tor directory servers / tor pki issues

Adam Shostack adam at
Mon Sep 23 21:16:43 UTC 2002

On Mon, Sep 23, 2002 at 05:13:21PM -0400, Roger Dingledine wrote:
| Currently the list of onion routers is very static. Users have a list in a
| text file they get when they download the proxies, and they must manually
| fetch a new one (eg by upgrading) when we update the list.
| This is a good thing, because it should be a big deal to add a router
| (an evil node can do more damage in an OR environment than in a mix
| environment). But it's a bad thing, because it impacts usability. We
| also need some way to let users know which routers are up *right now*.
| The onion routers all know, because they're connected in a clique topology
| (and we assume if you're a router and you're connected to at least one,
| you're connected to as many as you can). But the proxies don't connect
| to everybody (and shouldn't), so they can't know who's up right now.

What's the uptime of a router?  We had routers that flapped, which
meant that the directory was out of date when you got it, which is
ugly.  The right fix is high reliability servers, but you also need to
accept that part of your directory may be out of date.


"It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once."

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