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[tor-talk] Tor Weekly News — May 14th, 2015

Tor Weekly News                                           May 14th, 2015

Welcome to the nineteenth issue in 2015 of Tor Weekly News, the weekly
newsletter that covers what’s happening in the Tor community.


 1. Tor is out
 2. Tails 1.4 is out
 3. Tor Cloud is retired
 4. Relay operators: please enable IPv6!
 5. More monthly status reports for April 2015
 6. Miscellaneous news
 7. Upcoming events

Tor is out

Nick Mathewson announced [1] the first alpha release in the Tor 0.2.7.x
series. The most notable new feature in this release is the ability to
create, delete, control, and get information about onion services and
their descriptors via a Tor controller. It also fixes a bug that
assigned the HSDir flag to relays that would not function properly as
directories, affecting the availability of some onion services over the
past few weeks.

The source code is available as usual from the distribution
directory [2]; as with any alpha release, “please expect bugs”.

  [1]: https://blog.torproject.org/blog/tor-0271-alpha-released
  [2]: https://dist.torproject.org/

Tails 1.4 is out

The Tails team announced [3] version 1.4 of the anonymous live operating
system. Most notable in this release is the inclusion of Tor Browser
4.5, meaning Tails users can now take advantage of the security slider,
enhanced anti-tracking protection, and other exciting new features in
the latest stable Tor Browser series.

Another user-facing enhancement is the addition of Paperkey [4], a
program that lets you back up the secret part of your GPG key on the one
storage medium that never goes out of fashion.

For a full list of changes, see the team’s announcement. This release
contains important security updates, so head to the download page [5]
(or the incremental updater) as soon as possible.

  [3]: https://blog.torproject.org/blog/tails-14-out
  [4]: http://www.jabberwocky.com/software/paperkey/
  [5]: https://tails.boum.org/download

Tor Cloud is retired

The Tor Cloud project [6], which offered prospective Tor relay operators
an easy way of setting up a bridge relay on Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing
platform, has been discontinued, as Karsten Loesing explained on the Tor
blog [7].

“The main reason for discontinuing Tor Cloud is the fact that software
requires maintenance, and Tor Cloud is no exception”, wrote Karsten.
Several serious bugs have rendered Tor Cloud unusable, and no solution
could be found for its continued maintenance, so the service will no
longer be offered for new relays.

This doesn’t mean, however, that existing Tor Cloud relays will be shut
down as well — those will continue to run as long as their operators
want them to. Similarly, everyday Tor Browser users do not need to worry
about this announcement: it will have no effect on the working of
software that uses the Tor network.

If you want to help grow the Tor network and strengthen the protection
it offers to Internet users around the world, but don’t have the
resources to set up a relay from scratch, please consider donating to a
Tor relay organization like Torservers.net [8], Nos Oignons [9], or
another of their partners [10]. These experienced Tor relay operators
will run the services on your behalf, ensuring they stay secure,
efficient, and up-to-date. Please see the organizations’ donation pages
for more details!

  [6]: https://cloud.torproject.org/
  [7]: https://blog.torproject.org/blog/tor-cloud-service-ending-many-ways-remain-help-users-access-uncensored-internet#comments
  [8]: https://www.torservers.net/donate.html
  [9]: https://nos-oignons.net/Donnez/index.fr.html
 [10]: https://www.torservers.net/partners.html

Relay operators: please enable IPv6!

“We still have a depressingly low number of relays that support IPv6
(currently only ~120 of ~1900 relays)”, wrote Moritz Bartl in a post to
the tor-relays mailing list [11]. If your host supports the new
protocol, enabling it on your Tor relay is as simple as a change to your
torrc file: please see Moritz’ post for the full details.

 [11]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-relays/2015-May/006964.html

More monthly status reports for April 2015

The wave of regular monthly reports from Tor project members for the
month of April continued, with reports from Karsten Loesing [12]
(coordinating translations and reports for SponsorO, researching onion
service statistics, and developing Onionoo), Noel Torres [13]
(responding to Tor help desk requests), Sukhbir Singh [14] (developing
Tor Messenger), Isabela Bagueros [15] (overall project management), and
Arlo Breault [16] (also working on Tor Messenger).

David Goulet sent out the report for the SponsorR team [17], who are
researching Tor onion services and working on improvements to their
security and stability.

 [12]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-May/000821.html
 [13]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-May/000822.html
 [14]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-May/000824.html
 [15]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-May/000825.html
 [16]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-May/000826.html
 [17]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-May/000823.html

Miscellaneous news

meejah announced [18] version 0.13.0 of txtorcon, the Twisted-based
asynchronous Tor controller. This version brings with it speed
improvements, as well as support for “basic” and “stealth” onion service
authentication; see meejah’s announcement for full details.

 [18]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-dev/2015-May/008810.html

The Tails team published their monthly report for April 2015 [19]. Take
a look for news of recent development work, summaries of ongoing
discussions, upcoming events, and more.

 [19]: https://tails.boum.org/news/report_2015_04

Lunar gave an interview (in French) to lundimatin [20] on the subject of
the French government’s “Bill on Intelligence” [21] and what it means
for the Tor network.

 [20]: https://lundi.am/Tor-Loi-Renseignement
 [21]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_on_Intelligence

Jacob Appelbaum took part in a panel discussion [22] at re:publica 15
entitled “A Deeper Frontier of Freedom: The State of the Deepweb”.

 [22]: https://voicerepublic.com/talks/a-deeper-frontier-of-freedom-the-state-of-the-deepweb

Upcoming events

  May 18 18:00 UTC | Tor Browser meeting
                   | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
  May 18 18:00 UTC | OONI development meeting
                   | #ooni, irc.oftc.net
  May 19 18:00 UTC | little-t tor patch workshop
                   | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
  May 20 13:30 UTC | little-t tor development meeting
                   | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
  May 27 02:00 UTC | Pluggable transports/bridges meeting
                   | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
  Jun 30 - Jul 02  | Many Tor people @ 15th Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium
                   | Philadelphia, USA
                   | https://petsymposium.org/2015/

This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by Harmony, the Tails
team, and Karsten Loesing.

Want to continue reading TWN? Please help us create this newsletter.
We still need more volunteers to watch the Tor community and report
important news. Please see the project page [23], write down your
name and subscribe to the team mailing list [24] if you want to
get involved!

 [23]: https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/TorWeeklyNews
 [24]: https://lists.torproject.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/news-team
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