Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tor in the Times

There was a good piece in yesterday's New York Times about Tor, the software that makes Internet communications nearly impossible to trace; in fact, it's the software at the heart of the WikiLeaks document-submission process.

The piece focused on an interview with a Tor "evangelist," a Tor developer who travels the globe trying to inform people—mostly non-technical people—about what Tor is and why it's important. The interview was conducted by Virginia Heffernan, who admits to have difficulty understanding how Tor works, even after being provided with a series of analogies and metaphors. But I think that she does a fairly competent job of explicating the concept of Tor, at a high level, for a general audience. There is, however, definitely a kind of irony at the center of this piece: it illustrates a person whose job it is to communicate technical concepts to laymen having extreme difficulty in crafting an analogy comprehensible to the interviewer.

Irony aside, I think it's worth reading if you're at all interested in Internet anonymity.

No comments: