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Re: Marketing Tor (Was Re: For those using Tor with windows)

On Wed, 2005-11-16 at 10:02, Jeffrey F. Bloss wrote:

> It's not so much a matter of using the software for profit as it 
> is using the resources donated by what amounts to a collection 
> of "hobbyists" for profit. 

I misunderstood you.  My impression was you have issues with someone
profiting through the use of GPL'd software, not someone profiting by
appropriating other peoples' bandwidth.

I wonder what it would cost.  I pay $0.155 per gigabyte transferred if I
use my whole allocation; this includes my hardware.  So if a user puts a
gigabyte through a 3-node circuit, my provider probably charges it as 6
gigabytes (each node has "in" traffic and "out" traffic) plus some
overhead.  Let's say 7 gigabytes, that comes to $1.083 per anonymous
end-to-end gigabyte.

If I were starting a business of this type [although I will NOT, as I am
too busy], I might consider $29.99 per month with a 10 GB cap.  Cost of
goods sold, $10.83, and gross profit $19.16.  Or a pay-as-you-go deal
with "tokens", although I like the "subscription" concept.

The general public might not squeeze an extra $30 into their online
budget.  But I know one or more people who are eccentric and paranoid
enough, they would be happy to sign up.  That said, trust is an issue
and they would need to trust the provider.

> Call me anal retentive if you like, but I see tapping into the
> existing Tor network for profit as ethically abhorrent.

My choice of words was "respectfully disagree".  :)

But here is an interesting design issue.  Many have asked how to
increase the number of volunteers.  Now there are a couple of kinds of
volunteers--some pay the bills using personal funds and can do whatever
they want (e.g. me), and some are accountable to others.

What if the volunteers (at least those who are free to) could choose to
collect a toll?  The DirServers could say, "toll node"... "free node"...
pick what you would like.

I'm quite content donating the gigabytes I can afford, but I could
supply a lot more bandwidth if some of that were sold.  And I know
people whose time and/or traffic demands would inspire them to pay for
their service.