[LINK] OzIT: 'Call to join Tor network to fight censorship'
Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Tue May 25 14:08:54 AEST 2010
Call to join Tor network to fight censorship
May 25, 2010 12:00AM
LOCAL internet users are being urged to embrace the online anonymity
tool, Tor, to help build the network in defence of free speech and
provide a "safety in the crowd" communications channel for people
living under repressive regimes.
The Tor Project's founder, Roger Dingledine, says Australians are
under-represented among the volunteers who provide the multiple relay
hops that ensure privacy and security.
But with Australia among the nations trying to censor citizens, there
was growing local interest in participation. "The Tor network is made
up of volunteers, like you and me, who start out running Tor as a
user, and then they say, 'I could be improving freedom of speech here
and elsewhere by pressing this button that turns me into a relay',"
Mr Dingledine told AusCERT 2010.
"That helps the relay traffic for other people around the world, and
makes the Tor network bigger. And because there are more locations, a
bunch of relays in many different places, it makes it safer also," he
said. A non-profit organisation credited with keeping internet
communications open for users in China and Iran during recent
crackdowns, the Tor Project started out as an R&D initiative for the
US Navy in 2001.
Tor's free open-source software and open network is used by hundreds
of thousands of people -- soldiers, police, journalists, bloggers,
human-rights workers, citizens living under censorship and just
ordinary people who object to online tracking by large corporations.
"A lot of the security comes from the diversity of users," Mr
Dingledine said. "Some people don't want businesses to collect
information about them, or they want to protect themselves against
"Businesses use Tor to keep commercial secrets safe, the military
uses it for intelligence gathering and communicating with field
agents, journalists and bloggers use it to report from danger zones,
while activists and whistleblowers use it to avoid persecution."
The belief that censorship or repression "won't happen to me" was
part of the challenge for securing democracy worldwide.
Karen Dearne attended AusCERT 2010 as a guest of AusCERT.
Roger Clarke http://www.rogerclarke.com/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au http://www.xamax.com.au/
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre Uni of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science Australian National University
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