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Re: [tor-talk] Tor Relay Smartphone App

From the listing:

"A small and exquisite shape fills the workspace with beauty, while
enabling you to enjoy life with speedy data and share worldwide

I totally want one now. I am all for worldwide splendidness.

I think a super worthy project might be to design and sell a minimum
spec/size/power/price box pre-loaded with tor relay software. It looks like
there are a ton of companies out there that make such systems, so it could
work like this:

1. Figure out the minimum specs required to run a good tor node, now and in
the near future.

2. Create a disk image of a free operating system that boots and tries to
run the best node it can with whatever hardware it happens to have. It
might also try to upgrade and apply security patches to the operating
system and get the latest version of tor.

3. Raise as much money for the project as possible. We shall assume that we
are able to raise 1 hojillion US dollars.

4. Spam computer manufacturers with the specs from #1, the image from #2,
and a piece of paper that says "1 hojillion dollars!!!!!" on it. If they're
interested (which they all will be for such a spectacular sum of money)
they can send back a bid which consists of the specs and design of a box
they can make, how many they can make for 1 hojillion dollars, and how long
it will take them. Manufacturers can be chosen on the basis of
manufacturing capability, suitability of boxes they already make, and
ideological compatibility.

5. Everyone who donated money in #3 votes for the best bid from #4.
Whichever reputable manufacturer made the best bid gets the hojillion
dollars. Once the super-cute dedicated tor boxes are ready, they get sent
out to everyone who donated in #3. If there are fewer boxes than donators,
they get assigned by lottery. (Or donators can indicate that they want to
contribute, but don't actually need a box.) If there are more boxes than
donators, extra boxes are stored and sent out as an incentive for future
donations, or in such a way that maximizes benefit to the network as a

6. Revel in how awesome the internet is.

If the bids are for an existing design, we would at least get a volume
discount and could slap cool stickers on them. If manufacturers really want
their bid to be accepted (for example for publicity reasons or because they
want to help the project) then the boxes might even have cool custom
features. Also, even if there weren't any custom features, it's possible
that the designer could do something that doesn't cost them much money,
like make a custom case or laser etch the cases with a cool design.

If there is a concern that a single manufacturer might purposefully create
a device with some kind of back-door or other vulnerability, the best N
manufacturers could be chosen, with each getting 1 hojillion / N dollars,
or the boxes could be carefully vetted before going out to users.

I think something like this would be really popular on social media, might
get a lot of people to donate and run nodes that don't already, and would
be a perfect fit for something like kickstarter. I would definitely be
happy to make a donation for such a project. $200 seems cheap if there's a
good chance I would get a cool custom tor box and help the project at the
same time. It seems extra cheap if the box also has additional features,
for example:

* Status light that shows when it's connected to the network, if it's
firewalled, and when there is tor network activity, to debug and give me
the warm fuzzies that I'm helping internet freedom.

* Mode switch to set it to be an exit node, non exit node, or just a
bridge, depending on my comfort level and ISP TOS.

â Bandwidth dial so I can find a setting that doesn't effect my normal
network usage, turn it down when I'm playing WoW, max it out so it
saturates my connection while I'm on vacation, or keep it at medium for
normal usage.

* Has a private wifi hotspot so I can use it as a local anonymized bridge
to the net.

* Has a rate-limited pubic wifi hotspot to let anyone else browse the net
if they happen to nearby. (Being able to turn this on and off by the user
would of course be key.) This would also provide nice plausible deniability
in case a ne'er do well were to do something bad with my network connection.

* Is carefully configured to only route traffic to and from the public
internet if I put it on my local network behind a firewall.

* I can ssh into it with a provided root password (unique per box), so I
can also use it for whatever else I want.

I think all these features are actually doable without too much work. In
fact, there could be a mirror bid process to solicit disk images with all
the extra features and good usability from open source OS distributions. If
I were a hardware maker I would definitely want to be associated with the
boxes, and I were a free OS distribution, especially one for security,
performance, and privacy conscious users, I would definitely want to
produce the pre-loaded disk image. Also, both the hardware and software
makers might have an additional incentive to produce a quality product, if
their name is going to be associated with it.

On Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 11:03 AM, Griffin Boyce <griffin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

> Took me a second to find the tiny server I was thinking of:
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856119098
> That plus a 2.5" HDD, plus an 8GB ram stick, will come in under $200 for a
> pretty awesome relay (includes integrated 2.5ghz cpu).
> Griffin Boyce wrote:
>>   But to answer your actual question: because we each only have a
>> finite amount of time and can't respond to every thread.  As for what
>> to run a relay on, there are very small servers that run about $100
>> that get the job done.
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