Frustrating the man. How to herd cats: tie a small bright object to a string; place it in the peripheral vision of the cat; and then pull it around a corner out of sight.
Ben Laurie’s been trying to entice me to pounce on tor. … I pounced yesterday morning.
Tor helps to frustrate the man in the middle’s attempt to monitor your internet usage patterns. For example every time you send mail to Joe the man can see that your talking to Joe. This lets the man draw social network drawings that are both static and dynamic. Even if your mail’s encrypted.
Tor frustrates by mixing your traffic up with that of other tor users. Picking your traffic out of the crowd’s traffic is harder. The traffic of the tor users is bounced around the internet thru tor router nodes run by volunteers.
On my Mac this was really easy to set up; well in the usual geek sense of easy: download; build; install; cleanup; run it.
curl -o f.tgz http://freehaven.net/tor/dist/tor-0.0.8pre3.tar.gz
tar zxt f.tgz
./configure; make; sudo make install
F=`pwd`; cd ..; rm -rf $F f.tgz
But you should proably follow the directions.
Then you need to adjust your Network Preferences to use it. Each interface has settings for proxies; you need to set the ‘Socks Proxy’ to use 127.0.0.1 (i.e. your own machine) and port 9050.
If this get’s popular then I suspect the hive mind will cough up a Mac disk image and some GUI facade for running it.
I had having trouble with reaching things on my local private network; until the nice folks in the tor community tapped me with the clue stick and pointed out that you can write domain names to not route thru the proxy – it’s right there on the same page where you turn on the proxy – duh. [Ascription is an Anathema to any Enthusiasm]
handy bit of technology, bound to tick off someone though.