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Talk @ TUM: Tor and the Censorship Arms Race: Lessons Learned

On July 24th 2013 Roger Dingledine and Jacob Appelbaum will give a talk about Tor and Internet Censorship. The talk will be at the Garching campus of the TUM (U-Bahn stop: U6 Garching Forschungszentrum), in the FMI (Informatics/Mathematics) building, in room HS1 (the big lecture hall) starting at 18:00. Admission is of course free, registration is not required.


The video is online at


Tor is a free-software anonymizing network that helps people around the world use the Internet in safety. Tor's 3000 volunteer relays carry traffic for upwards of half a million daily users, including ordinary citizens who want protection from identity theft and prying corporations, corporations who want to look at a competitor's website in private, people around the world whose Internet connections are censored, and even governments and law enforcement.

Through the Iranian elections in June 2009, the periodic blockings in Iran and China, the demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt, and whatever's coming next, we're learning a lot about how censorship circumvention tools work in reality for activists in tough situations. This talk will start with a brief overview of the Tor design and its diverse users, and then jump into the technical and social problems we're encountering, what technical approaches we've tried so far (and how they went), and what approaches we think we're going to need to try next.

About the Speakers

Roger Dingledine is project leader for The Tor Project, a US non-profit working on anonymity research and development. While at MIT he developed Free Haven, one of the early peer-to-peer systems that emphasized resource management while maintaining anonymity for its users.

He works with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the US Navy, Voice of America, the National Science Foundation, and other organizations to design and develop systems for anonymity, traffic analysis resistance, and censorship resistance.

He organizes academic conferences on anonymity, speaks at such events as Blackhat, Defcon, and the CCC congresses, and also does tutorials on anonymity for national and foreign law enforcement.

Roger was honored in 2006 as one of the top 35 innovators under the age of 35 by Technology Review magazine, and honored in 2012 by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the 100 top global thinkers.

Jacob Appelbaum works as a photographer, and as an advocate, developer and researcher with The Tor Project. He trains interested parties globally on how to effectively use and contribute to the Tor network.

He is a founding member of the hacklab Noisebridge in San Francisco where he indulges his interests in magnetics, cryptography and consensus based governance.

He was a driving force in the team behind the creation of the Cold Boot Attacks; winning both the Pwnie for Most Innovative Research award and the Usenix Security best student paper award in 2008. Additionally, he was part of the MD5 Collisions Inc. team that created a rogue CA certificate by using a cluster of 200 PlayStations funded by the Swiss taxpayers. The "MD5 considered harmful today" research was awarded the best paper award at CRYPTO 2009.

He is also an accomplished photographer and an ambassador for the art group monochrom.


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