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[tor-dev] Hidden Service statistics coming soon!

Hello people,

for the past few months we've been working on getting better
statistics for hidden services [0].

The questions we are trying to answer are "Approximately how many
hidden services are there?" and "Approximately how much traffic of the
Tor network is going to hidden services?".

We can answer these questions by collecting statistics from Tor
relays: specifically, from hidden service directories (HSDirs) and
rendezvous points. In our design, these relays first obfuscate the
statistics before publishing them, so that the numbers themselves are
not entirely precise [1]. We specify how exactly these statistics are
collected in proposal 238-hs-relay-stats.txt [2].

We have also developed a Tor branch [3] implementing that proposal
that people can run on their relays to start collecting hidden service
statistics. The corresponding trac ticket is #13192 if you want to
follow the developer discussion [4].

Our plan is that in approximately a week we will ask volunteers to run
the branch. Then in a month from now we will use those stats to write
a blog post about the approximate size of Tor hidden services network
and the approximate traffic it's pushing.

Till then please review our design and code and provide us with feedback :)


George Kadianakis
Karsten Loesing
Aaron Johnson
David Goulet

[0]: https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/org/sponsors/SponsorR

[1]: see threads for discussion:

[2]: https://gitweb.torproject.org/user/asn/torspec.git/tree/proposals/238-hs-relay-stats.txt?h=hs_stats

[3]: https://gitweb.torproject.org/karsten/tor.git/log/?h=task-13192-5

[4]: https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/13192
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