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[tor-talk] The Tor-BSD Diversity Project


The Tor-BSD Diversity Project is an initiative that seeks to extend the
use of the BSD Unix operating systems in the Tor public anonymity network.

BSD Unix is an open source operating system family noted for its
security and stability. The major BSD projects include FreeBSD, NetBSD
and OpenBSD, with a number of tangential projects including pfSense,
FreeNAS and PC-BSD. BSD software such as OpenSSH is the default
communication tool for innumerable devices on the internet. And BSD
software is renowned for its role in internet operations since its
earliest days.

The Tor Project plays a critical role in anonymity and privacy
solutions. With ever-increasing surveillance and censorhip, Tor is a
vital tool, and the project has grown by leaps-and-bounds since its
origin as a US Naval Labs project in the 1990âs. Hundreds of thousands
rely on Torâs operation in a world filled with threats to anonymity and

While recognizing that the Tor Project is an admirable project that is
open source and well-documented with a vibrant community, we also worry
about the overwhelming GNU/Linux monoculture that is an Achillesâ Heel.
Monocultures in nature are dangerous, as vulnerabilities are held in
common across a broad spectrum. Diversity means single vulnerabilities
are less likely to harm the entire ecosystem. In a global anonymity
network, monocultures are potentially disastrous. A single kernel
vulnerability in GNU/Linux that impacting Tor relays could be
devastating. We want to see a stronger Tor network, and we believe one
critical ingredient for that is operating system diversity.

There are three aspects of the TDPâs approach:

 *  to increase the number of Tor relays running BSDs, focused on the
server/network layer
 *  to develop a solid, Tor-compatible browser easily portable to other
POSIX-based operating systems, focused on the client layer
 *  to engage the broader BSD community about the Tor anonymity network

Currently, the TDP implementation plan includes:

 *  documentation for configuring FreeBSD and OpenBSD relays
 *  the creation of an OpenBSD port for the Tor Browser Bundle
 *  various events for engaging BSD users about Tor, including
birds-of-a-feather sessions and informal meetings

Moritz Bartl
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