Back in December 2011 Roger Dingledine and Jacob Applebaum of the torproject gave a talk at the 28th Chaos Communication Congress titled “How governments have tried to block Tor“. That talk focused on the arms race between privacy campaigners and technologists working on tor and the actions of oppressive governments. The presentation gave many examples from Syria, Oman, Egypt, China, Tunisia etc, of how the use of DPI techology developed in western democracies (largely the USA) was being used to monitor and/or censor internet usage around the world. Dingledine and Applebaum are passionate about their work and know how to present to best effect. There are some delightfully funny anecdotes (including that used in the title of this post) scattered throughout the talk. To some extent the presentation was “preaching to the choir” because CCC attendees are a somewhat specialist demographic. However, the recent peaking (and piquing) of interest in the reported activity of the NSA has resulted in a flood of new interest in tor from people less familiar with the topics they addressed (as evidenced by the spate of new questions arising on lists like tortalk). The video of the presentation is about an hour and half long, but it is well worth watching.
Thoroughly recommended. Even if it is on youtube…..
And for any readers unfamiliar with tor, there is a pretty good overview of “How Tor Works” on the torproject’s “favourite videos” site.