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Re: [tor-talk] Tor users in US up by nearly 100,000 this month

Hi Ryan,

Ryan Carboni:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebookcorewwwi.onion
> I find it hard to believe that you cannot make use of any informal
> relationships to make a meatspace query on valid Tor usage estimates.

Can you expand on what you mean by this? What sort of "informal"
relationships are you considering? If I decide to phone up a friend at
Akamai or Cloudflare, there's no guarantee that CDNs like these keep
statistics about Tor users (and differentiate between bots and humans),
or that they'd want to share this. Maybe they think it would give their
competitors information about their business e.g. its size (whether
that's a valid concern is another matter entirely).

As for the terminology "meatspace", I don't think it's useful to
differentiate between "online" and "offline". The internet is life. It's
a matter of language but I do think it's important.

If I wanted to do it as a research project, the information would
probably need to be given in a more formal manner by these CDNs, or
collected by oneself. I think it would be interesting to devise such an
experiment, and work out a way to differentiate between bots. This
entire thread should give you plenty of ideas - I encourage you to make
something out of these questions!

> People do not exist in isolation, and this meme that no private sector
> individual has knowledge on Tor ignores that Tor's often outdated
> documentation itself makes RTFM invalid.

I wouldn't call it a meme. While people don't exist in isolation,
whether they want to give up information about their usage (or would be
more or less likely to go on sites explicitly advertising they're
measuring whether they're a bot or not) is another matter entirely. I'm
honestly not sure about the ethics of measuring this, either.

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