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Re: (micro)payments for anonymous routing in Tor?

On Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 3:33 AM, Daniel Williams <kwispace@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Besides all the possible threats on anonymity which are there if you have
> to pay for something, (how do you actually pay for something anonymous
> without coming close to money laundering?): which entity shall collect the
> money and re-distribute it to the operators? How do you deal with
> international
> money transfers? And (as somebody else already pointed out): how do
> you assure that everything remains fair, i.e. that paid traffic is
> prioritized.

The Jondonym project seems to be accepting anonymous payments without
huge hassles [1]   It also seems likely that there will always be SOME
sort of anonymous way to pay.  Cash isnt going to disappear anytime in
the near future  ;)

How to ensure that paid traffic is prioritized is a good question.  It
might not even matter whether they prioritized or not as long as the
speeds were good.  If clients selected servers based on speed, then
servers with higher bandwidths could charge more, and it would be in
their interest to prefer paying clients, because they would gain more
that way.  Also, there's no significant incentive for a relay to NOT
prioritize payed traffic, because they don't really gain anything by
doing that, do they?

However, if Tor clients started selecting paths based on speed and not
anonymity, it might introduce new attacks.  The anonymity issues that
this scheme faces seem very similar to those mentioned here [2].  They
don't seem impossible, but they are complicated.

> All these academic publications make is building castles on sand - the most
> difficult part is actually to have a  working system for international
> payments
> which has a small enough overhead that it can be used for these kind of
> transactions
> AND is privacy friendly AND is accepted.

That's true.  I think it would be neat to see someone implement it.

> I guess not. There is already a Tor network clone which is for paying
> customers
> only.

Are you referring to this [3]?  I wonder what ever happened with that...

 - Josh

[1]  https://www.jondos.de/en/payment
[2]  http://www.torproject.org/svn/trunk/doc/contrib/incentives.txt
[3]  http://archives.seul.org/or/talk/Nov-2005/msg00222.html