On Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 09:13:30PM -0000, johnyju...@sigaint.org wrote:
> > My PC's RT clock might drift by a few seconds each week
> Actually, it's not even that bad.  I'm sure I've fired up motherboards or
> laptops that haven't been touched in years, and their clocks were accurate
> within a minute.
> So there's no need for synchronizing your time so frequently.
> I just read that NTP apparently adjust the frequency of polling based upon
> how fast your clock seems to be drifting, which is admirable.
> http://www.ntp.org/ntpfaq/NTP-s-algo.htm
> But the poll interface ranges from 64 to 1024 seconds; even at the high
> end, that seems unnecessarily frequent from the very small amount of clock
> drift I've experienced.
> But flipping to a GPS-based source instantly eliminates those concerns.
> Question: for what purpose do we require super-accurate clocks in the
> first place?  There are some rolling password algorithms based upon time,
> and certificates handling will get cranky if you're months or years off,
> but other than that, what is the necessity of keeping a PC within seconds
> of the correct time?
> (On tails, when it starts up, it does a time synchronization, claiming
> it's required for Tor purposes.  Anyone know the nature of that?)
> JJ

Like many encrypted tunnel setups, Tor requires both ends to have similar
date/time.  You can easily test this by manually setting to the wrong
time, and watching the Tor fail.

Tor also checks your local date/time against the consensus status
document, and will warn you if it's off. If it's too far, you won't get

Connecting to Hidden services , I think, requires that local date/time
be within 60 mins of the service provider.

Tails has a mechanism to set local time. Whonix has a similar mechanism,
also available in Whonix-Qubes.


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