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Re: [tor-talk] Tor and P2P

On 9/26/12, meh. <meh@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> After implementing the torchat protocol and seeing how bad it is, but
> how nice the idea is, I started thinking it would be cool to have a
> more general protocol for P2P use through hidden services.
> My question is, how would it scale and what would be the implications
> of such a system (every user would be a hidden service and would be
> constantly connected to other hidden services it wants to interact
> with)?

DO NOT use implement peer-to-peer software that way.  You will make
your users more vulnerable to some attacks, and thrash the HS
directory system excessively, and probably overload the users' Tor
client processes to the point that they start pounding on the Tor
network in general (see https://bugs.torproject.org/1307 for one
failure mode).

Some parts of the Tor hidden service protocol can be used for
peer-to-peer communication, but that would require new client-side
protocols (for communication between the application and the Tor
client), as well as an overhaul of the hidden service code.  SOCKS and
Tor's current control-port protocol are not suitable for this.

> Would it be a good addition to the Tor world to have a P2P base and a
> set of standardized extensions (private chat, groupchat, identities,
> address book, broadcasting, ...) or would it be a hindrance?

Whether those protocols are âstandardizedâ in any way or not, they
need to be designed and/or reviewed by people who understand Tor well,
and implemented competently.

Robert Ransom
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