[clug] Tor and other things that go bump in the night

Keith Goggin keith.goggin at bigpond.com
Sat Oct 2 03:07:07 MDT 2010

Hi List,

On Thursday morning last I noticed what seemed to me to be a DNS lookup 
failure on my Bigpond Wireless Broadband connection. The account remained 
unusable until Friday night even though my 7.2 Home Network Gateway passed all 
diagnostic tests and could establish a link to the remote tower. 

When using Firefox, URLs would not resolve with the 'Server Not Found' message 
yet when I typed in the IP address of www.google.com.au ( the 
Google Australia page loaded OK.

My Email Client stopped working with 'unknown host: securemail.bigpond.com' 
and my VOIP box also died.

However I also noticed that switching from Bigponds 'Automatic Assigned DNS' 
to a public or third party DSN server did not fix the problem. Which led me to 
suspect that Telstra/Bigpond were experimenting with something upstream of the 
DNS server possibly Conroys Filter.

I know from bitter experience there is no way to get any useful response from 
Bigpond's help desk particularly if you are running linux and this time was no 
exception, 'nothing wrong our end it must be you, you fool' or words to that 
effect in broken English.

So I thought it time to 'bight the bullet' and implement a strategy to bypass 
the dreaded filter which led me to try Tor/Polipo.

I'm running Linux Mint 9 and I think I have everything installed OK and when I 
click the Torbutton plugin in Firefox (V3.6.9) it changes from red 'Tor 
Disabled' to green 'Tor enabled' OK but can't then display the web page 

I've replaced /etc/pilipo/config with 
scripts/config/polipo.conf> but still no joy.

/var/log/tor/log ends with

Oct 02 13:33:17.136 [notice] Tor has successfully opened a circuit. Looks like 
client functionality is working.
Oct 02 13:33:17.136 [notice] Bootstrapped 100%: Done.
Oct 02 14:13:49.633 [notice] No Tor server allows exit to [scrubbed]:80. 

This last line looks like the problem.

Is anyone using Tor/Pilipo on Ubuntu/Linux Mint 9 who is willing to help?


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