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-   -   Becoming Tor-friendly (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35802)

Feynman 12-26-2012 07:22 PM

Becoming Tor-friendly
 
I use Tor to access these forums anonymously for privacy reasons. I've found that a small subset of the exit nodes are banned by IP address and I would like to advocate that they not be. There are many more exit nodes that are not banned, so it's quite easy for anybody causing trouble to get around such a ban, but it's an annoyance for legitimate users that wish to remain anonymous. Every few minutes, my exit node will change, and I'll sometimes find myself banned until I change it again. I can provide a list of IP addresses that I've had this problem with, but I would like to start a discussion about the acceptance of Tor in a community such as this first so that there is context.

nycindie 12-27-2012 06:47 AM

Never heard of Tor, but you don't need it to login anonymously here. Using any browser, just click on the User CP link above to start. You want to go to:

User CP > Settings & Options > Edit Options

The first thing you will see in that section is "Use Invisible Mode." Invisible mode lets you to login and browse the forums without appearing in the "Currently Active Users" list. No one will know you are here. Just check that choice and you're good to go!

Helo 12-27-2012 07:14 AM

Using Tor seems to be a little overkill.

I'm a little curious, if you'd be willing to indulge, why you feel you need to use something like Tor to visit the forums.

Emm 12-27-2012 07:20 AM

Nycindie, it's a different type of anonymity. Using Tor means that the person on the other end can't be traced back to their actual real-life location and identity, not that the Username shown on the forum isn't visible to other users.

nycindie 12-27-2012 07:25 AM

Oh. But you can just do that by using an anonymous proxy server, which are easy enough to find.

Feynman 12-27-2012 07:28 AM

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showt...2&goto=newpost

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 174152)
Invisible mode lets you to login and browse the forums without appearing in the "Currently Active Users" list. No one will know you are here. Just check that choice and you're good to go!

Unfortunately, that doesn't prevent the owner(s) of the site and every intermediary between my house and the ISP hosting the site from knowing that I visit here.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Helo (Post 174156)
Using Tor seems to be a little overkill.

I'm a little curious, if you'd be willing to indulge, why you feel you need to use something like Tor to visit the forums.

That's a fair statement. I'm sure that, for many people, it is indeed overkill. On the other hand, it's trivial to use and it allows me to speak very openly without ever having to worry about somebody outside of my house from finding out before I'm ready.

Part of my paranoia comes from having been involved (as a victim) in a number of web site compromises. It's quite easy to feel utterly violated when a stranger gets access to detailed logs. I've even witnessed blackmail after a compromise before.

Obviously, some people have used it to do naughty things, or else some of the exit node IP addresses wouldn't be banned. So I understand the need to balance privacy with accountability, though I would still argue that it's a lost cause given the ease of getting around those bans.

Here is some more information regarding Tor: https://ssd.eff.org/tech/tor

Feynman 12-27-2012 07:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 174160)
Oh. But you can just do that by using an anonymous proxy server, which are easy enough to find.

That's effectively what Tor automates. It does more than that and is easier to use, but the exit nodes I'm referring to are going to appear similarly to anonymous proxies.

Helo 12-27-2012 07:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Feynman (Post 174161)
That's a fair statement. I'm sure that, for many people, it is indeed overkill. On the other hand, it's trivial to use and it allows me to speak very openly without ever having to worry about somebody outside of my house from finding out before I'm ready.

True, but unless you're someplace like Syria, I dont really see what using Tor is going to do that something like Porn Mode on Google Chrome wont.

Quote:

Part of my paranoia comes from having been involved (as a victim) in a number of web site compromises. It's quite easy to feel utterly violated when a stranger gets access to detailed logs. I've even witnessed blackmail after a compromise before.
Fair enough, but I still dont see why something like Tor would be necessary. Its a fairly heavy-duty piece of software to protect against something where the risk is very small and can be reduced even further by being careful.

Again, if I'm not being too nosy, what do you fear would happen if your being here would become public knowledge?

Feynman 12-27-2012 07:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Helo (Post 174166)
Again, if I'm not being too nosy, what do you fear would happen if your being here would become public knowledge?

I suppose it comes down to whether or not I feel that I can be as honest as I wish. The machinery is heavy-duty, sure, but to me it's just an icon that I double-click. I'm willing to have a slightly slower connection to not have to worry about it.

As for what I'm worrying about: I don't know, to be honest. I'm lucky enough to have loving parents that wouldn't really care and coworkers who are more scandalous than anything here. That said, I'd still rather not deal with it.

Since posting this, I've also realized that the forum session is tied to the IP address, so unbanning the exit nodes would at best improve the browsing experience when not logged in. So it may be a moot point. I can deal.

Feynman 12-27-2012 08:16 AM

For anybody who might someday read this: I seem to have solved my problem by restricting my exit nodes to ones in the US. Google "torrc exitnodes" for more information.

As for the session issue, I think that checking "remember me" has given me a second cookie that does the job.

My problems seem to be gone now and I can go back to my regularly scheduled paranoia. :D


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