[tor-talk] Tor and HTTPS graphic

Paul Syverson syverson at itd.nrl.navy.mil
Tue Mar 6 21:04:10 UTC 2012

On Tue, Mar 06, 2012 at 12:22:16PM -0500, Andrew Lewman wrote:
> At PETS in 2009[0], Paul did a talk on 'why I'm not an entropist' and
> suggested that people need to start working on defeating a mythical
> global passive adversary. Maybe in the near future some government will
> have the capability of being the global passive adversary.

Is that a typo? The suggestion was that people _stop_ working on
defeating the GPA, which is unrealistic as both too strong (global)
and too weak (passive). I've been making the same point for over 15
years, but this was an attempt to sum a lot of that up in one
place. Adversaries may be really large, but it's generally unrealistic
to consider any one of them truly global on the internet.  (In the
paper I call realistically large adversaries, The Man.) And passive
makes your mathematical proofs cleaner (and sometimes doable at all)
but assuming your adversary can't even make use of delaying packets
passing by him for a few milliseconds is ridiculous. So you what
you end up proving doesn't really tell you much about real systems
even in principle. Which is why I (and others) have been working on
better models.

I'm a mere four years behind in putting my work up on the web, and
this one wasn't co-authored so nobody else did either. I'll try to do
something about that in my copious free time this week and send a


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