Volunteer Spotlight: Meejah Helps You Integrate Tor into Your Code
Tor is a labor of love built by a small group of committed individuals, but we’re lucky to have the support of a dedicated volunteer base who help us make Tor the strongest anonymity tool out there. The volunteer spotlight is a regular feature here on the Tor Blog, and today, we’re highlighting Meejah, who runs Tor command-line tools, helps people integrate Tor into their code, and scans the Tor network for bad relays.
Meejah started out at Tor hacking together some basic things with Twisted, an event-based networking library for Python. This led him to Damian’s Python libraries to use with Tor, which led him to develop release txtorcon, an implementation of the control-spec for Tor using Twisted.
Meejah has been involved with with programming and open-source communities for over two decades. As the internet grew in size and popularity, he watched in alarm as it became more hostile.
“Seeing what I saw as a really friendly and mostly-helpful online community start to morph into a more hostile environment pushed me towards privacy/security things,” he says. And so he decided to help secure the net.
Privacy, he maintains, isn’t just about secrecy. “It's about empowering individuals to decide what to reveal,” he tells us. “Sometimes I WANT to share a thing with the world, but that should be up to me. Security is kind of a prerequisite for privacy; any kind of privacy control is meaningless if the underlying software can be easily subverted (‘isn't secure’). So this kind of work is probably less ‘exciting’ in some ways, but absolutely vital.”
Looking forward, Meejah would like to see more developers release software that’s both secure and easy to use (that’s something Tor has been hard at work on; we just released a new Tor Browser with a redesigned launch experience for better usability).
He would also like to continue seeing decentralized systems gain more traction, lessening the control big internet service companies have over information flow. “We definitely need a lot more people to act a lot differently before the internet looks decentralized. I'm trying to help in my own little corners, and volunteering with Tor is part of that.”
We’re grateful for Meejah’s work. Thanks to him, it’s becoming easier for people to onionize the internet of things, securing the web one step at a time.
Join Our Community
Getting involved with Tor is easy: you can help us make the network faster and more decentralized by running a relay, especially if you live in a part of the world where we don’t have a lot of relays yet. You can read all of our volunteer spotlights here.
Tor is a vital tool for protecting privacy and resisting repressive censorship and surveillance. If you want to make a contribution but don’t have the time to volunteer, your donation helps keep Tor fast, strong, and secure.
#Want Tor to really work?
- securely contact our friends /connect to the web/onions
Blah, it's MX record is incorrect (MX record must point to hostname, not IP address).
- <br />
- $ host -vt mx mail2tor.com<br />
- Trying "mail2tor.com"<br />
- ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 41355<br />
- ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0</p>
- <p>;; QUESTION SECTION:<br />
- ;mail2tor.com. IN MX</p>
- <p>;; ANSWER SECTION:<br />
- mail2tor.com. 140 IN MX 10 22.214.171.124.</p>
- <p>Received 59 bytes from 127.0.1.1#53 in 15 ms<br />
- $<br />
Registration page http://mail2tor2zyjdctd.onion/register.php indicates that mail domain is @mail2tor.com
> Privacy, he maintains, isn’t just about secrecy. “It's about empowering individuals to decide what to reveal,” he tells us. “Sometimes I WANT to share a thing with the world, but that should be up to me. Security is kind of a prerequisite for privacy; any kind of privacy control is meaningless if the underlying software can be easily subverted (‘isn't secure’). So this kind of work is probably less ‘exciting’ in some ways, but absolutely vital.”
Exactly. This is one of those important points which is often overlooking: strong civilian encryption makes sharing selected information safer. For example, I might want to be able to vote by establishing my eligibility without revealing my name/address, so that I need not fear retaliation for voting against an incumbent authoritarian, say. I might want to send money to a worthy cause by proving I have enough to pay without revealing my name/address to government spooks or other nosies. I might want to log into a social media site using an established identity not tied to any name/address in any (neccessarily leaky) database.
Further, encryption can help restore one of the most important facts which ought to be self-evident: the proper owner of data about a person is that person. Not a government, not a bank, not a politician, not Facebook or Google.
@ Meejah and all coders for justice: keep up the good work! And stay safe: We the People need you more than ever.