ITP Camp 2022

Let's peel an onion! A short introduction to Tor

Session Leaders: lizz thabet

Tags: #internet #onion #networking #network #browser #privacy

Created By: lizz thabet

Some of us might know about Tor through hearing about something called "the dark web." Outside of how it's portrayed in popular media, there's a lot to learn about Tor, the onion routing network that's built with privacy and security in mind.

This session will focus on demystifying the technical aspects of how onion routing works and exploring how it can be used to host browser-based art. If you're curious about alternative ways to engage with and share content over networks, then this session is for you!

We'll briefly cover introductory concepts in networking, how onion sites work, and then do our own version of the Tor Project's onion service demo (onion link). No experience is necessary!

There will be two demo options for you to try: one more beginner and one more intermediate. If you're comfortable running terminal commands and navigating the command line, I'd recommend the intermediate demo. I'll walk through both demos during the session.

Regardless of what demo you'd like to run, you'll need:

For the basic demo, you'll also need to download and install OnionShare (onion link).

For the intermediate demo, you'll need:

  • The tor binary that will let you run an onion service locally. See installation instructions (onion link) for each OS.
  • A way to run a web server locally, like python or nginx

You're also welcome to watch the demo without running it locally or pair up with a neighbor who has these tools installed.