[tor-dev] IRC meeting to plan sponsor L milestones on Wed July 18, 15:00 UTC in #tor-dev

Roger Dingledine arma at mit.edu
Fri Jul 20 10:13:28 UTC 2012

On Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 11:38:30PM -0400, Andrew Lewman wrote:
> > All of that said, I totally agree that for #1, we need to be sure
> > Andrew and the funder both understand that we can't promise that
> > we'll deploy any particular transport protocol -- the first step is
> > research, and that means step two must stay flexible.
> I expect the pushback to be along the lines of "this is a deployment
> goal, not a research goal". If http/dns is bad, then we should figure
> out some way to deploy two unique transports in the wild.

If they want deployment without research, they've got two options.

First, we take existing research designs and see what happens when we try
to make them deployable. In this case, the existing research designs are
Skypemorph and Stegotorus. In both of these cases the deliverable should
be something like "either deploy it, or write up an explanation of why
it's not deployable yet and make an R&D roadmap for how to fix that."
As I understand it, both Skypemorph and Stegotorus have a significant
chance of being in the "or write up an explanation" camp today.

Or second, we could demonstrate the modularity of obfsproxy by adding a
base64 transport module to it that wraps obfs2 flows in base64 encoding
(in case the entropy test is how they bust us), and an http transport
module that prepends some generic http headers and maybe a "Cookie: "
string before jumping into either obfs2 or base64. I'm not clear on
whether these two transports would ultimately be much harder to block
than obfs2, but maybe they would. And if pyptlib turns out the way we
hope, these alternate transports are a page of code each. Which means
we could then turn our attention to the messier questions of how to get
enough bridges up that support the transport, how to advertise their
addresses, etc.

Now that I've written the two options like this, it seems the clear right
answer is "do option two and in our spare time get started on option one."


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