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Re: [RFC] Campaign ÂBuy/Sponsor a relay.Â

On Wed, 10 Mar 2010 11:26:00 +0100, Paul Menzel
<paulepanter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

:on the Tor start page [1] there is a message ÂHelp us reach 5,000
: relays in 2010!Â
:ÂI guess for people caring about privacy but not wanting/able to set up
:a server themselves can now be told, you can pay 90 pounds a month [for
:10 Mbps] and you will improve the connectivity of the Tor network. [me
:on IRC]

We turn down funding when organizations ask us to run relays on their
behalf.  They have the money, but not the technical skills to run
relays.  The risk to The Tor Project, the non-profit entity, is that we
become a target as we could potentially see a large percentage of Tor
network traffic.  This traffic becomes interesting to law enforcement,
criminal organizations, marketers, and others wanting to enumerate Tor

This same concern is true for the funding organization.  A human rights
organization wanted to run either hundreds of relays or to see their
relay names as the top 10 relays in the Vidalia network map for a
year.  They almost looked at the network map/relay list as a branding
opportunity.  However, controlling relays with that much traffic, even
if the relays are dispersed around the world, would turn them into a
data collection target.  

I encourage a peer to peer model of getting more relays.  Having
individuals run a relay and contribute the bandwidth that makes sense
seems to be a less risky model.  As the risk is spread out amongst
hundreds or thousands of individuals.  This is a more difficult path
than turning lots of money into relays.  Ultimately, I believe this
path is more sustainable in the long-term.  As committed relay
operators run them for their own reasons, not for a paycheck.

Active areas of research are around "everyone as a bridge" and "everyone
as a relay" if the tor client finds itself reachable by the outside
world.  Getting these options correct without screwing users is
difficult.  However, we are making progress.

In the meanwhile, we need more relays, in particular exit relays, to
help speed up Tor for everyone.

Andrew Lewman
The Tor Project
pgp 0x31B0974B

Website: https://www.torproject.org/
Blog: https://blog.torproject.org/
Identi.ca: torproject
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