[tor-dev] Proposal 274: A Name System API for Tor Onion Services

Jeremy Rand jeremyrand at airmail.cc
Thu Jan 26 09:08:38 UTC 2017

>> On 12 Oct 2016, at 09:29, Jesse V <kernelcorn at torproject.org> wrote:
>> On 10/11/2016 12:53 AM, Jeremy Rand wrote:
>>> It's also worth noting that it's been hard enough to get IETF to accept
>>> .bit (that effort stalled) -- adding a bunch of other TLD's would
>>> probably annoy IETF significantly (and destroy whatever good will exists
>>> at IETF right now), and I fully understand why this would annoy them.
>>> I'm not really sure what the right mechanism is for a user to specify "I
>>> want this request to either use TLS or be resolved to a .onion record"
>>> (which seems to be the primary use case here).  Does anyone have
>>> suggestions?
>> As I understand it, the spirit of the naming system API is to resolve
>> $meaningfulName to $randomAddress.onion. It seems pretty clear its
>> focused on A records, but the naming system can support subdomains and
>> CNAME records if it likes. My approach with OnioNS is to simply use a
>> none-ICANN TLD, which is currently ".tor". There's a Trac ticket on
>> which TLD I should use, but it seems most intuitive to use something
>> obvious. Someone suggested that we continue to use .onion, but anything
>> that isn't 16 chars of base32 should be resolving using the naming
>> system. That seems like it would be more confusing. A new TLD seems more
>> intuitive.
> Yes, and re-using .onion would make (some) 32-character names invalid,
> and post prop-224, (some) 53?-character names invalid as well.
> This is an undesirable property.
> I can also imagine attacks taking advantage of this confusion.

If, hypothetically, we wanted to avoid the confusion of "does xyz.bit
point to a .onion service or an A record?" but did not want to introduce
any additional TLD's, maybe do something like:

"xyz.bit.onion" --> the .onion service pointed to by Namecoin d/xyz, or
an error if no such service exists
"xyz.bit" --> anything pointed to by Namecoin d/xyz, which could be an A
record, or a CNAME record, or a .onion record.

I suspect that most end users will understand that "bit.onion" is not an
onion service, since it's far too short to be one.



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