Here’s why one reader already stopped trusting Tor

September 8, 2013

Dearest Switch readers, we love you. That's why we pay extra special attention to your comments and make sure to highlight some of our favorites every weekend.

A reader Wednesday took offense at Brian Fung's argument about how Netflix could use Big Data to make more money off of you. Tidelandermdva argued:

This fallacy ignores the Netflix strategy, which is to be cheap enough to preempt competition. Everyone is losing out to Netflix: HBO, even basic cable. If most people could get cheap broadcast TV and cheap high speed internet, they would probably be happy to skip all cable and just go with Netflix. The Netflix premium that people would pay for is a NFL package to pick up ESPN and NFL Network games, and maybe HD broadcast games. Cable survives only because broadcast HD digital is a bust (or cannot be trusted) for most people.

Fellow commenter BEEPEE took an issue with the idea of skipping cable:

That works for awhile, but Netflix is just now starting to create some content, other than that they get content from other providers. Everyone switches to Netflix, the networks and premium providers lose revenue, they create less content or lower quality content, and Netflix has an even crappier selection than they do now.

It's great to get something for free or very low cost, but at some point you DO get what you pay for.

On Friday, Brian pointed out that the feds pay for 60 percent of Tor's development. Reader bocam48 explained why even without a backdoor, he or she doesn't have a lot of trust in Tor's security:

I used to be an avid Tor user. However, years ago there were a number of papers and presentations that focused on breaking Tor's anonymity, and more recently, on breaking the keys. I would suspect that for the U.S., or other governments with significant IT resources, the idea of needing a backdoor is just an unnecessary waste of time and risk of public ire. If they can identify and control the networks where the exit nodes exist or break the cryptographic keys, Tor's value becomes diminished. Of course, we would be none the wiser...which is exactly what some governments would want.

Bocam48 was also kind enough to link to a few studies about Tor's security.

I shared with readers how to watch NASA's latest lunar launch, LADEE, Friday night. Switch reader ktsmom9 was ALL CAPS EXCITED about her viewing experience:

I SAW IT! I SAW IT!!!!! My 20-year old daughter and I got to enjoy our first in-person rocket launch tonight. SO FREAKING COOL!!!!! We're out in Charles Town, WV, and saw it rise above the mountain ridge, and got to see the second burn too. EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!!

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.
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Andrea Peterson | September 7, 2013