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Re: tor and p2p

Thus spake Robert Hogan (robert@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx):

> > There's lots of work left before Tor is in a position for most users
> > to be servers.
> >
> > http://wiki.noreply.org/noreply/TheOnionRouter/TorFAQ#EverybodyAServer
> >
> > Hope that helps,
> > --Roger
> My hosting provider blackholed my mail for a 24 hour period so I've had to 
> read all the replies on the archive.
> Thanks for the links and input, though I did get one or two responses which 
> misinterpreted me as suggesting the current tor network be used for anon p2p. 
> Perish the thought!

Yeah, I'm going to say that I2P is much better suited to this than
Tor, especially when you're talking about creating a new network
anyway. For as much bashing as poor jrandom takes on this list and the
wiki, I think he deserves a bit of praise for the fabulous job of
software engineering he has done with I2P. The code is clean,
flexible, and elegant bordering on sexy. It also exports Java Socket
compatible interfaces that Java apps can readily use to be ported over
(and there are python and I think C bindings as well). This has
enabled the pretty straight-forward port of the Phex gnutella client,
the Azureus plugin, and a native I2P bittorrent client I2PSnark.

Not to mention the vast bulk of I2P performance tuning and development
effort is focused on making their hidden service-like features work
well, where as Tor only devotes minimal effort to this component,
focusing instead on relaying to the external Internet. Plus I2P has
configurable path lengths built into the GUI allowing you to sacrifice
anonymity in certain applications to boost performance (either as a
client or server).

However, as was pointed out by enigma, any P2P mix network is going to
suffer a lot more at the lack of residential upstream than normal P2P.
In fact, if you use the standard pathlen of 3, any hidden
service-style system is going to only have 1/6 of the total bandwidth
a normal P2P system would have :(

(I fear that this residential limit will likely continue to the point
where the ratio is only sufficient to get ACKS back for the downstream
channel... Doesn't anyone ever have to email/upload large files to
work or email vids to friends? Maybe there will eventually be demand 
for this not to take aeons...)

> One final dumb question. The torify-ing wiki says:
> "BitTorrent is already using a mechanism similiar to Tor to communicate with 
> other peers. "
> Is this referring to DHT? Is it really that similar?

Yes, this is absolutely correct... In the degenerate case where there
is only 1 tor network per torrent, and you were sufficiently
inebriated enough to handwave cells into the same abstract concept as
file segments, they are the same!

Oh, and also sometimes bittorrent encrypts traffic. Plus they both
use the Internets to communicate between peers! So really there is no
difference. (Who wrote this garbage? ;)

Mike Perry
Mad Computer Scientist
fscked.org evil labs