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Re: [tor-talk] TorBirdy seems to connect to the same exit node again and again



Hi Leeroy,

Yes, Atlas was a poor choice. Before you suggested searching the log
through Terminal, I wasn't even thinking of that possibility.

As for improvements: I think a) would be quite important. Using a better
port worked, as far as I can tell, and I was not aware that I put myself
in a very bad position when choosing port 25. But then my life is not
depending on TorBirdy, while other peoples' lives do, so maybe a hint in
the "Before using TorBirdy" advice or a warning message from within
TorBirdy could help those who are not tech-savvy.

Options b) and c) would be very luxurious, but option a) really solved
my problem, and seems quite important for those who come from a
different background.

Other things that come to mind:
"Test proxy settings" could be somewhere more prominent, for users like
me :) I am the kind of person that does not disable the warning message
that pops up when clicking on the TorBirdy preferences.

I am -manually- logging what exit ports TorBirdy uses, out of curiosity.
I will keep you posted in case something weird happens again.

Thanks for the help!
Sophie



l.m:
> Hi Sophie,
> 
> Hmm...Perhaps Atlas isn't the best choice here. At any given time the
> exits you can choose from are those you know of locally. It might be
> better to focus on TorBirdy instead. 
> 
> When using Tor Browser, the tor process is kind enough to take notice
> when using certain ports (WarnPlaintextPorts). So maybe TorBirdy
> should do the same. That is to say, make TorBirdy more verbose about
> choices for mail server port. Had you been warned that port 25 is not
> the port you're looking for you might have chosen differently. Even if
> the port was chosen temporarily, a reminder could've helped. To make
> things worse you have to switch between TorBirdy and Tor Browser to
> change identities. Then you have to run something like
> check.torproject.org to ensure your ip is different from a
> (potentially blocked) previous ip.
> 
> So things TorBirdy could do better to avoid this problem in the future
> include:
> a) Be more verbose about choosing the mail server port. Possibly
> include a reminder which can be disabled. Warn when making a hazardous
> choice such as 25. A known abuse port and one which is blocked in the
> default exit policy and reduced exit policy.
> b) Provide new identity functionality in TorBirdy. It would need to be
> careful not to "step on the toes" of Tor Browser. To this end it could
> emulate the NEWNYM signal by leveraging stream isolation. New
> identities triggered by TorBirdy would create streams isolated from
> previous streams. By tracking streams associated with mail servers
> TorBirdy can ensure old connections are closed before new ones. It can
> do this in a way such that no interference occurs with Tor Browser.
> c) Enable TorBirdy to configure use of TrackHostExits/Expire. Purely a
> preference to deal with Tor Browser triggering a new identity when you
> might prefer to have TorBirdy continue to use the last exit for a
> time. If you've triggered a new identity in TorBirdy to avoid a
> blocked exit this could also mitigate the problem of a blocked exit
> being reused. Is there a better way to achieve the same result here?
> 
> Comments, suggestions, criticisms?
> 
> --leeroy
> 

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