ads posted for them.

      Mountain out of a molehill, all in all.

      • Have you ever looked around it at length?

        There is not a 'small amount of drugs' but a whole shit load of them in varying quantity. 1g gram of pot to 1lb. Same goes with ectasy, shrooms, etc...For the most part you can find anything you want there and the amount.

        If its a molehill, that hill is the staging area for the last battle on the war on drugs.

        as far as child porn and sex slavery, silk road doesn't allow shit like that on there.

  • Tor: It's Not Just For Pedophiles Anymore!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This in fact means that the Tor network is in need of more relays and exit nodes. If you have access to a server that meets the requirements, you could consider it.

    • by Goaway (82658)

      I'm sure the NSA will be happy to provide some.

      People need to remember that if you access the regular internet through Tor, and don't very carefully make sure to encrypt everything, you are actually opening yourself up to more spying.

      • by c0lo (1497653)
        Explained [eff.org], with pictures.
      • by budcub (92165)

        Its not just NSA that you're hiding from, its your ISP and others. Who knows, maybe 5-10 years from now when you go to apply for a job, besides the drug screening, credit check, social media background check, they'll want to examine your internet usage to make sure you're not doing something your employer doesn't approve of.

        • by Goaway (82658)

          And by using Tor carelessly, you open yourself up to more spying of that kind, too.

          • by budcub (92165)

            You mean just using Tor, while not illegal, will become one of those things that can cause you problems? They'll think you have something hide? When does it all end?

            • by Goaway (82658)

              No, I mean that all Tor exit nodes can spy on you. And anybody can run an exit node, not just the NSA. Private companies can do so too and collect data on you.

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday August 29, 2013 @10:15AM (#44706181) Journal

    More Tor exit nodes is better. The NSA surely has many honeypot nodes, we need to drown them out with more legitimate exit nodes.

    • by blueg3 (192743) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @10:40AM (#44706407)

      While more Tor exit nodes is better, all use of Tor should be done assuming that the exit node is controlled by a hostile party. A lot of the exit nodes are controlled by people much more unpleasant than the NSA.

      Note that exit nodes are the weak link in Tor. Your traffic through them is not encrypted by Tor, so you must use SSL. They are, by design, a man in the middle, so you must be prepared for MitM attacks.

    • Trying to out-spend the NSA on setting up nodes is not likely to work.

      I think the only safe assumption is that the NSA or other government organizations has access to any data transmitted through a commonly-used system. A real expert in security and encryption might be able to determine that a particular system is safe, but as a random user you can't necessarily trust any statements made by "experts" because those experts could be NSA plants.

      I don't think you can use technology to stop government sp

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29, 2013 @10:16AM (#44706187)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Isn't Tor unsecure if some adversary controls a large fraction of the network?

    • Or can monitor every connection and retain the data indefinitely, even from US Citizens without a warrant.
  • Anyhows (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @10:23AM (#44706241) Journal

    > "there has been a whopping 100 percent increase in the number of Tor clients

    Half of them in those new, billion-dollar data centers, no doubt. Maybe they can't crack the traffic yet, but they could get relatively accurate dynamic topologies, and use their other, non-Tor nodes, also judiciously placed around in Internet backbones, to learn connections to individual computers.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Following the NSA's example, other nations secret services are now rapidly deploying their own Tor honeypots.

  • Pirate bay (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/08/10/1519211/the-pirate-bay-launches-browser-to-evade-isp-blockades

    That's why.

  • by garry_g (106621) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @11:38AM (#44706975)

    The increased usage increases the problem of bad throughput ... haven't used it in a while, but when I played around with it a bit, latency (which would be expected) but more importantly throughput was bad to unbearable ... more users require more performance at the exit nodes, which means more exit nodes are needed ...
    Having run an exit node for a short while myself, I know of the results: within less than 4 weeks, we received an inquiry into the owner/operator of the machine with the node's IP address, due to reported child porn access. Luckily, the police seemed to be halfway knowledgeable, and with the provided infos on the operation of the node (stats about the node throughput, etc.) they stopped investigating the issue. Needless to say node operation was terminated the day we received the initial inquiry. Without decent "provider status protection" for exit nodes, the risk for operators may be a bit too high unless extensive (and expensive) measures are taken to block illegal material ... which, in turn, makes the whole network subject to other manipulation, and goes against the reason for the network ...

    • by Jonboy X (319895)

      Who in their right mind would run an exit node in the first place? Who is this person who thinks it's a good idea to send data and requests on behalf of anonymous users who don't want to get caught doing it themselves?

      All I can think of are:

      1. Good Samaritans with fat data pipes and legal immunity
      2. People who want to get on watchlists, to prove a point
      3. Underinformed nerds
  • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @11:56AM (#44707149)

    Tor is great to stop your neighbor from spying on your people-dressed-as-cows porn fetish, since it's trivial for someone who lives close to you to sniff your packets (a fact confirmed to me by my ISP btw). SO it's great for privacy from nosy ./ curious / thrill seeking neighbors or defending yourself against common cyber criminals. If you're hoping to position yourself AS a criminal using Tor, for-gheeda-bow-tit.

    Just saying this so no one makes the youthful mistake of thinking they can, for instance, order molly from the silkroad and never have that fact traced back to them. Criminals are going to do what they do and Tor isn't going to protect them and that's between those people and law enforcement. What we don't want is young people whose brains and judgement aren't fully developed yet , but whose taste for adventure is, being caught in the meat-grinder of an incarceration-for-profit system complete with mandatory minimum sentences because they were severely misled on technical matters.

    Do you know what the cost of owning (statistically , virtually) ALL of the exit nodes and most of the intermediate nodes of Tor is? It's effectively zero to the collective financial and technical resources of the "five eyes", that's what it is.

    Oh but WoofyGoofy I use a VPN and encrypt everything !!!! And therefore what do you think follows? When you also own both ends of the connections and every major ISP etc etc How hard is it to attach unique identifying packets to your packets as they pass back into the network and then track them through it? Or a little Bayesian analysis based on just the time and size of your packets? Tor is based on the idea that most nodes are not pwned. That assumption is almost certainly false. Remember this also- law enforcement only needs a subpoena for your online activities and email if it's recent- 18 months. When the information you generated is older than that- and Google et.al. keep it FOR-EVAH-AH - that's forever to the phonically challenged- law enforcement can look at it without even so much as a warrant- just ask and ye shall receive, and yes, that includes the CONTENT of your emails etc. Look it up.

    There are a lot of dangers to the total information awareness that's been set up. The one people focus in on is J Edgar Hoover style political repression.

    Another one is that we're creating a generation of people who get caught for *absolutely* *every* transgression. Call them "generation busted".

    People didn't evolve to be either perfectly compliant nor perfectly spied on all the time, everywhere and and norms of society didn't evolve with that as a fact either. Young people whose judgment is not in effect are a potential gold mine for people who make money off things like parole and incarceration and they will push to increase their revenue flow just like any other corporation would.

    After all, who do you THINK lobbied for mandatory minimum sentencing? Who do you think pushes for three strike laws for what are basically non-violent offenders- stealing pizza, shit like that? This is a real danger.

    I know one friend's son who is constantly in trouble with the law over shit like smoking ladies soap bubbles and petty shoplifting and such shit. Basically, it's like watching a lamb being fed to the wolves piece by piece. Soon enough he'll have enough of a record that they'll lock him up, making him permanently unemployable and then wait for him to commit a robbery or suchlike. It's sickening. The kid has severe mental health issues, probably was born that way and should be on some form of permanent public assistance. There exist people like that. It's cheaper than locking him up. Let him smoke dope, watch TV play games and just exist in whatever way makes sense to him. People are born who are just like this for reasons we don't understand, it's not anyone's fault, least of all his.

    Just as bad is kids who are transgressive as a kind of experimentation, like, oh I don't know our coke snorting (he admits to it) President. Go to a

  • As many people have already stated, this is likely due to the revelation of the depth of NSA spying. The irony lies in the fact that the X-KEYSCORE software that the NSA uses to determine which traffic to log specifically targets Tor traffic. Therefore, these people are probably drawing more attention to themselves by using Tor than by not using it. That wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if Tor guaranteed anonymity but based on the articles I've been reading lately, it seems like people with sufficient
  • It's great now that you can buy plug and play options to use Tor. Raspberry Pi + Tor = Easy
  • Tor Browser (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Monsuco (998964) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @03:03PM (#44709247) Homepage

    It's not a perfect solution, but the Tor Project's attempt to answer the problems faced by Tor with their Tor Browser bundle. Basically, it's a copy of Firefox tailored for Tor usage. It's set to use Tor by default. It also comes with HTTPS everywhere, an extension the EFF makes that redirects web traffic to use SSL when possible. Some websites don't support SSL and some don't implement it well, but it helps solve part of the problem with exit nodes being able to sniff traffic. Exit nodes can still see where that traffic is going but actually looking at contents is difficult. NoScript is installed and plugins are disabled to keep javascript and plugins from leaking your IP. StartPage is used as the default search engine rather than Google because StartPage doesn't log what users do and they are based outside of the USA.

    Ideally, the increased attention the Tor Network is getting will result in more people volunteering their equipment and bandwidth to serve as exit nodes.

"You don't go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies, you take a gun and shoot him." -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy

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