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Re: Reducing relays = reducing anonymity ? Tortunnel.

On Wed, May 19, 2010 at 1:48 PM, Sebastian Hahn <mail@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>> Is tortunnel evil since it maybe hacks Tor-cirucits to reduce the number
>> of relays ?
> Yes, unfortunately quite a few people use it.
> It hurts the network by endangering exit node operators, and
> by completely ignoring any of the load balancing that happens
> in normal Tor.

I agree with most of what you have had to say, though, this gets to
the heart of why its not just "bad for you" but "abusive to the
community". However, I am not sure that I understand how this is the

Certainly there is a certain amount of sense to the idea that
tortunnel traffic may use another system that focuses more on speed if
tortunnel was unavailable. However, an assumption is an assumption and
I am not sure how much I buy the truth of it.

Is there an argument for the problem beyond this? What load balancing
mechanisms is it ignoring? Is this ignorance a symptom of what it
tries to do, or a symptom of ignorant design (ie just plain ignoring
network information that it is the client's job to respect?).

I ask for two reasons. The first is logical accuracy, what its trying
to do, while bad for user anonymity, doesn't, on its face, seem like a
real problem for tor exit node runners. The second is that I have
considered writting a client myself (I have some things that I want to
play with that is a bit beyond what the current client can do... like
rendezvous nodes that don't publish in the public directory) and I
wouldn't want to end up being considered an abuser

>> Where is the security/anonymity reduction since tortunnel also uses
>> Tor ?
> Anonymity is entirely gone.

A bit overstated but, not far off. It is as anonymous as any single
hop relay. Also, since it tries to emulate tor traffic to trick the
node, well, if you were running a node (even a non-exit), I would
think that tortunnel traffic would be very hard to distinguish from
non-tortunnel. Of course... this wouldn't help if speed is your goal.

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