Darknetting and hidden services [Was: Re: virtues of middlemen]

Jo blipwart at gmail.com
Tue Jan 1 12:38:19 UTC 2008

On 01/01/2008, F. Fox <kitsune.or at gmail.com> wrote:
> These are Tor's hidden services: Servers accessible anonymously, where
> both client and server are unknown to each other. =:o)
> Since such services are visible only via Tor, they would fall under the
> darknet definition, I believe.

This is what I was getting at ... just didn't say it right :(

I have often wondered just how big the network could get, and what
impact this has on the Internet.  There are many Internet resources
that will always be needed - e.g. email will need to be accessible
from / routed to Tor; Google, Wikipedia, Universities, etc are not
going to be replicated, ...

At the moment the rest of the Internet can ignore Tor (except for
those who want to block it) but - if big enough - one could imagine
the need for ubiquitous gateway services to allow simple
(transparent?) access to resources within the network.

Of course it has to get big enough first.  PGP is still struggling (I
don't even have a signing key for this email address) and services
such as Usenet which were huge in their time are now rapidly being
replaced.  (This one really irks me - a fantastic idea with some basic
privacy elements built in, being replaced by lesser technologies).
SSL, OTOH, has become pretty much mainstream and is still developing
... the challenge to be able to grow Tor will be to do the same - make
it mainstream.

Of course to become mainstream it needs to be REAL easy.  And if Tor
gets to the point where it is so simple that you don't really need to
understand it, there is a distinct possibility that many of the
benefits may no longer be realised (how do you know you've got a
secure, private connection if you don't understand WHY it is secure
and private - particularly what *isn't* provided).

Maybe I'm looking too far forward and should just see how the software
and its usage develops.  Given some of the recent moves by major
western governments I think more and more people are going to discover
a need for this sort of software.


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