Tor, Privoxy (need help making it work)

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I installed Tor and Privoxy for anonymous web surfing but am having
problems, could use some help. (I have only good intentions, tonight on
NBC news they showed how the US Gov wants ISPs to keep two years data on
citizens surfing activity, that just plain should bother everyone). Ok, I
installed tor and privoxy by urpmi. Then I configured
and added the line (per the instructions at Tor website) to the top of
that file,
 forward-socks4a / localhost:9050 .
then restarted each service
 #service privoxy restart
 #service tor restart
Then I went into Firefox and confired proxy so that http uses localhost
and port 8118 but then when I try to go to any webpage I get an error page
 503 This is Privoxy 3.0.3 on localhost (, port 8118, enabled
Connect failed.

Your request for could not be fulfilled, because the
connection to ( could not be established.

Re: Tor, Privoxy (need help making it work)

On Fri, 02 Jun 2006 19:12:19 -0500, Beowulf inscribed to the world:

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I can get privoxy to work by commenting out
    forward-socks4a / localhost:9050 .
in /etc/privoxy/conf  so my problem must have to do with Tor, and/or the
use routing of privoxy requests to tor.  Do I have the line wrong perhaps
for "forward-socks4a / localhost:9050 ." as it does seem odd to have that
forward slash in there with a space on each side, but that is what seems
to be indicated at "Step Two" at

Re: Tor, Privoxy (need help making it work)

On Fri, 02 Jun 2006 19:43:03 -0500, Beowulf inscribed to the world:

Got both tor and privoxy working great, was a firewall issue in my router.

Re: Tor, Privoxy (need help making it work)

On Fri, 02 Jun 2006 19:12:19 -0500, Beowulf inscribed to the world:

Update: Tor and Privoxy are both working! returns
an ipaddress that is not mine, etc.  As always, seems to have been a
router firewall issue. I made sure my router did port forwarding of
    8118-8118 forwarded to
    9050-9050 forwarded to
I also made sure the first time running privoxy to do
#cd /etc/privoxy
#privoxy conf
since the conf file says to add the conf filename as an argument the first
time it is used and anytime the conf file is edited. Then of course I
restarted privoxy and tor just be certain all changes took place
#service tor restart
#service privoxy restart

Now the question is how to I automatically have tor and privoxy start
during each boot, or will that happen automatically now that they are

Re: Tor, Privoxy (need help making it work)

On Fri, 02 Jun 2006 19:59:26 -0500, Beowulf inscribed to the world:
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:) tor and privoxy work after a reboot!

Re: Tor, Privoxy (need help making it work)

Beowulf wrote:

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You may want to get the "Switch Proxy Tool" Extension for your Firefox.
Also be sure to update to Firefox, just released Thursday evening,

If you have the resources available (bandwidth, etc.) please consider
running a Tor server.

Re: Tor, Privoxy (need help making it work)

responder wrote:
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I can second that because for general web browsing, at least on my
system, privoxy+tor is rrreeeaaalllyyyy sssssllloooowwww.

With the switch proxy tool you can swap proxies in and out like that

Mark E. Adams, 2004 -- drop the "dot" to email me. -*- Mandriva User# 263042

CONSIDER: ===========---------,,,,,,,,,............. . .  .  .   .
If it heals good, say it.

Re: Tor, Privoxy (need help making it work)

On Sat, 03 Jun 2006 00:13:59 -0600, Mark Adams inscribed to the world:
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Yeah I am noticing the slower browsing, so I don't know I might only use
tor occassionally, not sure about using it now.  And when I click my
shortcut bookmark for I often end up at the german google site
which is annoying but usable.

Re: Tor, Privoxy (need help making it work)

Beowulf wrote:

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When you get to, find your way to the link that
specifically selects English as the language, and places that choice in
the URL.  Then bookmark that page and it will always come up in English.
For example, one bookmark link that I use is:

Re: Tor, Privoxy (need help making it work)

Beowulf wrote:

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It should bother everyone, and for many good reasons.  Here is the
reference from AP served by Wired News:,71056-0.html?tw=wn_index_6

This is exactly what people have been objecting about for financial
reasons as what is called "an unfunded mandate".  But this one is not
passed by congress as a law, but entirely proposed and provoked by the US
FBI, a subset of the US Executive branch, as in GW Bush.  This costs money:

Money is different than "Capital", though the two are easy to confuse and
misunderstand.  Wikipedia does not (yet) have an explanation of this

This group is about security, not politics.  If you want to read some good
writing about security, buy and read Bruce Schneier's books. (I get no
sales commission.)

Beyond Fear -
Secrets and Lies -
Crypto-Gram -

There are, of course, (*_of course_*) many, many other good voices active
and writing, whose writings should all be read.  These are just

GWBUSH and his administration, acting as a "war president" in a war that
he failed to prevent, in a war, in several wars that he started under
false pretenses and under the color of law and under lies and deceptions,
has already bankrupted the US economy with repercussions that will take
decades to be fully seen. Any failed state is a security hazard.

In the immediate sense, the cost of the requested 2 year retention of
detailed records by ISP's, can only be borne by the end users.  That is
cost without benefit to the users.  

Beyond that, there is no assurance or even credible assertion that this
measure would improve prevention of stated heinous activity.

And even beyond that, this is a threat of blackmail and extortion by the
US executive for any internet user.  Do we really think that "terrorists"
will leave clear-text e-mails for 2 years while getting ready for another
airliner hijacking?  In the total view, this can only be used against
innocent and honest, non-criminal internet users.  

And no, I am not opposed to catching abusers of children.  And no, I am
not opposed to catching terrorists.  All this will do is elevate access
costs, without any benefit to or by the already expensive and demonstrably
incompetent FBI.

Tor is actually broken by NSA MITM.  But at least they (NSA) have to
modestly work their immense, taxpayer funded, spying network to break it.
And it does keep out the casual snoopers.  Please do use and support Tor.
Please do read and support

Well anyway, that's the link.  Lock your doors at night.  Buy and read
Bruce's books.  You will enjoy them.  He writes much better than I do.  He
knows more.  I'm just sitting under this bridge and croaking up a few
words to those who pass above.

Have a good journey.

Re: Tor, Privoxy (need help making it work)

On Sat, 03 Jun 2006 02:26:21 -0400, responder inscribed to the world:
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Yeah, I should think terrorists and such know not to do their
communications from home PCs using plain text, etc. They would use
cybercafes and laptops with wifi at hotspots, no trail. It is the average
honest citizens who will get hosed by tracking their surfing activity--
like such info used by divorce attorneys, etc.-- article on that in my
local paper today, etc.

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Hmm, did not know that. Honestly, I have only good intentions using Tor,
or Privoxy, I just in principle do not like the idea of my surfing tracked
and recorded, not that I do anything nefarious. These days you can get
into trouble surfing for info even with no bad intentions I suspect, but
still the law will get you. I mean, suppose a person teaches microbiology--
so she surfs to research germ warfare and microbial toxins and might have
her ass haulted into the FBI dungeons to be held indefinately, where all
she was doing was learning material to be sure to know the subject matter
in teaching.

Re: Tor, Privoxy (need help making it work)

Beowulf wrote:

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I should probably add that if FBI is incompetent, it is not because of any
shortfall by the greatest number of fine, honest, dedicated, ethical and
hardworking, long-serving FBI employees.  Any shortfall is clearly in the
politicized leadership, who may have personal agendas that are not
accurately represented by their public statements.

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]$ tor
Jun 03 19:13:47.474 [notice] Tor v0.1.0.17. This is experimental software.
Do not rely on it for strong anonymity.

This should be strong and fair warning to anyone hoping to use Tor for
illegal or nefarious purposes.  Tor is designed and intended to protect
privacy.  It is _not_ designed or intended to shield illegal, antisocial
or unethical purposes.  If you are as I am interested in personal
privacy, Tor is a valuable tool.

Tor uses SSL (HTTPS) to establish a secure(?) link to a Tor server.  Which
Tor server it connects to is configurable.  If not configured, Tor will
find a default server.  The Tor server will give a route for your traffic
back to your node.  Tor then encrypts the headers of packets sent so that
your traffic travels through a series of Tor servers until it reaches a
Tor "exit node", and then progresses normally to the destination.  The
encrypted packet headers prevent any individual Tor server from knowing
the actual source (your address) or the final destination, except for the
immediately preceding and following ("hop") destination.  In this way, Tor
prevents "casual" eavesdroppers from knowing where your traffic is going
to or coming from.  Tor prevents "traffic analysis".

Any connection established through Tor can be separately and transparently
encrypted for content.  For example, you can establish a normal HTTPS
secure connection to an on-line shopping or banking site via Tor, in
exactly the same way as without.

If you use tor-resolve and nscd, then there is no centralized record (as
on an ISP's name server) of what sites your are visiting.  tor-resolve
uses a method analogous to Tor itself, in setting a SSL connection,
(through a Tor server network) to a (somewhat random) DNS server, to
resolve human-readable URL's into IP addresses.  As with Tor itself, any
record left on any (DNS) server you access, will resolve back only to the
Tor exit node your connection is using, and cannot (normally) be traced
back to your actual address.  nscd caches DNS resolutions on your own
local box, so that repeated requests to resolve the same base URL are
resolved locally, and do not leave tracks on _any_ external DNS server.
You need to set the retention time in nscd.conf to an extended time.

SSL and HTTPS are the encryption method of choice for virtually all
on-line commerce (shopping and banking, etc.).  They rely on
Diffie-Hellman negotiated keys.  Ironically and in a strange twist of
"fuzzy logic", it is exactly the fact, appearance or belief that Tor is
broken in this specific way that is among the most compelling evidence
that MITM is active.  I continue to work to establish legally compelling
evidence of the MITM.  

Diffie-Hellman key encryption is secure against all known attacks except
MITM.  If SSL (HTTPS) is broken, it is because of MITM.  I believe SSL
(Diffie-Hellman) is broken in the US.

If Tor is broken in the way that I believe, it is still excellent
protection against lesser eavesdroppers and spies.  That would also imply
that all on-line commerce is compromised.

Yes, I agree, you are right: Any innocent individual communication could
be misconstrued and taken out of context.  Unfortunately I believe this is
exactly why there has not been greater outcry from the centers of power.
It needs to have a large base of opposition from ordinary [users] in order
to garner attention and action.  And it needs to have unified
understanding and agreement among the technical and security communities
in order to respond to administration denials, and to put the lie to the
US President w's public assertions that this is a "limited" program, that
they are not "listening" to people's conversations, and that only US
to/from "foreign" locations are monitored.  

I believe that when the evidence is in, and if ever allowed to be publicly
seen, it will show that this US Administration is not only "listening" to
every communication, (phone, e-mail, FAX, web surfing...) but is also
actually modifying communications in politically and/or personally
motivated ways.  And all with illegally installed equipment paid for by
the US Taxpayers.

Best wishes (really!).

eliminate the spam-

Re: Tor, Privoxy (need help making it work)

Beowulf wrote:

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To my previous reply, I should have added the link to "fuzzy logic".  Not
sure this is adequate description, but it is at least a valid and
annotated view.

Re: Tor, Privoxy (need help making it work)

responder wrote:

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? Maybe not:


Re: Tor, Privoxy (need help making it work)

Colin McKinnon wrote:

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Thank you, C.

I think it is topically significant to differentiate between the interests
of the US economy and the interests of the Texas oilmen.  gwbush (lower
case intentional to represent a small man) is a Texas oil millionaire.
There was a movie about this, somewhere, but I'm not a movie columnist,
and the reference escapes me.  Anyone who wants to jump in here is

I think, US oil companies, Halliburton, and such could continue to profit
even as the US economy goes completely down the sewer.  And I think that
is where the US economy is headed.  And I think that any "failed state" is
a security hazard.

The link you posted is an excellent link to a narrative, and that is fully
hyper-linked to references of historical importance.  It fully narrates
the case that US (_Government_) involvement (to use a sanitary term) is
fully about oil. This is very sad for me to say as a US citizen.

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It is all topical to the understanding of how and why the US NSA is now
doing a MITM attack on all US residents.  It is not either a proof or
justification of that.

And, please appreciate, it is extremely difficult for me to be articulate
about these things, as they represent a direct attack to me personally, as
well as others.  So my descriptions will be sparse.


(Updated 5/27/03)
This is a lengthly article with many supporting hyper-links.

"The disappeared logo" /

Examples of the president's signing statements

April 30, 2006

From The Boston Globe, an affiliate of The New York Times.

Thanks.  Thanks for writing.  Thanks for the link.  Please write again as
you can.

Best wishes.

eliminate the spam-

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