WTF? “Tor: Freedom for whom?”

David ‘cdlu’ Graham apparently was trying to make some kind of point about freedom or privacy or… well, I have no idea what his recent post on NewsForge (“Tor: Freedom for whom?”) was trying to say. See if you can parse this bit:

Schneier states that the debate is wrongfully categorised as a debate between privacy and security. I agree — it is not privacy versus security, it is privacy versus freedom. When one person’s privacy restricts someone else’s freedom, we have a problem.In the real world, every country has a legal system with a set of rules by which everyone must live. If someone breaks one of those rules, a police force and judicial system exists to prevent them from continuing to do so. In some cases, the rules are unjust, but generally, rules are designed to protect the freedoms of others. Take the police force and judicial system out of the equation, and you end up with anarchy.

That’s what Tor brings to the Internet. If everyone on the Internet used Tor, and no one could figure out where anyone was coming from anymore, the Internet would be a complete anarchy, even though most people would still attempt to continue their normal, honest behavior.

Whatever point Graham was going for, I think he’s 100% wrong. It is not Tor’s fault that some internet services rely on IP addresses for security. They shouldn’t. IP addresses are spoofable as it is. It is up to those internet services to figure out security models. Tor has a legitimate use: provide privacy.

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Profile picI am a 40-ish uber-geek, Daoist and family man. Blessed to have one incredible wife and three wonderful kiddos. Dao has been kind to me.

June 2006
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