[ot] [personal] internet and tor

Karl gmkarl at gmail.com
Thu May 27 01:58:28 PDT 2021

My current internet setup is a custom script I made that goes through
an android phone.  It's a workaround for a number of issues I've had
in the past.

- for some reason phone tethering is giving me speeds on the order of
0.9 -11 KB/s, which is too slow for cloning multiple large code
repositories, archiving logs of insanity, or mirroring distributions
with plans of airgapped work.
- there's a common app for android called 'easytether' but i've found
that app can be a vector for system compromise, and somebody i know
experienced it as a channel for network distribution similar to my
mysterious speed cap

- leaving tor running locally for extended time has sometimes been a
way to make sure a system has an issue, for me

Instead, I've installed orbot on my phone, and I use adb's tcp
forwarding to use the phone as a tor client.  This is so cool!  It
reminds me of when the privacy advocates at tor used to recommend
connecting your phone to your computer to isolate domains, although
the setup is different in a lot of ways.

Of course, my adb conneciton cuts on a reliable basis, but now
restarting it is as easy as replugging the phone and rerunning a
1-line script to forward the port.

Here's my script for forwarding orbot to a connected computer:
The command is simply "adb forward tcp:9050 tcp:9050"

To run shell scripts without setting tor up transparently, I'm using
proxychains4, which is far more reliable than torify and just as easy
to use: https://github.com/rofl0r/proxychains-ng

I started building adb as a standalone system to handle the
disconnection issues and make some work towards an app other people
could use.  I stopped work on this, but it's just a build system and
it's nearly complete.  The dependencies are all included as subtrees
so only 1 git clone would be needed: https://gitlab.com/xloem/tether

The tether repository recommends cloning the repository "shallow", but
people could also be aware that git has a new option nowadays referred
to as "partial cloning", where objects are downloaded from the server
when needed, rather than all at once.

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