Opened 7 years ago

Closed 4 years ago

#6294 closed task (fixed)

Improve ExoneraTor UI, or write LEO landing page

Reported by: karsten Owned by:
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: Metrics/ExoneraTor Version:
Severity: Keywords:
Cc: hellais, wseltzer Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:


Arturo, Wendy, and I talked about the ExoneraTor UI and how it's not as easy to understand for non-technical people as it could be. The ExoneraTor website could also be extended to explain the basics of Tor better with respect to law enforcement people. Alternatively, we could set up a new LEO landing website and include ExoneraTor's functionality in it by providing it as RESTful service, similar to Onionoo.

Is anyone interested in rewriting the human-readable parts? I'd handle the integration with ExoneraTor.

Child Tickets

Change History (9)

comment:1 Changed 7 years ago by wseltzer

A few edits to the current text, and a new opening paragraph:

ExoneraTor: a website that tells you whether a given IP address was a Tor relay

Just because you see an Internet connection from a particular IP address does not mean you know *who* originated the traffic. Tor anonymizes Internet traffic by "onion routing," sending packets through a series of encrypted hops before they reach their destination. Therefore, if you see traffic from a Tor node, you may be seeing traffic that originated from someone using Tor, rather than from the node-operator itself. The Tor Project and Tor node operators have no records of the traffic that passes over the network, but we do maintain current and historical records of which IP addresses are part of the Tor network.

ExoneraTor tells you whether there was a Tor relay running on a given IP address at a given time. ExoneraTor can further indicate whether this relay permitted exiting to a given server and/or TCP port. ExoneraTor learns these facts by parsing the public relay lists and relay descriptors that are collected from the Tor directory authorities and the exit lists collected by TorDNSEL. By inputting an IP address and time, you can determine whether that IP was then a part of the Tor network.

Notice: Note that the information you are providing below may be visible to anyone who can read the network traffic between you and this web server or who has access to this web server. For greater confidentiality of the IP addresses and incident times, you should download the Java or Python version of ExoneraTor and run it on your local machine.

comment:2 Changed 7 years ago by karsten

I applied your changes. Thanks!

Is there anything else we can do to make the page more usable?

comment:3 Changed 7 years ago by wseltzer

I wonder if we also want to indicate here that signed statements attesting to the outputs of this database query may be available to those who need affidavits.

comment:4 Changed 7 years ago by karsten

Hmm. How would we say that without promising too much? The literal translation of affidavits in German is "eidesstattliche Erklärung". I think there are legal consequences for signing such a thing if it turns out to be wrong, at least in Germany. I personally wouldn't sign an affidavit for pretty much anything, particularly not for the printout of a website running on a server in a foreign country, even if it's running my code. If some court would ask for an affidavit from me, I'd be happy to sign it if it helps a relay operator. But I'd want to verify the results locally and very carefully, which would take me at least one or two hours per case. That's not something I'd want to offer as a free service on the website.

I'm happy to sign a statement, electronically or on paper, that the website output is correct, to the best of my knowledge. That takes me 15 minutes or less per case. In the past, such a confirmation was always sufficient. Can you suggest a phrasing that doesn't promise too much?

comment:5 Changed 7 years ago by karsten

Oh, and in the second after hitting submit I realize that you meant that relay operators would sign the affidavit, right? :) Well, ignore my first paragraph above then. Heh.

comment:6 Changed 7 years ago by wseltzer

Your first interpretation was correct, but I wasn't thinking we'd sign an affidavit verifying that the information was true. Rather, someone from Tor could sign an affirmation that the printout was what ExoneraTor generated for the given input, along with the explanation we just edited of how ExoneraTor works. While we could invite the relay operator to do that, I can imagine people thinking it was more useful evidence if someone independent did so.

The question -- do we want to offer that, or wait for people to ask?  I hope we can make it easier internally than 15 minutes per case.

comment:7 Changed 7 years ago by karsten

Sure, we can offer to do that.

The steps could be:

  1. Enter user-provided IP address and date/time into ExoneraTor.
  2. Briefly look at linked descriptors to see if results are plausible.
  3. Print web page to PDF.
  4. Reply to email, ideally using some standard text, attach PDF, done.

The 15 minutes estimate includes context switching time and additional time to clear up any possible confusions about implausible results.

comment:8 Changed 5 years ago by karsten

Component: Metrics UtilitiesExoneraTor

Moving to ExoneraTor component.

comment:9 Changed 4 years ago by karsten

Resolution: fixed
Status: newclosed

I think this ticket is now obsolete with the recent updates to ExoneraTor. Closing.

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