The Tor anonymity network may soon expand to hundreds of millions of new users around the world as the software’s developers prepare to scale to a “global population.”
Several major tech firms are in talks with Tor to include the software in products that can potentially reach over 500 million Internet users around the world. One particular firm wants to include Tor as a “private browsing mode” in a mainstream Web browser, allowing users to easily toggle connectivity to the Tor anonymity network on and off.
“They very much like Tor Browser and would like to ship it to their customer base,” Tor executive director Andrew Lewman wrote, explaining the discussions but declining to name the specific company. “Their product is 10-20 percent of the global market, this is of roughly 2.8 billion global Internet users.”
An interesting new project to try on a Raspberry Pi:
Streisand sets up a new server running L2TP/IPsec, OpenSSH, OpenVPN, Shadowsocks, Stunnel, and a Tor bridge. It also generates custom configuration instructions for all of these services. At the end of the run you are given an HTML file with instructions that can be shared with friends, family members, or fellow activists.
Just by coincidence I past the Apple store in Amsterdam today to ask for a new battery for my laptop. Out of curiosity I tried to acces my own server over SSH, the tor website and the Tails website. (Tails is a operating system you can download and run from a USB stick providing some of the best anonymity tools available today)
I guess that Apple really looks after its customers and doesn’t want them to get in trouble because it was all blocked… I made a quick screen cast of this tiny experiment.
Joy and angriness aside… what does todays revelation mean for all the people I advised to download Tor at the Privacy Cafe?
For our shared files, we use SparkleShare. It provides an experience very similar to Dropbox: you have a SparkleShare folder that is synced up with the service, and in turn any other users who are also linked up to it. Once its setup, it is as easy to use as Dropbox, but setting it up takes a bit more work than Dropbox. It builds upon two software packages well known for security and reliability: git and ssh, and works with Tor Hidden Services. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and GNU/Linux, and there is an Android client in the works.
Highlighting the diversity of perception and perspective when it comes to mobile media, Freitas first spoke of the phone as a sword, with users now gaining great potential to change, damage and restrict existing structures every time they take hold of these ostensibly innocuous devices. Then there is the idea of the mobile as something akin to a robot servant, a digital personal assistant so efficacious that we soon develop a dependency. The comforting aspects of the smartphone also lend a sense of companionship to the relationship that exists between user and machine and, as such, its qualities are more readily personified than those associated with static tools. At the same time, many of us feel as though we’re carrying a little enemy around in our pockets, which kills our time and perpetually interrupts our offline activities.
We’re living in a world where it’s possible to visit Tokyo without ever leaving your bed, and where governments go to war with software rather than tanks. Yet in some ways the real future is more Stephen King than William Gibson. The plane landed; nobody was on board.
There are a few amazingly bright spots in this dull landscape — I’ll get to them in due course — but for the most part crypto just hasn’t lived up to its privacy billing. The question is why? What went so terribly wrong? In the rest of this post I’ll try to give a few of my answers to this question.