jurisdictional concentration of authorities

Scott Bennett bennett at cs.niu.edu
Mon Jun 22 02:43:51 UTC 2009

     Perhaps it may be time to revisit an old discussion here with the
developers.  At present, just seven directory authorities are listed in the
directory.  Three of these fall within the jurisdiction of the United States,
and the remainder fall within the jurisdiction of the European Union.  This
situation presents a substantial vulnerability to the tor network, IMO,
given the degree of cooperation between the two jurisdictions, not to mention
the arrangements among the EU's member states and the U.S.
     Are we now at an appropriate stage such that the developers could
entertain the idea of discreetly soliciting a few more potential authority
sites and operators in other jurisdictions?  I submit, for examples, that
Brazil, Japan, and probably the Union of South Africa may have adequately
fast and reliable Internet infrastructures that such sites might be available
in those jurisdictions.  There may well be others, too.  I am not sure of the
situation in India, but it strikes me that that country might also be a good
location for an authority.
     My aim here is to harden the tor network against incapacitation by some
future decision by one or two jurisdictions working in collusion to suspend
tor operations by shutting down the authorities in their countries.  If, say,
no two jurisdictions working together could command a shutdown of the majority
of authority servers, the tor network ought to be somewhat safer.
     Comments and discussion, particularly from current directory authority
operators and developers, are hereby solicited. :-)

                                  Scott Bennett, Comm. ASMELG, CFIAG
* Internet:       bennett at cs.niu.edu                              *
* "A well regulated and disciplined militia, is at all times a good  *
* objection to the introduction of that bane of all free governments *
* -- a standing army."                                               *
*    -- Gov. John Hancock, New York Journal, 28 January 1790         *

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