[tor-dev] Can we stop sanitizing nicknames in bridge descriptors?

Sebastian G. <bastik.tor> bastik.tor at googlemail.com
Mon May 21 18:38:31 UTC 2012

Karsten Loesing, 21.05.2012 11:05:
>> Here we go with the similarities of bridge and relay nicknames.
> Thanks for spending this much time on the analysis!

I could have done far worse, but also a lot better in terms of time
spend on extracting the data that I wanted or at least considered that
they'd might be useful.

Sometimes I'm just slow at things, e.g. writing this reply.

> Here's what I did with your findings.txt:
> - extract unique fingerprint pairs of relays and bridges that you found
> as having similar nicknames,
> - look through descriptor archives to see if relay and bridge were
> running in the same /24 at any time in May 2008, and
> - determine the absolute and relative number of bridges in a given
> network status that could have been located via nickname similarity.
> Results are that 24 of your 81 guesses (30%) were correct in the sense
> that a bridge was at least once running in the same /24 as the relay
> with similar nickname.  At any time in May 2008, you'd have located
> between 1 and 6 bridges (2.5% to 18%) with 3 bridges (10%) in the mean
> via nickname similarity.

Not too bad.

> I think it's acceptable to publish more recent bridge descriptors with
> nicknames in a week from now.  Results may look quite different with
> 1000 bridges instead of 30.

May 2008 was the first month with bridges. I expected lot's of relay
operators that tested a bridge with the same name. Things may have
changed over time. I assume that further comparisons won't have such a
"high" hit ratio.

> Again, thanks for running this analysis!  Maybe you're interested in
> automating your comparison and re-running it for a 2012 tarball?

My claim was you got the data, so you can check. (Not with May 2008)

To be honest, my first impression was that I wouldn't do anything useful
and did not intend to do that. I guessed it wouldn't turn out that it
doesn't hurt since at least 2011, so I wouldn't find anything good.

Then you asked and I agreed, but already thought "I couldn't keep my
mouth shut!". I mean I replied to this topic. I surely could have said
no there. I didn't.

After and while I was doing what I did. I would have said no to the
question if I'm going to do this again. That's valid for up to Sunday
night. Today I'm agreeing again.

That's a pretty long way to say: Yes!

Thank you,it's an 2012 tarball. The number of bridges is scary.

I'm going to upload some files somewhere and explain what I did. Step by
step (somewhat around that). So anyone can check and reproduce what I
did. It would be nice to hear feedback and ways to improve the way I did
what I did.

Maybe you can tell me if the findings.txt was alright.

Unless one objects or you disagree I'm going to upload the files I
created and explain how and maybe I can say even why.

I created a Blog, just because I wanted it some when in the past, but
found it silly. That's the channel I planed to use. Maybe it's OK to put
it on a Tor-List as well, but maybe it's considered as noise.

> Thanks,
> Karsten

Thank you,

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