TorIM and TorChat

virtual_master
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TorIM and TorChat

Post by virtual_master » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:06 pm

http://arstechnica.com/information-tech ... ying-eyes/
The Tor Foundation started a Tor Instant Messaging Bundle project. It would be nice and helpful for the people if it could support Namecoin IDs.
Update with a link to the Tor IM project site:
https://trac.torproject.org/projects/to ... nsorO/TIMB


The same can be said about the TorChat which is an independent open source project under GPL3. TorChat addresses are very cryptic(onion addresses) and difficult to memorize so it would be helpful for the people if the address could be fetched from a Namecoin ID by an enhanced TorChat..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TorChat
As the IDs are onion addresses I am asking if it would be possible to simply forward to it from a .bit address with the freespeach addon from Biolizard and pull/push the messages from the browser(to the TorChat IDs) similar with Cryptocat. Here surely some additional enhancement would be needed to the addon.
Last edited by virtual_master on Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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biolizard89
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Re: TorIM and TorChat

Post by biolizard89 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:46 am

virtual_master wrote:http://arstechnica.com/information-tech ... ying-eyes/
The Tor Foundation started a Tor Instant Messaging Bundle project. It would be nice and helpful for the people if it could support Namecoin IDs.

The same can be said about the TorChat which is an independent open source project under GPL3. TorChat addresses are very cryptic(onion addresses) and difficult to memorize so it would be helpful for the people if the address could be fetched from a Namecoin ID by an enhanced TorChat..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TorChat
As the IDs are onion addresses I am asking if it would be possible to simply forward to it from a .bit address with the freespeach addon from Biolizard and pull/push the messages from the browser(to the TorChat IDs) similar with Cryptocat. Here surely some additional enhancement would be needed to the addon.
I thought about using .bit for TorChat addresses a while back; I think it's generally preferable to use id/ for this rather than d/. This is mainly because TorChat embeds its own Tor daemon (so using FreeSpeechMe will trigger weird behavior), and TorChat addresses are semantically more similar to IM usernames rather than domain names; the fact that it can be transformed to a .onion URL is an implementation detail. For example, I can imagine a meta-IM client where you enter an id/ name and it looks for all of your IM usernames, and sees which ones are online -- that's not doable via d/.
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domob
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Re: TorIM and TorChat

Post by domob » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:49 am

Yes, I also thought about TorChat some time ago. In principle, it is a very elegant solution both for anonymity problems as well as headaches caused by NATs. Namecoin does naturally complement TorChat. I also believe that id/ is better suited than d/. Do you think we should contact them? I can do that (except someone has already experience with TorChat and can discuss with them better).
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biolizard89
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Re: TorIM and TorChat

Post by biolizard89 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:00 am

domob wrote:Yes, I also thought about TorChat some time ago. In principle, it is a very elegant solution both for anonymity problems as well as headaches caused by NATs. Namecoin does naturally complement TorChat. I also believe that id/ is better suited than d/. Do you think we should contact them? I can do that (except someone has already experience with TorChat and can discuss with them better).
My only concern is that the Tor people dislike TorChat because it's violating the Tor trademark policy. Given that I'm in the process of applying for GSoC at Tor, I'm nervous about giving the Tor people an impression that we're endorsing TorChat's usage of the Tor name. I'm not sure if I'm being overly paranoid about this... thoughts?
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domob
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Re: TorIM and TorChat

Post by domob » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:23 am

biolizard89 wrote:
domob wrote:Yes, I also thought about TorChat some time ago. In principle, it is a very elegant solution both for anonymity problems as well as headaches caused by NATs. Namecoin does naturally complement TorChat. I also believe that id/ is better suited than d/. Do you think we should contact them? I can do that (except someone has already experience with TorChat and can discuss with them better).
My only concern is that the Tor people dislike TorChat because it's violating the Tor trademark policy. Given that I'm in the process of applying for GSoC at Tor, I'm nervous about giving the Tor people an impression that we're endorsing TorChat's usage of the Tor name. I'm not sure if I'm being overly paranoid about this... thoughts?
Yes, I heard about that issue. I have no idea about how serious it is, though, and whether or not TorChat is also considered "insecure" or not properly audited or something like that. I like the general idea, though.

BTW, good luck with GSoC! It was always fun for me (but since I have my PhD position now which is a formal 3/4 employment, I don't want to do GSoC in addition). You could propose to implement a TorChat-based system incorporating Namecoin. :P (But seriously, are there any projects where you could do something also about Namecoin?)
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biolizard89
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Re: TorIM and TorChat

Post by biolizard89 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:33 am

domob wrote:Yes, I heard about that issue. I have no idea about how serious it is, though, and whether or not TorChat is also considered "insecure" or not properly audited or something like that. I like the general idea, though.
To my knowledge no security issues are known in TorChat. I've heard some people claim that it puts a large load on the Tor network by creating large amounts of hidden services, but I'm not sure how serious that problem is. I don't think it's received as much auditing as things that The Tor Project works on. But I generally think it's of reasonable trustworthiness from a security perspective; the main reason Tor dislikes it is just the trademark issue. (Supposedly lots of newbies call Tor tech support asking for help with TorChat because they think it's made by Tor; same thing happened with TorMail before it got shut down.)
domob wrote:BTW, good luck with GSoC! It was always fun for me (but since I have my PhD position now which is a formal 3/4 employment, I don't want to do GSoC in addition). You could propose to implement a TorChat-based system incorporating Namecoin. :P (But seriously, are there any projects where you could do something also about Namecoin?)
Thanks! :) I'm currently working on two project proposals to Tor, one of which involves Namecoin. I'm under the impression that Tor GSoC slots are fairly competitive, so we'll see if I get in.
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virtual_master
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Re: TorIM and TorChat

Post by virtual_master » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:59 pm

domob wrote: I also believe that id/ is better suited than d/.
I agree that the id/ is more elegant then the d/ solution and probably also easier to implement but they don't exclude each other and the other solution has also some advantages. The id/ solution also depends on them if they want to include such an enhancement in the official version. The browser plugin solution(with d/ or without) is not relying on their agreement.
:) So I will say to the former d/ option the browser plugin solution, which can be also id/ based and without .bit resolving.
For the former id/ option would be best the TorChat enhancement option name.
biolizard89 wrote: My only concern is that the Tor people dislike TorChat because it's violating the Tor trademark policy. Given that I'm in the process of applying for GSoC at Tor, I'm nervous about giving the Tor people an impression that we're endorsing TorChat's usage of the Tor name. I'm not sure if I'm being overly paranoid about this... thoughts?
If this is a valid concern then only for the id/ solution not for the browser plugin(d/ ?).
Let us compare with YM. Let us say Yahoo is in dispute with his Yahoo messenger with Microsoft and I don't want to get involved but I want to support his protocol because some of my friends are using YM. I can create something like pidgin which support the YM protocol. Then I don't need to get the agreement of Yahoo and also don't make angry Microsoft.
If the Tor Foundation would support Namecoin id/ resolving in his IM project only if it is not in TorChat then the Tor IM support would be preferable.
domob wrote: Do you think we should contact them? I can do that (except someone has already experience with TorChat and can discuss with them better).
I think you would be best suited for that because you are the ID expert by us. You could also ask an eventually Tor IM support for IDs by the Tor team and speak technical details if necessary.
biolizard89 wrote: I thought about using .bit for TorChat addresses a while back; I think it's generally preferable to use id/ for this rather than d/. This is mainly because TorChat embeds its own Tor daemon (so using FreeSpeechMe will trigger weird behavior), and TorChat addresses are semantically more similar to IM usernames rather than domain names; the fact that it can be transformed to a .onion URL is an implementation detail. For example, I can imagine a meta-IM client where you enter an id/ name and it looks for all of your IM usernames, and sees which ones are online -- that's not doable via d/.
Hmm.
The basic idea is using the browser to chat to Torchat addresses with Namecoin IDs using the same protocol but not the same client.(the browser is more available and more comfortable for the users)
The plugin can be a different one then freespeach and a .bit domain is also not necessary. The plugin could eventually accept as input an id/ and use the same local blockchain as freespeach to fetch the .onion TorChat address.
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virtual_master
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Re: TorIM and TorChat

Post by virtual_master » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:24 am

I update the original post with a link to the Tor IM project site:
https://trac.torproject.org/projects/to ... nsorO/TIMB
It seems that the development will go very fast. After their road-map it should be ready this month without OTR:
https://trac.torproject.org/projects/to ... oadmapTIMB
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domob
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Re: TorIM and TorChat

Post by domob » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:36 am

virtual_master wrote:I update the original post with a link to the Tor IM project site:
https://trac.torproject.org/projects/to ... nsorO/TIMB
It seems that the development will go very fast. After their road-map it should be ready this month without OTR:
https://trac.torproject.org/projects/to ... oadmapTIMB
I have not looked at the details, but as I understand it, they are using Instantbird, which is based on libpurple. Not sure how OTR is implemented by them, but we could try to contact them about OTR verification using Namecoin. There exists already a proof-of-concept fork of the Pidgin OTR plugin which works well for me so far. What do you think?
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virtual_master
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Re: TorIM and TorChat

Post by virtual_master » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:12 pm

domob wrote:
virtual_master wrote:I update the original post with a link to the Tor IM project site:
https://trac.torproject.org/projects/to ... nsorO/TIMB
It seems that the development will go very fast. After their road-map it should be ready this month without OTR:
https://trac.torproject.org/projects/to ... oadmapTIMB
I have not looked at the details, but as I understand it, they are using Instantbird, which is based on libpurple. Not sure how OTR is implemented by them, but we could try to contact them about OTR verification using Namecoin. There exists already a proof-of-concept fork of the Pidgin OTR plugin which works well for me so far. What do you think?
Yes. They will use Instantbird with libpurple but they intend to remove libpurple dependencies.
Instantbird doesn't have OTR support. OTR will be added later.
Remove libpurple dependence

This is a trivial amount of work and changes to the build to support it would be accepted upstream. They are already considering moving libpurple, and the added protocols it supports, to an add-on for reasons of licensing/code quality. JS implementations of the following protocols exist: XMPP, Google Talk, Facebook, IRC, Twitter, with Yahoo landing soon and AIM/ICQ started but further away. (#10937)

Update from FOSDEM’14: It should be possible to build Instantbird completely without libpurple already. It will already support IRC and XMPP. The only broken feature of the JS implementation of XMPP is resolving of SRV records. Something Tor does not do anyway.
OTR support

Instantbird currently lacks support for OTR. Two pieces are needed here: a suitable OTR implementation (#10210), and an interface between the client and that library (essentially, the role that pidgin-otr plays) (#10938).

To get started, for the OTR library, a js-ctypes wrapper of libotr should be used in conjunction with the message observer API. ​Code from a few years ago towards this end has been written but probably needs to be dusted off and extended. An effort is underway at Mozilla to implement OTR in JS using NSS, which could be dropped in as a replacement. A ​patch has been submitted but it looks far from complete, so I wouldn't expect it anytime soon. When asked, they said it won't be ready for *a while*. Should the NSS implementation fail to materialize entirely, they would still be willing to take the ctypes wrapper and libotr, as it doesn't present any licensing issues. In his analysis, Mike suggested converting the ctypes wrapper to an XPCOM wrapper but it's unclear why that's preferable.

The front-end side seems like a larger undertaking. This involves not only the interaction with the message observer API but handling the quirks in the various protocols (think /me in IRC), authentication including SMP, and importing and storing long-term keys.

On the bright side, the Instantbird team seems eager for OTR support and this work will most likely be upstreamed.
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