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Tor “Sponsor F”: Make Your Product More Useful to Us for Attacks on China

Here is an example of one of the contracts the Tor Project has underway at the present time. Read this and try to figure out who is behind this particular project. You will not that, at the end of the list of project objectives, the country of China is mentioned specifically.

We asked Tor Project Executive Director Andrew Lewman, a couple of days ago in our second “Open Letter” to the Tor Project, to identify “Sponsor F”. He has not responded to our email as of this writing. All of our editorial comments and questions in this document are in italics, in brackets.  Those who are more technically savvy will obviously see references in this document that may raise some serious questions about the reasons for the requests.  Please post your observations here so folks can compare notes!

– Friends of WikiLeaks – Chicago


The Tor Project

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November 30, 2010 – November 30, 2014

Tor Project will assist the team by positioning Tor to better circumvent censorship and to provide anonymous network access to more users, focusing on five major topics: performance and scalability, modularity and reusability, client-side automation, user security, and metrics. Tor Project will support specific project tasks as follows:

Task 1: Tor will invent new algorithms for collecting Tor network load and usage data safely. Tor will maintain and grow its database of aggregated data about the live Tor network and its usage over time; to that end, Tor will design and deploy new tools to manipulate and understand this data. Tor will identify which measurements are necessary to support the wider performance and anonymity research questions, perform the measurements, and feed the results into ongoing research projects of both the anonymity community and the circumvention community. Tor Project will assist in the development of the system development plan (SDP), system documentation, and evaluation planning; participate in at least one PI meeting per year; and provide input for project reports.

Task 2: Tor will develop and deploy design changes to better use current capacity in the Tor network. Tor will work on approaches to attract new relays and bridges, to grow the capacity of the Tor network. [Our emphasis – in order for “Sponsor F” to get its money’s worth out of Tor, the Tor managers need to get more people like YOU to run Tor relays.   Tor Project principal Jacob Appelbaum made a powerful request to participants to do just that at the 29c3 conference in December 2012.  – FoWL Chi] Tor will develop and deploy design changes to Tor’s directory infrastructure that can scale to 10,000 relays and 10,000 bridges. Tor will research and design approaches to handling 100,000 relays and bridges, and examine the anonymity challenges.

Task 3: Tor will clean up and extend “bridgedb”, its service that distributes bridge addresses in a rate-limited way. Tor will add a mechanism inside the Tor protocol whereby a bridge user automatically supplements her bridge list with other bridges.  [purpose and security implications?]

Task 4: Tor will modularize the Tor transport mechanism so that it can handle pluggable protocol camouflaging on the wire.

Task 5: Tor will improve the design and implementation around use of bridges by Tor clients. Tor will continue to adapt and improve Torbutton, its Firefox browser extension, as new browser versions are released. Tor will work with Mozilla to fix bugs in their browsers. Tor will also work with Google to redesign the Chrome API to make it possible to build a maintainable and safe Torbutton for Chrome. Tor will investigate and design approaches for letting websites and other Internet services better handle connections from anonymous users.

Task 6: Tor will continue research into anonymity-breaking attacks against infrastructures like Tor.

Task 7: Tor will begin separating the relaying component of the Tor software from the discovery component, with the eventual goal of making the Tor software reusable as a building block for other related projects that may perform bridge distribution in other ways.

Task 8 (OPTION): Tor will enhance application-level web security for users. Tor will develop a realistic Tor network simulator and load balancing capability. Tor will develop a user interface that better approximates what is happening with the user’s Tor client and view of the network, and allow the user to graphically select country of entry or exit for circuits and select trusted routing paths through the network. Tor will develop ease of use enhancements, including a network-card software shim that transparently redirects all IP traffic from a user’s machine through the Tor network. [Our emphasis – FoWL Chi] Tor will develop a portal for user education. Tor will develop defenses against the long-circuit attack and perform additional research on reduced-hop Tor and the use of layered guard nodes to handle bridges.

Task 9 (OPTION): Tor will design and deploy Tor bundles that include Thandy, its prototype secure updating protocol. Tor will improve its ability to recognize, track, and eventually predict large-scale blocking events, like those that happen every few months in China. [our emphasis – FoWLChi]  Tor will continue separating the relaying component of the Tor software from the discovery component, with the goal of making the Tor software reusable as a building block for other projects that may perform bridge distribution in other ways.
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About fowlchicago

Chicago-based support group for WikiLeaks. We are always looking for new members who would like to help study and publish reports based on new document releases from WikiLeaks as they come out, as well as to provide public support for Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and all whistleblowers who come under attack from the US Government. People of all political stripes are welcome (except fascists). Join us!


One thought on “Tor “Sponsor F”: Make Your Product More Useful to Us for Attacks on China

  1. IOW, you are defending the oppresive gouvernement of China?


    Posted by simple-touriste | March 25, 2015, 6:43 PM

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