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Re: Wikipedia and Tor - a solution in the works?

loki tiwaz wrote:
> Banning a set of ip addresses is an ignorant and futile method of
> ensuring security. 

I urge you to think about this more thoroughly.  Banning sets of ip
addresses has proven, in our case, to be a highly effective and
practical method of dealing with problems.  This is an empirical fact.

I think that what you are overlooking is that absolute security is not
in any way needed for the control of trolling.  All that is needed is to
raise the costs of trolling while maintaining or lowering the costs of
doing good.

> trolls could set up a number of tor exit nodes,
> modify their tor client to select exit nodes from their range of tor
> exit nodes in their control, and have the tor nodes only wake up when a
> special code is sent with the packet which signifies their use, and then
> you have a situation where ip addresses which are not in the regular tor
> exit node cloud can proxy tor connections and then just as suddenly
> disappear from the tor cloud and thus bypass the ip blocking protection
> without stopping the user from using tor.

Yes, and trolls could do a lot of things, but those things are expensive
in terms of time and trouble, and so mostly they don't.

Most homes have front door locks.  And they have glass.  So, thieves can
easily break the glass, reach through, and unlock the door.
Nonetheless, front door locks are an effective means of security not
because they are perfect, but because they raise the "cost" in some
important ways.  (You have to break glass, which someone might hear.
You have to break glass, which someone might see you doing.  If someone
is in the house, you can't sneak in without them knowing, etc.)

So, yes, I'm sure if Roger Dingledine or some similar genius happened to
want to troll Wikipedia effectively, he could.  Fine.  We aren't worried
about people as smart as that, we're worried about idiots.  Idiots
aren't going to reprogram Tor nodes to "wake up when a special code is
sent" and all of that.

We aren't talking about bank-level security.  If some vandal does manage
to vandalize a Wikipedia page, well --- uhhhh, actually, that's quite
easy to do, anyone can do it -- and we just revert it.

> ultimately the onus rests on the website to come to grips with the fact
> that tor is just one of many ways to protect source ip address, and
> there is many ways to compromise this. the only protection is strong
> authentication systems and smart user registration systems.

It may or may not be true that the only _absolute_ methods are those.

But we are talking about practical methods of deterrence, and that's a
different matter completely.