Tuesday, March 18, 2014

tor and chromium

Caution: I know using tor with chromium isn't actually a good idea - see [1]. Hopefully that changes in the near future.

Since the Snowden revelations we know that basically everything on the internet is being monitored by the NSA and probably other security agencies. Many times i was thinking what i could do to improve my privacy and i guess tor over chromium is a small step in the right direction.

TOR [2] wasn't something new to me but i never felt to play with it. However now i had a good reason to look at it and make it as easy as possible to use. TOR isn't actual difficult to use - just install, start and setup up the proxy in your favorite browser.
However, i doesn't want it to use it all the time since quite often you have enter captchas in order to enter some sites (i know it's not tor's fault - shame on you google). Furthermore disabling the proxy every time when i wanted to surf without TOR wasn't something which i would call simple. So i created a special shortcut, which not just starts chromium with the tor proxy enabled, but also starts it in incognito mode and as another user.

First install and start tor:
 emerge -av tor  
 rc-update add tor default  
 /etc/init.d/tor start  

Next, set up a new user:
 useradd -m anonymous  

Set the password for the user: (i choose to use a extra password as this means bookmarks in my "tor-browser" are extra secured to others)
 passwd anonymous  

Now create a new shortcut (mine was done via KDE Systemsettings - Shortcuts and Gestures - Custom Shortcut):
 kdesu -u anonymous chromium --incognito --proxy-server="socks://localhost:9050"  

This starts chromium in incognito mode, as user "anonymous" with tor! Bookmarks are stored under the user anonymous and are only available if you start the "tor-browser" or login as user anonymous.

[1] https://www.torproject.org/docs/faq#TBBOtherBrowser
[2] https://www.torproject.org/

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