Torn about Tor

Gabriel Gunderson gabe at
Tue Sep 13 12:24:23 MDT 2005

It seems that there has been a bit of talk about tor lately [1] [2].
I've decided to install it and give it a whirl.

There are sites that I would like checkout from work but haven't because
it would look stupid for the site's owners (our competition) to see that
we have been checking them out (a certain talking ham sandwich comes to
mind).  We don't plan on stealing anything, we just like to keep tabs on
them like brick and mortar stores do with each other.

It's kinda like Target employees removing their red smocks before
scoping-out Wal-Mart.  Everyone does it.  Nobody wants to get caught.
We occasionally see our competitors visiting our sites and it gives us a
feel for which of our products worry or interest them.  I don't want to
give them that same advantage when we visit them.

I have a few questions...

1) We already use squid for a proxy.  Would it be better to just have
squid send the requests off to another proxy?  Are there any drawbacks
to that?  Is setting up squid to use tor for certain site a good option?

2) The following text from the tor site makes it look like tor is still
not ready for prime time.  How strong to you think less then "strong
anonymity" is?

I don't think my needs are that great but it would be good to hear from
others on this.

"Tor is an important piece of building more safety, privacy, and
anonymity online, but it is not a complete solution. And remember that
this is development code—it's not a good idea to rely on the current Tor
network if you really need strong anonymity."


P.S. NO newlines on the original message! :)

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