[tor-dev] GSoC: Tor Messenger CONIKS integration

Elias Rohrer ml at tnull.de
Sat Mar 5 16:25:52 UTC 2016

Hello nice people of the Tor project!

I'm very interested in using the Google Summer of Code stipend to 
integrate the CONIKS key verification protocol into Tor Messenger.

So I wanted to say 'Hi!' and introduce myself: I'm a computer science 
student at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in Berlin, Germany. The main 
focus of my studies lies on security, computer networks (such as the 
peer-to-peer ones) and privacy enhancing technologies.
In the last years I mostly worked with C/C++, but these days I'm 
learning erlang – mostly for its benefits in concurrent & network 
scalable programming, but also to learn 'something different'.

This brings me to some questions regarding the project:
If I understand correctly (after reading [1], there are three parts 
which should get implemented in course of the project:

- A server component which stores the tamper-resistant database and 
would be run by the identity providers.
- An auditor module which tracks the states of the server and publishes 
its view, so users can check that theirs is consistent with it.
- And a client side plugin for Tor Messenger written in JavaScript.

Concerning the two first parts: What would be the requirements 
concerning the language of the server? The Projects page list JavaScript 
and C as required languages, but would you also consider a server 
component written in erlang? I could do that in C/C++, but since I'm 
experimenting with erlang I thought I'd ask, especially, because I could 
imagine that the auditor functionality could be implemented into a XMPP 
server such as ejabberd or prosody.
So, while the CONIKS provider would be more or less centralised for Tor 
Messenger, third parties like the XMPP server hosters could act as 
auditors by just loading up a plugin for their XMPP server. This Idea is 
based on the Q&A found in the ticket [1]. Do you think this would be a 
viable idea to roll out the auditor software?

This should be it for my first questions. I'll study the CONIKS paper 
more in depth in the next days and will come back at you if more 
questions come up concerning the project idea – if that's okay with 

Best Wishes!

Elias Rohrer / _tnull @ irc

[1]:	https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/17961)

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