[tor-dev] Proposal idea: Stop assigning (and eventually supporting) the Named flag

Karsten Loesing karsten at torproject.org
Fri Apr 18 13:02:30 UTC 2014

On 10/04/14 09:45, Sebastian Hahn wrote:
> Filename: xxx-kill-named-flag.txt                                                                 
> Title: Stop assigning (and eventually supporting) the Named flag
> Authors: Sebastian Hahnn
> Created: 10 April 2014
> Target: 0.2.5
> Status: Draft
> 1. Intro and motivation
>    Currently, Tor supports the concept of linking a Tor relay's nickname
>    to its identity key. This happens automatically as a new relay joins
>    the network with a unique nickname, and keeps it for a while. To
>    indicate that a nickname is linked to the presented identity, the
>    directory authorities vote on a Named flag for all relays where they
>    have such a link. Not all directory authorities are currently doing
>    this - in fact, there are only two, gabelmoo and tor26.
>    For a long time, we've been telling everyone to not rely on relay
>    nicknames, even if the Named flag is assigned. This has two reasons:
>    First off, it adds another trust requirement on the directory
>    authorities, and secondly naming may change over time as relays go
>    offline for substantial amounts of time.
>    Now that a significant portion of the network is required to rotate
>    their identity keys, few relays will keep their Named flag. We should
>    use this chance to stop assigning Named flags.

If I understand the proposal correctly, operators will still be able to
name their relay or bridge, and people can still find it in Atlas or
Globe by this nickname.  If so, great!

> 2. Design
>    None. Tor clients already support consensuses without Named flags,
>    and testing in private Tor networks has never revealed any issues in
>    this regard.
> 3. Implementation
>    The gabelmoo and tor26 directory authorities can simply remove the
>    NamingAuthoritativeDirectory configuration option to stop giving out
>    Named flags. This will mean the consensus won't include Named and
>    Unnamed flags any longer. The code collecting naming statistics is
>    independent of Tor, so it can run a while longer to ensure Naming can
>    be switched on if unforeseen issues arise.

What's the process here?

"Ask on tor-dev@ if anybody sees a problem if the Named and Unnamed
flags go away, wait for a week, and then just do it?"

All the best,

>    Once this has been shown to not cause any issues, support for the
>    Named flag can be removed from the Tor client implementation, and
>    support for the NamingAuthoritativeDirectory can be removed from the
>    Tor directory authority implementation.
> 4. Open questions
>    None.
> _______________________________________________
> tor-dev mailing list
> tor-dev at lists.torproject.org
> https://lists.torproject.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/tor-dev

More information about the tor-dev mailing list