[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

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

     On Wed, 10 Mar 2010 11:41:00 -0500 Andrew Lewman <andrew@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>On Wed, 10 Mar 2010 11:26:00 +0100, Paul Menzel
><paulepanter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>:on the Tor start page [1] there is a message »Help us reach 5,000
>: relays in 2010!«
>:»I 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.

     The "everyone as a relay" thing has been discussed here in the past
ad nauseam and has ended up opposed every time for very good reasons.  The
"everyone as a bridge" idea ought to fail for the same reasons, but would
have the additional complication of requiring that tor *not* run as a bridge
if it is already running as a relay with a published descriptor.
     One possibility that I don't recall seeing discussed would be to have
all *relays* provide directory service on internal circuits, even if no
DirPort is open.  I'm not at all sure that this would provide any noticeable
improvement in the tor network's performance, but it might also be a fairly
easy change to make.  I would oppose, however, any attempt to require that
clients provide directory or other services.
>In the meanwhile, we need more relays, in particular exit relays, to
>help speed up Tor for everyone.
     In the U.S., at least, that effort would be furthered, I think, by
a publicity campaign identifying ISPs that provide *full* Internet access
to residential accounts, as opposed to ISPs that provide only *partial*
Internet access to residential accounts (e.g., Comcast).  That would help
to provide a marketing advantage to ISPs offering full service over ISPs
that don't.  It might also be worthwhile to start a complaint-to-the-FCC
campaign to report misleading advertising by ISPs that offer only partial
access but market it as "Internet access" as if it were full access.

                                  Scott Bennett, Comm. ASMELG, CFIAG
* Internet:       bennett at cs.niu.edu                              *
* "A well regulated and disciplined militia, is at all times a good  *
* objection to the introduction of that bane of all free governments *
* -- a standing army."                                               *
*    -- Gov. John Hancock, New York Journal, 28 January 1790         *
To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx with
unsubscribe or-talk    in the body. http://archives.seul.org/or/talk/