[tor-relays] the effect of bw auth location on relay selection

nusenu nusenu at openmailbox.org
Thu Jun 25 10:55:56 UTC 2015

Hash: SHA512

(split from 'Qualities of a good relay' thread)

> I run a relay in Japan on a gigabit connection, but nobody cares
> too much, since (I assume) bwauths aren't anywhere near Japan and
> do not get good speeds to it, they give it a low weight, and as a
> result it doesn't see a lot of use.

Lets say the BW auth is located on your LAN and gives you "1GBit/s"
measurements, that would increase the likelihood that clients choose you
but if your 1GBit/s uplink is limited to your city/country and the
international uplink is eg. 100MBit/s than the measurement value alone
wouldn't help much for non-JP partners, no?

At least clients in JP would have an measurement value that matches
reality better.

Actually it would indeed be fancy to have location-aware measurement

Clients in Asia would consider asian* bw auth measurements to be more
important than measurements from non-asian bw auths,
but this presumably performance improvement would likely reduce
anonymity properties as clients in JP would more likely choose guards
in JP. Attackers targeting JP clients would than be in a better
position because they could start guards in JP only and have a higher
likelihood of being chosen as guards by a JP client (their targets).

performance vs. privacy trade-off as usual.
..and the bw auth system is currently (hopefully) undergoing other
changes to prevent recent problems from happening again.

I just saw that JP has a guard probability of 0%.
(at the same time JP is in the top 10 countries of directly connecting
tor users.)

Out of 132 relays in JP, there are only 3 guard relays and these 3 are
exits as well so they are used as exits only.

Your relatively fresh jp relay had the guard flag once for a short
period of time, but lost it again - probably due to the last restart.
So maybe its usage will rise once it is done with the bootstrapping
phase and had the guard flag over a few months.

btw: Thanks for running the biggest declared family (by consensus
weight) on the tor network!

*) there is no bw auth in Asia in reality, current locations:
| nickname | city_name | region_name   | country |
| moria1   | Cambridge | Massachusetts | us      |
| gabelmoo | Erlangen  | Bavaria       | de      |
| longclaw | NULL      | NULL          | us      |
| maatuska | NULL      | NULL          | se      |



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