[tor-dev] [RFC] On new guard algorithms and data structures

l.m ter.one.leeboi at hush.com
Thu Aug 20 13:59:53 UTC 2015

> "a) The network is not hostile and allows access just fine, but..."

This came up before didn't it. Nick mentioned that the question
`network down` isn't the easiest question to answer portably.
Supposing such a network could have it's properties (like route)
enumerated this might provide another solution to (a). If the network
changes in some measurable way without also being immediately preceded
by a bootstrap (route shows next hop unreachable), then consider the
network down and schedule attempts to reestablish communication.

A key problem will be distinguishing this type of network from a
hostile network where the access is just cut off. Most likely to force
a bootstrap, or guard-rotation like activity. A warning here to
indicate the network was bootstrapped, but for some past interval(s)
the network appears down (and should the client check firewall,
gateway, or try a bridge). A client should probably be `aware` of some
level of network access, otherwise all solutions are naive.

> "b) ..."

Retrying guards is the crux of the problem. If you blindly retry
guards, even to prevent rotation, you eventually come to a hard place
where this will backfire badly. Even if it works sometimes. Although I
don't think the client should rely on the OS (which may be


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