Verified Commit 39837203 authored by blallo's avatar blallo
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Add a guide to use Thunderbird through Tor

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Configuring Thunderbird to send and receive email via Tor
#### **Context**
While this approach is not recommended by torproject, here we provide a few steps to use Tor to communicate with our mailservers.
This might be a good option in situations where one is not able to access our mailservers directly (for example because of state censorship).
#### **Prerequisite 1: having a running Tor instance on your computer**
Tor is a program that exposes a local proxy to connect to the internet (and also to the network of hidden services). Tor Browser is a
modified flavour of Firefox, crafted to work better with the Tor proxy. It ships with a working Tor proxy. Whenever you turn on Tor Browser,
a local instance of Tor proxy is started.
Nevertheless, you can run Tor proxy independently from the Tor Browser. If you are able to do so, go ahead. Otherwise, to use Thunderbird through
Tor, you will need to first start Tor Browser.
#### **Prerequisite 2: configure the account**
First of all, you need a working Autistici/Inventati email account (if you are not able to access directly our mailservers, and did not verify
if the account is working, just go ahead).
Let us add a new account, click on the main menu, then select `New`, and then `Existing Mail Account...`
Then you will be prompt with a box, where you can put the name you want to display, the email and the password.
Clicking on `Continue` will trigger Thunderbird to search for the mailserver. In case of success the box will appear like this
If the mailservers are not retrieved, just insert these parameters
<table class="table">
<th scope="col" style="text-align: center">protocol</th>
<th scope="col" style="text-align: center">server</th>
<th scope="col" style="text-align: center">port</th>
<th scope="col" style="text-align: center">SSL</th>
<th scope="col" style="text-align: center">authentication</th>
<td scope="col" style="text-align: center">IMAP</th>
<td scope="col" style="text-align: center"></th>
<td scope="col" style="text-align: center">485</th>
<td scope="col" style="text-align: center">STARTTLS</th>
<td scope="col" style="text-align: center">Normal password</th>
<td scope="col" style="text-align: center">SMTP</th>
<td scope="col" style="text-align: center"></th>
<td scope="col" style="text-align: center">587</th>
<td scope="col" style="text-align: center">STARTTLS</th>
<td scope="col" style="text-align: center">Normal password</th>
and modify the username to insert your **full email**, clicking on `Manual config`.
#### **Configure Thunderbird to use Tor as proxy**
Now you should have configured Thunderbird with your A/I account.
Let's modify how Thunderbird connects to the server. Rembember that this is a **global configuration**: **every account** you have on Thunderbird
will be used **through Tor**. Go to the menu, then select `Preferences`, and then again `Preferences`.
In the new windox, select `Advanced` in the left column, then click on the `Network & Disk Space` tab.
On that tab, click `Settings` in the `Connection` section. In the new window, select `Manual proxy configuration` and enter
the `` in the `SOCKS Host` field and, on the same row, `9050` in the `Port` field. Select also `SOCKS v5` below.
Make also sure to tick the `Proxy DNS when using SOCKS v5` box.
#### **Insert the A/I hidden service as mail server**
This last step is not mandatory, but is recommended. Instead of using the aforementioned addresses to connect to the A/I mailservers,
you should use the hidden service version. Indeed, this will connect you to the very same server, but because of how Tor works, its safer
to use the hidden service instead of the ordinary one.
Let's first modify the IMAP server address. Let's right click on the A/I account in the left column. From the drop down menu, select
In the newly opened window, go to `Server Settings`, second entry from above. There, replace `` in the `Server Name` field
with `autinv5q6en4gpf4.onion`. Then, click `Ok` in the bottom right.
To replace the SMTP server address, go to the very last voice in the left column, `Outgoing Server (SMTP)`.
There, select the `` entry in the box and click `Edit`.
In the new window, replace `` in the `Server Name` field with `autinv5q6en4gpf4.onion`
**BEWARE**: the next time you will retrieve the email from the webserver AND the very first time you will send an email using these new configurations,
you will be prompted with an error message like these
**THIS IS RIGHT**, the mailservers still present to you a TLS certificate, but the name of such certificate DOES NOT MATCH the hidden service.
You can safely click on `Confirm Security Exception`, having `Permanently store this exception` flagged. If you want, you can verify that this certificates
bear the ordinary name (i.e. `` for IMAP and `` for SMTP). If you do not accept these _invalid_ certificates, you won't
be able to use our email through Tor. You will need to repeat this operation about every 3 months (such is the validity span of our certificates: we renew
them with such frequency).
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