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Re: Hidden service question

On Wed, Mar 22, 2006 at 12:42:32PM -0500, Dan Mahoney, System Admin wrote:
> On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 circut@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> The webserver will see the IP of the "exit node" which is usually an IP on 
> the same server.  Running a hidden service gives you no more insight into 
> a TOR user's identity than being a standard node.

Right conclusion, incomplete reason.  Nodes with hidden services do get
to construct a Tor circuit to a rendezvous point, so they know that
point and may potentially have some control over the choice of that
point, but clients accessing hidden services also construct Tor circuits
to this rendezvous point, so provided that Tor works, neither party
learns the address of the other.

Indeed, this means that packets between a client and the hidden service
may traverse seven hosts, not just three.  Perhaps there are some
reasonable "middle ground" options:

- Server anonymity only: a way for clients to access hidden services by
just connecting directly to the rendezvous point (for situations in
which the client does not care about his/her own anonymity)

- Client anonymity only: a way for servers to advertise themselves
without anonymity (e.g. a web service running at http://router.exit/,
for situations in which the service does not want anonymity per se but
wants people to connect via Tor, perhaps for the purpose of providing
consistent reachable service from behind a NAT / firewall / dynamic


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