Week 10 - Privacy conversations

Tor, and how Tor is perceived, were a big part of NYC weekend. I did two small social experiments to get the word out about Tor and to see how coworkers would react.

  1. I asked on our staff message board if anyone wanted removable Tor stickers for their gizmos’ front facing cameras. I said I thought the stickers were mostly security theater but a good way to show your support for Tor and privacy rights. This was a casual experiment to see: 1) if you anyone thought covering the their front facing camera fit their threat model (I wouldn’t have framed it that way before LFI); and 2) see if mentioning Tor would set off any alarms. As to the former, six people wanted stickers and were excited to get removable ones. As to the later, no one seemed to mind. I mentioned to a few takers that if I was going to put a sticker on camera it would be on a device that someone other than myself had admin rights to; e.g., a work -issued device.

  2. I also revisited the matter of installing Tor Browser on my employer-owned and issued laptop. During previous forays into my IT department, I was told that proxies were forbidden so I never installed Tor Browser on my work machines. My position has changed a lot within my org since then, so I just when ahead and installed it on my current machine. I’ve been using it for about a week and no one seems to mind. My immediate supervisor was confused by a proxies ban. They pointed out we use EZProxy for literally hundreds of resources so can we ban proxies? On the white board my department’s shared meeting space, I wrote, “Does it matter if I install Tor on my work laptop?” and left it there for a week. One team member was like, “You just put that to antagonize IT team member so-and-so.” This comment was in jest, I think. Other team members didn’t seem to know was Tor was and didn’t say much. I now use Tor on my work computer everyday.


Cool experiment! How many people did you ask total?

Excellent point.


I was curious about Tor on my work computer too. We sometimes need permissions from IT to download things and sometimes we don’t. I went ahead and just tried it and I’ve been using it on my work machine since we got back from NY. No admin permission needed.

omg heck yeah!!!