The Next Chapter in Anti-Censorship

The video from my DEF CON 2019 talk ("The Tor Censorship Arms Race: The Next Chapter") is now up:

This talk gets you up to speed on all the ways governments have tried to block Tor, walks through our upcoming steps to stay ahead of the arms race, and gives you some new—easier—ways that let you help censored users reach the internet safely. Full talk blurb here.

I'll be happy to answer questions about the talk, or about the anti-censorship team in general, over the next few days in the comments below. Try to keep it on topic, though. :)

(And sorry about the sunglasses. Find me in person sometime and I'll rant to you about corneas.)

Yes, exactly. I cover this in minutes 5-7 of the talk -- there are many different pieces to measuring diversity and safety of Tor, but one of them is where in the world the relays are.

You can learn much more about this topic at https://metrics.torproject.org/

For example, you might enjoy https://metrics.torproject.org/bubbles.html

And to see relay density by country, check out
https://metrics.torproject.org/rs.html#aggregate/cc

Anonymous

December 21, 2019

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If Cloudflare or the VPN industry controlled a large share of Tor exit servers, what would stop them from conducting DoS originating from those servers to satisfy profit motivated business interests under a press release that blames the origin of the traffic on Tor or hackers?

Technically, nothing would stop them.

Socially, I don't think it would be much different if they did this approach while running Tor exit relays or not running them. That is, if people want to set up a smear campaign about Tor, they can do it whether the facts agree with them or not.

Looking back to when Cloudflare was saying bad things about us, even if we all agree on the available facts, it also depends how you use those facts. For example, if 99 real people access a Cloudflare website via Tor, but 1 jerk makes 1000 connections, then is it right to say that over 90% of Tor users (1000/1099) are jerks? Or do you say that 1% of Tor users are jerks? Both statements leave out important information.

But turning the question around to a good side, this technique of running an exit relay and then making use of the inherited reputation was actually the basis for the study by the Berkeley folks:
https://www.freehaven.net/anonbib/#differential-ndss2016
https://www.freehaven.net/anonbib/#exit-blocking2017
That is, they ran an exit relay, and then they scanned the internet, not using Tor, from that exit relay's IP address, to see how the rest of the web treated them.

Anonymous

December 22, 2019

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> 02:21 - "Everybody knows creepy NSA dude."
>
> Name him. Sear it into popular memory. He is Michael Hayden, former Director of the NSA and CIA and former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence.

Yes indeed, but it seems notable that his successor, Keith Alexander, was even worse. And Alexander's successor, Adm. Michael Rogers, is said to be cooperating in AG Barr's war on the FBI. Turning NSA, CIA and FBI against each other might not be an entirely bad thing, to be sure, since it is the best interests of people everywhere--- including and especially Americans--- to dismantle the American secret police agencies. One of the worst aspects of the US mass media's long collaboration with "Deep State" is that Americans are encouraged to forget such indisputable factual events as these:

o CIA hired a well known contractor with local contacts to build a terrorist training camp in Kunduz, Afghanistan. To support the jihadist resistance to the Soviet invasion. They instructed this contractor in how to build underground tunnels and bunkers which would withstand attack from (Soviet) missiles and bombs. These techniques worked just as well when, a few years later, the same man later built fortified hideouts in Tora Bora and other areas, which proved to resist American bombs just as well as Soviet bombs. The name of the contractor? Osama bin Laden.

o FBI supported, over many decades, the hate speech and terrorist activities of Meir Kahane, founder of the JDL, because he satisfied their traditional litmus test of strong anti-communist sentiment. In 1990, Kahane was assassinated while eating dinner in the Marriott Hotel in Manhattan by a man named El-Sayidd Nosair, another long-time CIA informant. After the killing of Kahane (who was an odious and dangerous figure, to be sure), despite the fact that Nosair was arrested at the scene, admitted to the killing, and was identified by dozens of witnesses, under strong pressure from CIA on the prosecutor, Nosair was acquitted in one of the most bizarrely mishandled murder prosecutions in US history. He had been accompanied by Mohammed A. Salameh, who was later involved in the first WTC bombing and other terrorist attacks. (Salameh's career ended when he was killed by a Mossad car bomb, but not before Mossad agents had killed an entirely innocent man whom they had mistaken for Salameh.) It later was revealed that bin Laden had helped pay for Nosair's defense. Later still, Nosair was convicted on further terror charges arising from his association with Omar Abdul-Rahman, the "blind Sheikh" who played a major role in many terror attacks.

o Nosair was also a close associate of Ali Mohammed, a jihadist who served as a long time CIA informant, which protected his amazing career as Al Qaeda's most important operative embedded inside the US military. Mohammed reported to Al Qaeda's co-founder Ayman Al-Zawahiri, a fact he happily shared with CIA handlers over many years.

Yes, you read that right! Bin Laden was a major CIA contractor, only a few years before he co-founded Al Qaeda! And CIA protected a terrorist who was protected by CIA as a "CIA asset", even after he murdered -another- terrorist who was protected by FBI as an "FBI asset". Imagine forgetting all that. These facts are not actually denied by USG, but have been consigned to the memory hole of the American mind by the Deep State shapers of the political opinions of American voters.

Time and again, with the reliable and staunch assistance of the American mass media, CIA and FBI have ensured that Americans have forgotten the role of "Deep State" in funding -both sides- of the "War on Terror", over the course of the last sixty years (more, in the case of FBI and its predecessor agency, whose use of terror bombers as informants dates back to the Anarchist bombing scares of the 1920s.)

Dismantling the war criminal branches of "Deep State" should be a widely shared non-partisan goal. These horrid agencies have been doing great and lasting harm but no lasting good for many decades (more than a century in the case of FBI, more than a half-century in the case of NSA and CIA). They have faced many many scandals, but have never reformed. They are irredeemably criminal serial offenders. It follows that they must be entirely eliminated.

Anyone who considers as unkind my own calls for the prosecution as war criminals of John Brennan, Keith Alexander, Michael Hayden, Eric Holder, William Barr, James Comey, etc (owing to knowingly enabling "collateral damage", especially in so-called "signature" drone strikes and US special forces raids), should really read what editorialists are saying at far right sites. They are not calling for prosecutions in properly constituted courts, but for lynchings.

Anonymous

December 23, 2019

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A minor correction: it turned out that the shooter in Pensacola was a member of the Saudi Arabian Air Force who was being trained in the modern version of the notorious "School of the Americas", the CIA funded school which offered counter-insurgency training to many military officers who later became notorious dictators and/or drug runners, such as Manuel Noriega.

The CIA: in the best interests of everyone everywhere--- including and especially Americans--- that agency simply has to be dismantled, the sooner the better. See the book by Tim Wiener, Legacy of Ashes, for a very readable account of CIA's astoundingly consistent record of, time and again, seeming to serve very short term USG interest, at the unacceptable expense of, time and time and time again, harming the long term interests of the USA.

A few years before the founding of Al Qaeda, CIA hired Osama bin Laden, of all people, to build a jihadist training camp in Kunduz. Their intention was to train jihadists to fight the -Soviet- occupation of Afghanistan, which was followed some years later by the American occupation. To that end, CIA agents instructed bin Laden in the art of constructing underground bomb proof bunkers. UBL found that very useful when a few years later he constructed further jihadist training camps in Tora Bora and other places.

Really, that one anecdote ought to tell the U.S. Congress all they need to hear in order to be galvanized into immediately shutting down CIA, plain and simple, finito, gone, but many more similarly sorry tales can be found in Wiener's book.

In the entire history of the world, was there ever any agency more harmful to the interests of the nation which lavishly funded it? I am not sure even the dismal history of the final stages of the Austro-Hungarian empire or the rule of Kaiser Wilhelm or his cousin Tsar Nicholas offers suitable examples of policies which should never be aped by any government, anyhow, anywhere, anywhen.

如果美国政府来你的家,逼你满足他们所有的要求,你会喜欢吗?如果你一个人不能反对,强权就是公理吗?那你考虑一下:维族人会喜欢汉族官员占领他的家吗?完全不问他同意不同意。汉族人的土地还那么多,但是他只有他自己的家。

压迫自己的邻居们只有两个结果:他们反对你,然后分裂。还是他们反对你, 然后你屠杀他们。现代有国家选择屠杀--你知道南京那座城市吗?

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