Tor anyone?

Questions about the project and the distribution - obviously no support questions here please
curtvaughan
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Tor anyone?

Post by curtvaughan » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:01 pm

I just renewed my ATT Uverse internet connection and bought a $30/month discount by allowing ATT to monitor my browsing links for perusal by marketers and advertisers. Having read up via Glenn Greenwald in the meantime about ATT's habit of allowing NSA to snoop on their ISP data, I am considering making use of Tor and perhaps more encryption tools as a counterpoint to the snooping. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have accepted the compromise for the discount, but now that I have, I wonder if the Tor tools will be worth the effort. I fully expect browsing speeds to suffer due to all the convoluted links, but is the supposed anonymity provided worth all the downsides? I and my wife aren't doing anything in particular we want to hide, but it bugs me to be monitored, just the same. Any comments, info, experiences? I've heard that just using Tor at all sends a signal to the storm troopers to pay more attention to the source.
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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by phd21 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:51 am

Hi curtvaughan,

I have the Tor browser bundle installed, and it does not seem to me to be significantly slower. You sometimes get some strange web results because It thinks you are somewhere you are not, and that changes often with Tor, but you are supposed to be secure.

Tor Browser Bundle
http://www.webupd8.org/2013/12/tor-brow ... u-ppa.html

To install this using the PPA method, open a console terminal, type in, or copy & paste, each line below one by one:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/tor-browser
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tor-browser


Hope this helps ...
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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by Fred Barclay » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:34 pm

I use the Tor Browser Bundle (actually, I'm using it right now) and I trust it pretty well. A year or two ago, after the Snowden affair, I would say that it is extremely secure against monitoring. Now, though, after the Silk Road arrests, I'd only say "very secure." We don't know precisely how these guys were caught, but it's possible that they were tracked despite using Tor. (Of course, it could have been plain ole carelessness.)

However, I still think that Tor is a good option for anonymity. I think would take a global attacker (such as the NSA) diverting an enormous amount of resources to de-anonymise you. And even then they might not be successful for years. So as long as you're not hosting a major drug/weapons website you're not worth their efforts. :)

My experience is slightly different that phd21--tor is a bit slower than normal browsing for me. However, I can even watch youtube videos with it if I'm patient, so it's not intolerably slow.
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curtvaughan
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Re: Tor anyone? [closed]

Post by curtvaughan » Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:38 pm

Thanks much for the advice! The snooping into everything internet seems to be an unfortunate reality these days. I'm interested in learning more about encryption and obscurity. Thankfully, I'm no longer tied to Microsoft. Windows 10 looks like a nightmare. - Curt
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Re: Tor anyone? [closed]

Post by phd21 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:02 pm

Hi curtvaughan,

You are welcome.

1.) There are also complete Linux operating systems that you can install along side of Linux Mint, or install to a bootable USB flash drive, or DVD, to be absolutely sure that you are surfing the Internet in private, like "Tails", and a couple others.

"Tails is a live operating system, that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. It aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity..."
https://tails.boum.org/

2.) You can also set most browsers to be "private" in their settings and preferences, including opening new tabs and browser windows as "private", in FireFox -->File, Open "New Private Wndow".

Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint KDE 17.3 & 18.3, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by Hoser Rob » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:33 am

I don't use Tor myself, but from what I've seen the thing that will send up red flags is running it as an exit node.

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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by curtvaughan » Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:21 pm

I have downloaded and tried out Tails - certainly very secure in that it is non-persistent by default. I've run it mainly out of curiosity, its main drawback being the slowness inherent in a live USB based system. If I were involved in critical security needs for communication, something like Tails would be my favored choice, and it comes with Tor configured by default. I, too, have heard that "end nodes" (exit nodes) are most vulnerable to snooping hacks - as I primarily operate from laptops in a changing environment I don't plan on being a relay node in the system. Nothing nefarious here, just concerned that my private communications and contacts are not scooped up by ambitious corporate and governmental snoops. Our desktop is an iMac primarily used by my wife for her doll making hobby communications and social network bantering, storing of her photos, etc. Making that system into a relay is really not in my picture. As mentioned previously, though, as a former network/server administrator, now retired, I'm interested in following the technologies - just don't want my curiosity to draw the attention of the jackboots.

Thanks again for your input.
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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by Madmogone » Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:29 am

HI everyone, I too have been looking at tails for privacy and have loaded it onto a spare laptop that had windows 7 on it, taking the hard drive out and running it with an sd card in the locked position and using a seperate usb drive to download any data and everything seems to be running fine albeit a little slow at times but I think we get hung up to much on speed these days, having to wait a few seconds sometimes for a web page to appear is a small price to pay for more privacy and not having my details recorded by someone at Redwood HQ. Even though I am not up to anything dodgy, I dont want every tom dick or harry knowing everything I do when online or off.I am also looking at encryption techniques but not sure as yet which ones to try.I would like to hear of other peoples experiences with encryption and give me some pointers of where to go . I look forward to any replies, cheers.

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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by curtvaughan » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:22 pm

I found a good thread on the Software and Applications forum dealing with encryption. It seems to have originated several months ago, so is fairly current.

http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... s#p1021444

Curt
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Fred Barclay
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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by Fred Barclay » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:34 pm

curtvaughan wrote:I found a good thread on the Software and Applications forum dealing with encryption. It seems to have originated several months ago, so is fairly current.

http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... s#p1021444

Curt
Hmm.... looks interesting. But who is that annoying, clueless Fred character? :lol:
Last edited by Fred Barclay on Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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curtvaughan
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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by curtvaughan » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:36 pm

I was going to mention that you were in this thread as well, Fred Barclay! I seem to be about 6 months behind you in my interests in this stuff. Cheers!
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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by H.Remedy » Sun Nov 22, 2015 2:09 pm

curtvaughan wrote:I've heard that just using Tor at all sends a signal to the storm troopers to pay more attention to the source.
I think we can safely assume that to be the case. After all, why wouldn't the "storm troopers" use this rationale? But I would go a step further and question how so many TOR nodes can be offered free of charge to users in the first place. Who has the money to relay so much traffic for free? What is their motivation? Logic leads to the inescapable conclusion that there must be a heavy presence of government spy agencies in the network.

So yes, I believe you are making yourself more "interesting" to these agencies when you use TOR. Is this a danger to you? Depends. On the one hand, you tell us you're not particularly worried about hiding anything from government agencies. On the other hand, however, your computer will probably be a higher target for malware when you use TOR. We've learned that various agencies (not just American ones) like to install malware on every vulnerable computer they find on TOR, without distinguishing between innocent and criminal users. TOR users should therefore be extra careful of updating the TOR Browser Bundle whenever there is a security patch. Prompt updates have saved many a TOR user in the past. I would also recommend some sort of sandboxing of the browser, like you can achieve with Firejail. (The Tails OS that others have talked about here is an even more rigorous way forward.)

The other thing is, I really wouldn't recommend anyone use TOR without also paying for a VPN. That's a very personal point of view, but one that I feel is supported by what we know about surveillance/hacking. Remember, the exit node in TOR is out in the open, and if it's provided to you by some nefarious person or group, it will undoubtedly be sponging up absolutely everything you transmit. You will need some sort of separate encryption to hide your data there, provided the data are important. If you are only trying to evade web advertisers like Google, the VPN is not strictly necessary - but I still wouldn't trust those exit nodes.

In terms of hits to performance, experiences will vary. I don't think it's very bad most of the time.

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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by curtvaughan » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:15 pm

Wow. You are even more paranoid than I. I hadn't even considered that the spies were actually supplying the relay nodes. Makes sense. Duck and cover ...
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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by curtvaughan » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:24 pm

One other thing - I really have nothing to hide. Whatever. But I am very interested in the evasion technology, so what better way to explore than to play with the stuff? I DO resent snoops. I have nothing to hide from them, you, anyone else - but I CHOOSE to keep my private life to myself and my friends/family. Our tax dollars are going to support all of this NSA snooping stuff, and it bugs me. I have even other, deeper reasons for why this bugs me, but will be mum on that - due to snoops. Life's a beach, ain't it?
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Fred Barclay
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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by Fred Barclay » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:25 pm

curtvaughan wrote:Wow. You are even more paranoid than I. I hadn't even considered that the spies were actually supplying the relay nodes. Makes sense. Duck and cover ...
Oh, yes. That's the single biggest problem plaguing Tor at the moment.
Exit nodes in particular are the most valuable, and therefore are more likely than any other type of node to be run by the MIB. :(
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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by H.Remedy » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:03 pm

curtvaughan wrote:I DO resent snoops. I have nothing to hide from them, you, anyone else - but I CHOOSE to keep my private life to myself and my friends/family.
My thoughts exactly.
curtvaughan wrote:Wow. You are even more paranoid than I
LOL. It's just that I've gone through these conversations with friends so many times that they have become second nature. :lol: I think a reasonable amount of paranoia is good. Just remember to have a beer and relax afterward! (Because this stuff never ends....)

My final thought: To me it sounds like you would be best served by a (good) VPN and a couple of browser extensions (uBlock Origin and NoScript, for example). That will cover your bases with ad companies. Now, if you want to add TOR on top of that mix, go ahead. For me, it's just one step too far.

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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by Pat D » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:57 pm

It's not paranoia if they're really out to get you, as it seems

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=265740

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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by WHVW » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:40 pm

Well, I just can't let this go by without putting in my three cents..

TOR is a good thing, as is anything that enhances privacy. It really matters not whether or not you have "something to hide". The point here is that it is none of "their" business what you do or don't do, and the truth is that those tiny little snippets of information can be collected from anywhere and (with enough of them) assembled into a devastatingly accurate (like 99 to 100%) portrait of who you are and what you will do when confronted by various situations.
Still, the odds that any of us will end up like Winston vis-vis the rats are low... let's stay grounded in reality...but why help to create this monster by feeding it the info it needs not only to spy, but to create the statistical accuracy that underwrites its value. One fact that I think we can all be certain of is that this was not created to, and never will, make any of our lives better.
Not to mention the fact that privacy is a basic tenant of human dignity.
VPNs are of great value too, however you must make sure they really don't log.
Then there are the hundreds of sneaky little ways your software (Firefox, (Web RTC for example, (R,T and C may be the wrong letters) Thunderbird, (did you know that your e-mail programme keeps cookies?) etc.) embeds cookies, web beacons, "persistent" cookies, trackers, tracers, etc. and etc. Then what of DNS leaks, How about Flash, (a horrible piece of software that will reveal your IP address to anyone who asks, say goodbye to the privacy you got from TOR and your VPN! Flash may not (as far as I know)have been intended to be spyware, but it sure is. Oh, and let's not forget Java whatever. Then there is GOOGLE.
Every time I think I have found everything, I discover something new!
Stories I have heard (this is circumstantial to be sure) say the TOR network is actually created and enhanced by the spooks: simply because they are in need of such a tool themselves. (O.K. that's believable) Obviously, it would serve them not if it were compromised, thereby incentiveising the spooks to make sure that it really works. If it provides cover for some bad guys along the way, well, that's not only proof but a price worth paying. Again, that was theory and circumstantial.

Later folks..

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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by Hoser Rob » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:42 am

WHVW wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:40 pm
... Stories I have heard (this is circumstantial to be sure) say the TOR network is actually created and enhanced by the spooks: simply because they are in need of such a tool themselves. (O.K. that's believable) ...
Circumstantial? It's pathological tinfoil hat stupidity. Tor has been hacked for a long time. They don't NEED to create somthing lkike that. BTW it's "privacy is a basic tenet of human dignity", not 'tenant'.

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Re: Tor anyone?

Post by Faust » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:48 am

The right to privacy is enshrined in Article 12 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
http://www.un.org/en/universal-declarat ... index.html

This is an international forum with English as the de facto language , it is not a spelling test .
Many members do not speak English as a first language but they make themselves understood very well .

I knew perfectly well what the poster meant , just as I knew what this meant :-
Hoser Rob wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:42 am
......
They don't NEED to create somthing lkike that.
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