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Allow the user to configure Tor before connecting to it #3010

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anon88391 opened this issue Jul 26, 2019 · 6 comments
Open

Allow the user to configure Tor before connecting to it #3010

anon88391 opened this issue Jul 26, 2019 · 6 comments
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@anon88391
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@anon88391 anon88391 commented Jul 26, 2019

Currently when installing Bisq for the first time and running it the software connects to the Tor network without letting the user configure it. Only after the initial connection is established the user is allowed to configure Tor.
This is poses a significant risk to some users' privacy, anonymity and security. In some countries with widespread censorship just connecting to the Tor network can cause negative consequences from the government and put the user in a very bad light forever. It is therefore very important to let the user configure the Tor connection before it's established so that they can take necessary countermeasures against detection.
Connecting to Tor before having the ability to configure it goes against Tor's philosophy. Tor Browser doesn't connect to Tor without letting the user configure the connection first.
Please fix this and allow the user to configure Tor before connecting to it. Thank you.

@mrosseel

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@mrosseel mrosseel commented Jul 26, 2019

do you have any examples of how other desktop apps handle this, particularly UI-wise ?

@HarryMacfinned

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@HarryMacfinned HarryMacfinned commented Jul 27, 2019

@anon88391
I suppose your concerns are about the /etc/tor/torrc proper tuning.
Could you give some examples of some tuning(s) you think about.

@freimair

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@freimair freimair commented Jul 27, 2019

Means of providing a torrc config file or even single config parameters have been introduced back in 2018 via #1893. Please give more details so we can enhance the software.

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@anon88391 anon88391 commented Jul 27, 2019

@mrosseel
A desktop instant messenger app called Ricochet utilizes Tor network to establish connections between user, althought it hasn't been updated in a while. When running Ricochet for the first time it asks the user to configure Tor connection settings before establishing any connection.
Whonix, very good software that is a virtual machine used to route other virtual machines through Tor also does this. It doesn't establish any connections before the user configures the connection settings.
@HarryMacfinned
Yes indeed, by saying "configure Tor connection settings" I'm actually referring to the torrc settings, where the user can change them on a high-level (bridges, proxy settings, etc).
@freimair
That is not what I meant to address. I'm aware that Bisq has means of providing a torrc config file, however the issue stems from the fact that when launching Bisq for the first time, the user is never asked to configure the connection settings (set up necessary bridges or proxy settings) before the first connection is established. Bisq first establishes Tor connections and only then allows the user to change the settings, which is a significant risk for some users.

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@freimair freimair commented Jul 31, 2019

so what you are saying is you like to see

  • the Tor connection settings dialog pop up on first start of Bisq?
  • then, maybe transition some torrc configs to the GUI?
  • and of course, the popup has to be reworked for usability in its new role?
@anon88391

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@anon88391 anon88391 commented Jul 31, 2019

@freimair
Yes, more or less, however:

  • the Tor connection settings dialog doesn't have to be a pop up, I think it could incorporated right into the GUI and it could just ask the user if he wants to connect to Tor normally, or his country is censored and needs to configure the connection (the same dialog that Tor Browser uses). I'm not experienced in programming GUIs so I can't give my opinion on what'd be the best way to do it.
  • I don't think there's much need for letting the user modify the torrc file through GUI, actually I'm against it. Tor Browser doesn't do it, an inexperienced user could mess things up, it's better to just do it the same way Tor Browser does (only a high level configuration).

Additionally since many applications incorporate the dialog in the same manner I'd expect the Tor documentation to provide some insight on how to do it properly, but I cannot be sure it does.

@freimair freimair self-assigned this Sep 1, 2019
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