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Tor - The Yin or the Yang? 139

Posted by Zonk
from the watch-the-shadows dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Whitedust is running a interesting article on Tor, The Onion Router project sponsored by the EFF. Tor aims to offer anonymous internet use. Once sponsored by the Naval Research Lab with support from DARPA, it is now managed by The Free Haven Project. Although Tor claims to improve safety and security, the article goes into detail on how Tor can be used as a anonymous attack platform."
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Tor - The Yin or the Yang?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22, 2005 @05:47PM (#13139774)
    it's yin, not ying, you insen.... blah. :)
  • Cultural Idiots (Score:2, Informative)

    by jvagner (104817) on Friday July 22, 2005 @05:47PM (#13139776)
    It's "yin or yang". Good going, Slashdot.
  • Re:Cultural Idiots (Score:3, Informative)

    by atteSmythe (874236) on Friday July 22, 2005 @05:50PM (#13139805)
    Messup is [sic] from TFA.
  • by dewc (700281) on Friday July 22, 2005 @05:51PM (#13139815)
    While I do see some valid uses for it, I've only seen it abused on IRC by people who are using them to flood. I know, IRC isn't the center of the online universe.
  • Re:Cultural Idiots (Score:3, Informative)

    by EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) * on Friday July 22, 2005 @05:55PM (#13139857) Homepage Journal
    Actually, isn't it a mistake to try to seperate the two?

    It's the "Yin and Yang", or the 'Yin-Yang' as I understand it-- two opposite pieces of the same energy, both integral and complementary to each other. They cannot be removed from the whole, or the whole is destroyed.

    Using the word 'or' actually distorts the original meaning-- 'or' imply two different pieces, the Yin OR Yang-- with we're really talking about one thing.

    Yes, this sounds pedantic, but I think it's actually an important difference.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22, 2005 @06:13PM (#13140012)
    You have got to be kidding me. I can barely use Tor to surf for porn at work, its so damn slow. IRC? Ya, it crawls too. This is using US tor servers too - good luck if one of the routers in the route is in some high speed country like bangladesh. Tor is a great idea maybe, but as it stands right now is so slow its not even funny.
  • Re:the need (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Friday July 22, 2005 @06:14PM (#13140020)
    any good thing doesn't require you to hide behind anything.

    Well for example, it can be used by dissidents to safely express their political views, be it in the PRC, Burma or the United States...
  • by ckimyt (159096) on Friday July 22, 2005 @06:19PM (#13140056)
    For a society to be free, it MUST be possible for people to do things that are against the law. That's just how it works. If people do something illegal then you can punish them, but only an extremely facist government could hope to prevent crimes before they occur.
    But you don't just want a free society, you want a just society. When people can commit crimes anonymously, there is no punishment.

    So avoid facism, but retain your ability to punish those to actually do break the law.
  • by nweaver (113078) on Friday July 22, 2005 @06:20PM (#13140064) Homepage
    A: Tor is a documented protocol. If you really REALLY want to block Tor on your network, configure your IDS to recognise the protocol setup, and kill THAT.

    B: You can't quake through Tor. Tor only supports TCP, and it adds a fair bit of latency to boot.
  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Friday July 22, 2005 @06:45PM (#13140305) Homepage
    A note that some IRC networks (well, Freenode) automatically detect Tor connections and assign them a hostmask of the form whateverwhatever.tor, and it's easy enough to ban or ignore *.tor from there.
  • Re:the need (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Friday July 22, 2005 @06:54PM (#13140374)
    There's a huge difference between what it could be used for and what it is being used for; and what it is being used for isn't worth putting up with the 0.0001% legitimate useage.

    Tell that Kin Yu Jong who's being at risk of being arrested any moment now because he dared write "uh, I dunno, but maybe Tiananmen wasn't so groovy after all" in his fanzine.

    Only well-fed and wealthy people like you who live in relative safety in their countries have the luxury to think their comfort rates higher than the needs of the oppressed.
  • There's good and bad (Score:2, Informative)

    by suitepotato (863945) on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:54PM (#13141456)
    Not much you can do about it. Encryption, anonymous remailers, proxies, all can be used for good and bad purposes. So can speech, religion, press, arms, etc.

    Either we stand up to our responsibilities as adults and advanced and civilized people with a sense of honor, propriety, and duty, and chase criminals and terrorists while playing by the traditions, rules, regulations, and laws... or we dispense with our rights, liberties, and privileges in the name of safety and prevention of infractions.

    As we all well know, you cannot trade freedom for security and we'll be damned if we do. We can only try to find ways to stop the abuse but I sincerly hope people do not seek to go beyond that. I use Tor to get out of my subnet when it is blacklisted due to abuse activities by people also on the subnet. Why should I suffer for some arse's misbehavior? I also use it to keep my privacy when dealing with places where locals tend to have more than a touch of nastiness and vindictiveness.

    The Internet is crawling with bad people. We shouldn't hesitate to use the privacy technologies availible to defend ourselves and we shouldn't be looking askance at them because some people abuse them. People abuse just about anything. That's human nature. Should we live in padded rooms in underground bunkers?

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.