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Thread: Is TOR safe to use?

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  1. #1
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    Is TOR safe to use?

    Tor seems to be a way of hiding your isp address. It's being recommended for political activists and those buying Bitcoin.

    Any views on this? Is it safe to use?

    Thanks, paul

  2. #2
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    Re: What do you think of TOR? Is it safe to use?

    Paul,

    If privacy & anonymity are what you are seeking than you may well have to consider Tor in conjunction with other software.

    To be safe I would think a layered approach to privacy & anonymity would be a good idea and as Bitcoin, Tor and related topics have been has been in the news of late I would suggest a fair bit of research be undertaken prior to clicking on something you you are using for the first time.

    I looked at Tails https://tails.boum.org/getting_started/index.en.html page and warning page https://tails.boum.org/doc/about/warning/index.en.html where various threats associated with Tor are expanded upon. The Tor main page https://www.torproject.org/ also has several explanations as to how Tor can and can not protect you.

    Not forgetting https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Tor
    Last edited by tubbygweilo; April 11th, 2013 at 09:55 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: What do you think of TOR? Is it safe to use?

    Thanks tubbygweilo,
    I was just about to download TOR when I noticed that it was originated by the american military (the navy, I think).
    I'll check out those links you mentioned before doing anything further.

  4. #4
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    Re: Is TOR safe to use?

    Paul,
    The EFF https://ssd.eff.org/tech/tor and EFF in general https://www.eff.org/ offer IMHO good pointers as to real World security topics although I must admit the EFF is slanted towards US matters but then Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_%2...ity_network%29 offers general information in easily digestible bite sized chunks.

    It all comes down to who do you trust to give information about software and indeed make software?

    By discussing and asking questions in an open forum any answers will be peer reviewed and criticised, and that is a good start.

    So Paul, keep asking questions and weighing any answers prior to clicking on something.

  5. #5
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    Re: Is TOR safe to use?

    From that wiki link it seems that Tor is mostly funded by the US government.

    I'm becoming less and less inclined to trusting government/big business these days. This is why i'm moving away from the likes of Windows and towards Linux. It seems open-source people have a higher level of personal integrity and a higher morality than those driven by the profit motive.

    I may be doing the Tor people a great disservice, they may be driven by honourable motives but that US government funding is a big negative for me.

    Is there any "independent" open-source software to protect from being spied on by government/big business?

  6. #6
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    Re: Is TOR safe to use?

    Hello!

    Although the subject of TOR is not without political and legal implications, please remember that the Forume CoC proscribes political discussion.

    Please restrict further posts to the subject of whether TOR is safe to use.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Re: Is TOR safe to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulxx View Post
    From that wiki link it seems that Tor is mostly funded by the US government.
    Your point is...? It's developed by many people from different backgrounds (universities, volunteers, researchers, etc.) so there are lots of eyes on it all the time. It's also funded from many other sources including private organizations. If there was any hanky panky going on anyone could blow the whistle at anytime given the transparent nature and open source code. The answer is yes, it's "safe" to use Tor as long as you understand what it does and how to use it.

  8. #8
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    Re: What do you think of TOR? Is it safe to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulxx View Post
    Thanks tubbygweilo,
    I was just about to download TOR when I noticed that it was originated by the american military (the navy, I think).
    That's right. Robust communication has military roots. The U.S. Navy has a patent on onion routing, and the U.S. Air Force developed packet switching, which is the basis for the Internet. If you prefer, you can choose not to use TOR, but to transmit your IP address openly on the Internet. There are alternatives, although perhaps none as robust. For what it's worth, TOR is open-source software.

    As far as I know, it's VERY safe, and it's what I would use if I needed a secure anonymizing service for some reason. But if you do use TOR, be sure to read the directions, and note the limitations. Even if you don't use TOR you should read the TOR directions, as the same limitations are common to virtually all anonymizing techniques.
    Last edited by VanillaMozilla; April 11th, 2013 at 06:07 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Is TOR safe to use?

    I don't use/trust tor. You may want to look into a program called "proxychains". That's what I use when I need to do certain things online. Just don't use tor with it. A lot of tutorials suggest using tor as your first proxy but it's really not necessary. It's really dependent of how long you need to be online though as a chain of proxies can go down pretty quick. If you need to be online for a long time you can always just pay for a vpn.

  10. #10
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    Re: Is TOR safe to use?

    Thanks, dodo3773,

    You say you don't use/trust tor. Can you say why? Is it just a general distrust of government funded projects or is there something in the source-code that is suspicious, or perhaps another reason. I'm just a computer user, I don't really know how the internet works and so I have to rely on experts (like yourself perhaps?) who can tell me what is safe or not to use.

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