Anti-censorship team report: November 2020

Tor's anti-censorship team writes monthly reports to keep the world updated on its progress. This blog post summarizes the anti-censorship work we got done in November 2020. Let us know if you have any questions or feedback!

Snowflake

Rdsys

Salmon

Bridgestrap

Other

Sponsor 28 is a DARPA-funded project under the title "Reliable Anonymous Communication Evading Censors and Repressors". You can find more information here:
https://www.darpa.mil/program/resilient-anonymous-communication-for-eve…
https://racecar.cs.georgetown.edu/
https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/org/sponsors/Sponsor28

Sponsor 28 funds most of our Snowflake work.

@ Phillip Winter:

I think you recognize how utterly absurd that sounds. Once again, as a loyal user and would-be donor (but Tor won't take my money--- why not?), I ask that Tor Project stop taking funds from DARPA and like minded USG agencies which are involved in killing people overseas and doing nasty things inside the USA.

The sponsor number system was developed for consistency across teams, specifically making it easier for accounting. We need to easily and accurately track spending, costs, and activities associated with each sponsor. We often have overlapping projects with the same sponsor and need all teams to be able to easily identify and differentiate each project. The numbers are not meant to anonymize sponsors.

With regard to Philipp's comment, it is not uncommon in the nonprofit world for private foundations to request not to be publicly associated with the projects they fund (in this hypothetical example, they would request not to be listed on https://torproject.org/about/sponsors). This can happen for many reasons, and it does not mean that they are anonymous. If their donation rises above $5,000, we are required by the IRS to report it, and you can find out more by looking at our published tax documentation (https://www.torproject.org/about/reports/).

As far as I know, there has never been an instance at the Tor Project where funding from public organizations / governments has been anonymous / pseudo anonymous.

@ Phillip Winter:

Please ensure that my post regarding problems with mail delivery Tor Project's P.O. Box appears in this blog. Your box appears to be defunct (sez USPS) and that is utterly unacceptable for an NGO in the middle of a funding drive.

Quite frustrating that Tor Project continues to take grants from DARPA--- hello? not our friends!---- but is rejecting my own attempts to put my money where my mouth is regarding moving from USG largess to a user-funded model.

TIA

Anonymous

December 08, 2020

Permalink

Why can I not set TOR as my browser by default ? Firefox was set up as such before I joined Tor and it won't let me change that. This seems very abusive to me. I plan to slowly move totally away from Firefox and delete the program altogether. This should solve the problem, shouldn't it ?

https://support.torproject.org/tbb/tbb-32/

Furthermore, some website administrators reject connections from the Tor network. You will likely find that you need to keep a normal browser for certain websites. Remember also that your OS and programs/apps besides Tor Browser will continue to make HTTP connections for other purposes using the configuration and libraries built into your OS which may ignore the tor proxy daemon as well as Tor Browser's strategies to resist fingerprinting. Sometimes, that's nothing to worry about.
https://support.torproject.org/tbb/tbb-30/
https://support.torproject.org/censorship/censorship-2/
https://support.torproject.org/tbb/tbb-43/

Anonymous

December 08, 2020

Permalink

Tor on Android still full of bugs and needless permissions, why can't we comment on the post about the latest Android Alpha version?

Anonymous

December 08, 2020

Permalink

You allow my comment which asks questions, but don't bother to respond with an answer despite answering to others? You really need to think of how these things make you look. If I was an agency operating in a hostile enviroment I would remove all Tor on Android installations for security reasons, the dev teams have never historically come to any harm for their failings, its always the end users who pay.

Tor is not free as in freedom, its free as in unmarketable, can you imagine if some VPN company was this shoddy?

Remove needless permissions

Give back about:config

Stop controlling people under the guise of uniformity, anti fingerprinting is less than useless if a real IP can be found due to bugs which are too burdenous for your dev team to look at (a "ticket" doesn't count)

If you truly care for anonymous users and the above is too much then PLEASE hand this branch back to GuardianProject. Orbot and Orfox was years beyond this and yet you've killed off Orfox to ensure the only remaining option is this mess.

Please stop rasing tickets and calling it a day, this isn't how things used to be.

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