[nSLUG] CryptoParty comes to Halifax

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Wed Jun 19 14:17:11 ADT 2013

On Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 1:14 PM, Mike Doherty <doherty at cs.dal.ca> wrote:

> On 13-06-19 11:17 AM, francis picabia wrote:
> > I read about a Tor exit node owner being arrested in Austria
> > because that was the IP identified accessing child porn.
> > Given this, and the recommendation from Tor website
> > to not run an exit node from home, are there enough
> > exit nodes in existence to make Tor useful?
> Running an exit node is a high-risk activity, and I agree that running
> an exit node from your home is almost certainly a bad idea. However,
> there are other ways to run an exit node, and there appear to be enough
> willing to do so that the Tor network functions adequately.

Running an exit node from your workplace is also almost certainly a
bad idea, which leaves running it via neighbors' (the ones who let
their dogs run loose and play loud music late at night) wireless routers.
Then you can hope that when the police show up they will be distracted
by the presence of illicit substances and fail to consider who had access
the wireless network.

> My initial feeling about Tor is that it may have its applications,
> > but for regular folks, this is kind of like wearing a stocking
> > over the head or covering up all windows in your home.
> > Tor use will have its own appearance to an ISP, which
> > can raise the question of why are they bothering to
> > disguise their IP and tunnel this traffic.  Most of us don't
> > want to look like we are about to rob a bank or hold
> > people in a basement dungeon, so we don't go
> > for an appearance resembling the type.
> These are very interesting questions, and are a subject of active
> debate. Tor is designed to look like Firefox communicating over HTTPS
> specifically so attackers on the network *can't* tell that it is Tor.
> This is important for evading China's firewall. This is an ongoing arms
> race.
> It also helps for many people to use Tor for their everyday activities.
> Using Tor shouldn't be suspicious, so normalizing it is helpful. It also
> helps to hide in a crowd, so having enough people using Tor is also
> important.

Hiding in a crowd:

At one time, secret messages were sent using newspaper
classified ads -- the internet is full of places to broadcast messages that
have special meaning to the intended recipient without raising flags.
Typically such messages would be very small and would direct the
recipient to the location of a larger message/file.

PRISM is said to work less by analyzing contents and more from the
web of connections.  Since connections can be classified by protocol,
using https with sites other than your bank might attract extra attention.

Participation in a large array of public lists and forums by a "known
terrorist" could make it difficult to identify important contacts among
all the individuals who use same lists and forums.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia
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