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Re: [tor-talk] Neal Krawetz's abcission proposal, and Tor's reputation

On 30 August 2017 at 13:15, Alec Muffett <alec.muffett@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On 30 August 2017 at 10:51, Jon Tullett <jon.tullett@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> Blog post refers:
>> http://www.hackerfactor.com/blog/index.php?/archives/773-
>> Tor-and-the-Perfect-Storm.html
>> Leaving aside the accusations of bias in the first part, what is the
>> view of the proposal to force hidden services to rotate addresses?

Hi Alec!

> Simply, it's as short-sighted as any other perspective that sees Onion
> networking as an anonymity tool, rather than as a better-than-mere-TCP+SSL
> mechanism for providing communications privacy, integrity, availability and
> assurance.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

With a devil's advocate hat on for a moment, two things strike me.

First is that the technical advantages of Tor are not in question, and
raising technical arguments in what quickly becomes an ethical debate
tends to polarize positions further. And that doesn't help the
reputation issue, though I'm still not sure that's as big a deal as
some may think.

> Practical example: the point of the Facebook onion site is to provide the
> above-listed four benefits - plus a better quality of service - to people
> who choose to access Facebook over Tor; the point is to free the
> communications path from mediation of any form. To see this as a threat, or
> to argue that "well maybe $THIS_SITE is okay, but $THAT_SITE should not be
> afforded such protection" - is to call for censorship.

And yet Facebook itself actively engages in censorship, and cooperates
with law enforcement when legally required to do so. I know Facebook
corporate is acutely aware of the complexity of juggling
differently-defined (if not outright conflicting) legal expectations
of privacy across jurisdictions - providing access through Tor is
clearly not diminishing those obligations. That seems to suggest that
there is scope for middle ground, whatever that may be.

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