[tor-dev] Scaling tor for a global population

Fabio Pietrosanti (naif) lists at infosecurity.ch
Sat Sep 27 14:17:11 UTC 2014

Il 9/27/14, 2:33 AM, Mike Perry ha scritto:
> We could also handle controlled rollouts to fractions of their userbase
> to test the waters, and slowly add high capacity nodes to the network to
> support these new users, to ensure we have the people ready to accept
> payment for running the servers, and maintain diversity.
I read your very detailed estimations and improvement paths, i love it!

However i see that the main suggestion to increase the "network
capacity" can be simplified as follow:
- improve big nodes ability to push even more traffic
- add more big nodes

Other improvements are to reduce the "consensus size" and "directory
load", but not specifically on network capacity.

While this is the obvious way to "add more capacity" i feel that's going
to have impacts such as:
1) reduce the "diversity" (thus the anonymity, because few players will
handle most of the network's traffic)
2) make it "irrelevant" for anyone to run their own small/volounteer relay

That sounds like the "easier way" to scale up in a defined amount of
time and with a defined budget, but imho also with consequences and
pre-defined limits.

I feel that the only way to scale-up without limits and consequences is
to have end-users became "active elements" of the network, where we have
success story such as Skype.

End-users have important network resources available that can be
estimated and used (with care).

Not all end-users are equal, i'm now on a 2M Hyperlan line (damn digital
divide!), but someone else in Stockholm or San Francisco it's on a
1000M/100M fiber connection @home (not in a datacenter) and while in
Milan i've a 100M/10M fiber!

That bandwith resources are amazing, usually quite cheap (home broadband
lines), widely available in the end-users hands.

IMHO those are the bandwidth resources, widely available, cheap, very
diverse/sparse that could help the Tor network to scale-up.

How to use it properly within/for the Tor network? That's a different topic.

But those big bandwidth resources are there, available under our feet,
in our home, and we're not using it!

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