I wrote this presentation on the weekends in April and May and it’s didn’t have quite the details that I wanted to put into it. Mostly I wanted it to be short and engaging. Putting in every detail that I wanted would have (I thought) been long and boring. I would like to take the time here to expand what went into the presentation and to make it a little more interesting.
I don’t really like these diagrams. They already existed on tor-project.org and were made by the EFF but it’s too high level and they don’t really tell the story that I wanted to tell. The actual description on how onion services with is here: https://www.torproject.org/docs/onion-services.html.en
I could have done a better job than what I did. The way that I prefer to describe it is like this:
After configuring your /etc/tor/torrc file, you run systemctl tor start and the local Tor daemon reaches out to the Tor networks and lets it know that you are running a local onion service. This creates a two-way link between your machine and the Tor network which is UDP traffic rather than TCP/IP as the Tor network never sees your actual local IP.
If I’m honest with myself, this is still pretty weak but it’s better than what I had. The best thing would be to take the information from Tor website almost verbatim and made slides but I didn’t do that.
I glossed over this when I should have made more slides to help fill out the presentation. The brief anecdotes and really touch on a lot of reason why I think people should be using onion services such as:
Being in the spotlight might just mean having a job where people know who you are. No matter who you are, there is a good chance that your political ideas will offend someone. Personally, I keep a strict no religion/no politics policy for myself at work. I just nod my head to everyone like I agree and/or understand. At home, it’s a different story. I am a political person and I care deeply about politics but I don’t want that interfering with my role at my company and I’m not alone. This is the point that would have had more punch than what I made and would have been a better case study on why onion sites are useful and needed.
The first two should have been one topic and the last should have been a call back to a better description of how the onion routing and encryption works.
Nefarious websites such as Silk Road and the Playpen were better case studies on how onion services are misused.
Finally, I think more details on how the docker-compose files are built would have been more useful as well as some hands-on interaction. Those file are all at my Github but I ran through them so quickly I didn’t really give the audience time to see them during the presentation.