Reply to post: Re: The word is out - TOR is compromised!

The Edward Snowden guide to practical privacy


Re: The word is out - TOR is compromised!

Depends what you're using it for and who you're hiding from. The receiving site can't tell where you're coming from and that's enough for many purposes. It provides an alternate route; which can be handy if there's area filters in the way of whatever you want to look at. It's useful for coming at each point in a route from a different angle; which I find useful for diagnosing routing problems. It's also good for skipping past your ISP if they're getting a bit cheeky.

Now looking up contentious stuff is a little shakier ground; but the way I figure it is that it's only state-level actors who are capable of consistently intercepting your traffic (because the entrance and exit are random-ish, so you have to monitor all of them) and if you're of no interest to them then it doesn't matter. Even if the system is as compromised as you maintain it is and you look up something bang in the centre of their word list (like "Ooh. Ricin. How does that work then?") then they can call up your profile and see a lot of random searches on both contentious and non-contentious subjects and work out just how much of a threat you are. In fact the real danger there is if the security services are not as competent as you allege; they see one dodgy search term and get all black-helicoptery on a sample of one. But then, that would be expensive and they would end up looking like muppets.

You don't know who is running TOR nodes, so basically assume they are compromised and use public wifi usernames or passwords unless you also have other prophylactic measures in place. Also monitoring of just one end (via your ISP, say) can reveal patterns of usage which can tell people a lot.

TOR is a tool just like any other. It's certainly not enough on it's own if you're going up against state level actors...there is no one-stop-shop for that sort of thing. Having no plans to topple any regimes (I've got other stuff to do this weekend) I find it pretty useful for a number of things.

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