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posted by janrinok on Sunday November 21 2021, @10:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the Don't-be-a-jerk;-be-awesome-instead! dept.

Tor Forum: a new discussion platform for the Tor Community:

Communicating and finding help online is crucial to building a solid community. After many years of using emails, mailing lists, blog comments, and IRC to help Tor users, we believe that time has come to improve our discussion channels.

Today, we're happy to announce a new discussion and user support platform: the Tor Forum.

The new forum is powered by Discourse: a modern, friendly, and free and open source software. The forum posts are publicly readable, and you don't need to log in to navigate and access the content. It's also possible to install the Discourse App on your mobile device and receive notifications. For users who like the traditional mailing list format, Discourse features email integration. The new forum is compatible and works with Tor Browser (security slider level set 'Safer').

Currently, the Tor Forum is fully hosted by Discourse, and because they do not support onion services yet, it won't have an onion site soon. That is also why the domain is, because of our system security policy on using * only for sites we host in our own infrastructure.

In the last few years, the Tor Project has improved internal tools and platforms to make it easy to contribute to Tor software development and to participate in our community. For example, we revamped our websites, moved from Trac to GitLab, connected our chat channels on Matrix, and now we're launching the Tor Forum.

We invite the Tor community to join the Tor Forum and contribute with us! Moderation policy: Don't be a jerk. Be awesome instead.

Labor Day, Onion (TOR), and Moderation.

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 22 2021, @06:00PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 22 2021, @06:00PM (#1198617)

    Tor is already compromised by 5 eyes. The change from using 'inefficient' circuit design (but truly random) to using 'profiled/fast' nodes lead to a natural tendency of most users circuits coalescing on an easily observable and increasingly centralized set of nodes. If you look at the pools of circuits you get in nyx (formerly tor-arm) sometime and compare the ip addresses, the pools, and other details, you begin to notice most of your circuits showing up in the same pools over and over again. There will be outliers, but usually only 1 out of the 3 hops. If they control two of them they probably know who you are and who you are talking to. That is ignoring the 'ringing' patterns that Tor traffic often shows. You'd assume it is just delays because of load on the tor circuit, but having spent the past 9 years observing it (and to a lesser extent I2P) I can attest that both networks warrant extreme scrutiny. Tor because the frontend is run by the woke, and some if not much of the volunteer hosting by actual fascists (like pro-white types who are all about free speech, until you say something that offends them.)

    I met anarchists, cryptoanarchists/cypherpunks, men, women, trans(very few who were woke/virtual signalling, most were just computer nerds wanting to socialize without being judged and a few either hookups for recreational substances or discreet ways to get their hormones 'off the books'), communists, fascists, and nerds on both networks. But the majority of all of those groups began slowly disappearing from 2010 to 2015 or so. Some of them, including key members of I2P from arrests/job opportunities, a few from crypto scams (one was involved in ZCash, another ran and then shut down I2P's only fully anonymous crypto exchange. They gave 3-6 months for anyone still active to get their currency returned too. A few people didn't but the majority did.) Between the market busts, the Blog account of Tor hidden services being obvious based on backbone traffic graphing, and my own analysis, both networks are fine for casual browsing where you want to make it difficult for commercial interests to track you, or if you need the ability to host network services without being assured your physical internet access can reliably host a service without address changing or port filtering. But for anonymity or safety from the government? Neither Tor nor its alternatives offer that today, and none of the new attempts appear to be any more trustworthy than the old ones. At this point in time the only way you might get some level of anonymity is stealing a distant neighbors wifi, using a network to tunnel to a hidden service, which then routes over another network connection to a different anonymity network, and then tunnelling out from there to somewhere else.

    As some final thoughts on Tor Project: It's run by the same kind of virtue signally twats as Mozilla is. It's a good paycheck for them, they get to say lots of feel good stuff, but it would be interesting to know how many of them use it day to day, how many of them are compromised by the 'necessities of national security', what the real story behind the Appelbaum situation was, etc. I am not trying to single out the Tor Project here, by the way. I2P had a massive donation theft by their treasurer named 'echelon' (done in leetspeak, but but the nick choice is pretty suspect.) There have been issues with the irc hosts for the default I2P irc network being questionable as well, including spying on private conversations, logging and then redistributing conversations with other people (a couple of dev/former dev spats involved that) and then a lot of banning and takeover of popular channels as former channel founders/ops left as they lost faith in the network. Honestly cjdns seems as secure and reliable as Tor/I2P now, but not a single one of these services can be relied on if your network address is fixed, or in your own name.

    Tor Browser Bundle is also suspect. You can disable the updater, but it's a messy process. I did it with an old 7.x release which I still use after it ate my fucking bookmarks during a failed update (which didn't work anyway because I didn't have GTK3 or a newer Xorg installed on the system it was running on.) TBB itself is very much underfunded, although Tor in general is. They don't actually have the money to fund all the positions they list openings for, and tend to rotate between them for a few month contracts at a time, which leads to inevitable and annoying changes like the massive rework of the wiki and various documentation which has been done piecemeal a few different times by a few different current and former staff. A few former Tor users/temp staff passed through I2P over the years, and while they weren't involved in it directly, there were parallels in the community problems between the Tor organization and I2Ps efforts at legitimizing rather than remaining cryptoanarchist in nature. Given the effective handover of management of I2P over the years though, it's not too different from the changes in old volunteer online games, especially text based ones, or Tor, or EFF, or FSF, or GNU, or even the United States over the years. The ideology that founded the organization slowly rots with every passing of the torch. Because of the experiences later generations had, the difference in their competencies compared to the originators (it's rare to get two generations with comparable and compatible sets of skills) and eventually the caricature of the original organization is plain for anyone observant to see.

    P.S. Your forum comment is apt. But much like Mozilla the people left don't understand who they are supposed to be catering to.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 22 2021, @08:35PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 22 2021, @08:35PM (#1198672)

    Where is the moderation on here.
    That was a pretty insightful and informative response.