[tor-dev] prop224: Ditching key blinding for shorter onion addresses

zaki at manian.org zaki at manian.org
Sun Jul 31 21:18:17 UTC 2016

In order to have an effective system of blinded identities, you need to
have an out of band channel to transmit 128-256 bits from the server to the
client. This is essential for blinding the in-band adversary to the long
term shared identity between the client and server. A naming system will
move that blinding data back into the in-band channel.

There needs to be better tools for working with 128-256 bits of data.

We have bookmarks, QR codes, and word lists etc but there is tons of room
for improvement.

It seems impossible to strongly blind an in band adversary while moving
fewer bits through the address channel.

On Sun, Jul 31, 2016 at 8:03 AM Razvan Dragomirescu <
razvan.dragomirescu at veri.fi> wrote:

> I agree with this, I don't really see the point of making .onion names
> easy to remember. If it's a service you access often, you can bookmark it
> or alias it locally to something like "myserver.onion" (maybe we should
> make it easier for users to do just that - an alias file for .onion
> lookups, allowing them to register myserver.onion and point it to
> asdlataoireaoiasdasd.onion or whatever).
> If it's a link on a Wiki or in a search engine, you just click on it, you
> don't care what the name is. The only time you'd have to remember an actual
> .onion address is if you heard it on the radio or saw a banner on the side
> of the street while driving and had to memorize it in a few seconds. Or
> maybe if you have to read the address _over the phone_ to a friend (as
> opposed to mailing him the link).
> What is the exact use case of this? I'm not saying it's useless, I just
> don't see the point, maybe I'm missing something.
> Razvan
> --
> Razvan Dragomirescu
> Chief Technology Officer
> Cayenne Graphics SRL
> On Sat, Jul 30, 2016 at 9:44 PM, Lunar <lunar at torproject.org> wrote:
>> George Kadianakis:
>> > this is an experimental mail meant to address legitimate usability
>> concerns
>> > with the size of onion addresses after proposal 224 gets implemented.
>> It's
>> > meant for discussion and it's far from a full blown proposal.
>> Taking a step back here, I believe the size of the address to be a
>> really minor usability problem. IPv6 adressses are 128 bits long, and
>> plenty of people in this world now access content via IPv6. It's not a
>> usability problem because they use a naming—as opposed to
>> addressing—scheme to learn about the appropriate IPv6 address.
>> While I do think we should think of nicer representation for the new
>> addresses than base32, and we should adress that, working on a naming
>> system sounds like an easier way out to improve onion services
>> usability than asking people to remember random addresses (be them 16 or
>> 52 characters-long).
>> (I now plenty of people who type “riseup” in the Google search bar of
>> their browser to access their mailbox… They don't even want to/can't
>> remember
>> an URL. Hardly a chance they will remember an onion address, whatever
>> its size.)
>> Maybe it would be worthwhile to ask the UX team for input on the topic?
>> --
>> Lunar                                             <lunar at torproject.org>
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