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[tor-talk] Tor Weekly News — March 4th, 2015



========================================================================
Tor Weekly News                                          March 4th, 2015
========================================================================

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

Tor Browser 4.0.4 and 4.5-alpha-4 are out
-----------------------------------------

The Tor Browser team announced new releases in the stable and alpha
branches of the privacy-preserving browser. Version 4.0.4 [1] contains
updates to the bundled versions of Firefox, OpenSSL, HTTPS-Everywhere
and NoScript (disabling the new NoScript option to make temporary
permissions permanent); it also prevents meek from issuing a second
update notification.

Meanwhile, following on from the recent Tor UX sprint [2], version
4.5-alpha-4 [3] incorporates many interface improvements designed to
make life easier for Tor users. The connection configuration wizard has
been reordered to avoid confusion between network proxies and bridge
relays, while a reorganized Torbutton menu now offers a “New circuit for
this site” option that removes the need for the user to close all open
pages in order to change circuits for one destination. If users do
decide to use the “New identity” option, they will now be warned that
this involves losing currently-open tabs and windows.

Please see the announcements for full details of the changes, as well as
instructions for download and verification.

  [1]: https://blog.torproject.org/blog/tor-browser-404-released
  [2]: https://blog.torproject.org/blog/ux-sprint-2015-wrapup
  [3]: https://blog.torproject.org/blog/tor-browser-45a4-released

Reddit donates $82,765.95 to The Tor Project, Inc.
--------------------------------------------------

One year ago, the online community Reddit announced [4] that it would
be donating 10% of its advertising revenue in 2014 to ten non-profits,
to be selected by the Reddit community. Voting took place over the last
week, and The Tor Project, Inc. placed tenth in the final ranking [5],
in good company with other charities like the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, Wikimedia Foundation, and the Free Software Foundation, each
of which being eligible for a $82,765.95 donation.

Community donations like this are a big step on the way to solving the
problem of overreliance on single funding streams — often from national
governments — that affects open-source security projects, as recently
discussed [6] by Jillian York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
(who came first [7] in Reddit’s donation drive). Many thanks to Reddit
(the company) and Reddit (the community) for their magnificent gesture
of support for privacy and anonymity online — and if you’d like to join
them, please take a look at the Tor Project website [8] for ways to
contribute!

  [4]: http://www.redditblog.com/2014/02/decimating-our-ads-revenue.html
  [5]:
http://www.redditblog.com/2015/02/announcing-winners-of-reddit-donate.html
  [6]:
http://jilliancyork.com/2015/02/06/there-are-other-funding-options-than-the-usg/
  [7]: https://twitter.com/reddit/status/571011860260098048
  [8]: https://www.torproject.org/donate/donate

2015 Winter Tor meeting
-----------------------

A group of around 70 dedicated Tor contributors is meeting [9] this
week in Valencia, Spain to discuss plans, milestones, deadlines, and
other important matters.

This meeting is kindly hosted together with the OpenITP circumvention
tech festival [10] with public outreach and community events joined or
co-hosted by Tor members.

Notes are available [11] from the sessions happening on Monday and
Tuesday for those who couldn’t make it this time.

  [9]:
https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/org/meetings/2015WinterDevMeeting
 [10]: https://openitp.org/festival/circumvention-tech-festival.html
 [11]:
https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/org/meetings/2015WinterDevMeeting/Notes

Monthly status reports for February 2015
----------------------------------------

The wave of regular monthly reports from Tor project members for the
month of February has begun. Juha Nurmi released his report first [12],
followed by reports from Nick Mathewson [13], Philipp Winter [14],
Georg Koppen [15], Sherief Alaa [16], Pearl Crescent [17], and Damian
Johnson [18].

Mike Perry reported on behalf of the Tor Browser team [19].

 [12]:
https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-February/000763.html
 [13]:
https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-February/000764.html
 [14]:
https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-February/000765.html
 [15]:
https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-February/000766.html
 [16]:
https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-March/000768.html
 [17]:
https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-March/000769.html
 [18]:
https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-March/000770.html
 [19]:
https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-March/000767.html

Miscellaneous news
------------------

George Kadianakis reports [20] preliminary results from "a project to
study and quantify hidden services traffic." George emphasizes that they
"are collecting data from just a few volunteer relays" and that
"extrapolating from such a small sample is difficult." Taken with a
grain of salt, they "estimate that about 30,000 hidden services announce
themselves to the Tor network every day, using about 5 terabytes of data
daily." They "also found that hidden service traffic is about 3.4% of
total Tor traffic." George, together with Karsten Loesing, wrote a short
technical report [21] with more details on their results and methods.

 [20]: https://blog.torproject.org/blog/some-statistics-about-onions
 [21]:
https://research.torproject.org/techreports/extrapolating-hidserv-stats-2015-01-31.pdf

Nick Mathewson announces [22] an important step in stabilizing the Tor
0.2.6.x release series: all work on that series will proceed on the
"maint-0.2.6" branch, while work on the next release series 0.2.7.x will
happen on the "master" branch. This step allows developers to focus on
one branch for fixing bugs and another branch for developing new
features.

 [22]:
https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-dev/2015-February/008328.html

Upcoming events
---------------

  Mar 01 - 06      | Tor Winter Dev Meeting 2015
                   | Valencia, Spain
                   |
https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/org/meetings/2015WinterDevMeeting

                   |
  Mar 09 18:00 UTC | Tor Browser online meeting
                   | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
                   |
  Mar 09 18:00 UTC | OONI development meeting
                   | #ooni, irc.oftc.net
                   |
  Mar 10 18:00 UTC | little-t tor patch workshop
                   | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
                   |
  Mar 24 - 25      | Roger and Jake @ RightsCon 2015
                   | Manila, Philippines
                   | https://www.rightscon.org/manila/


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

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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