[tor-talk] Would Conflux have a positive effect against website fingerprinting?

Sebastian G. <bastik.tor> bastik.tor at googlemail.com
Sun Jul 14 14:39:10 UTC 2013


regarding the possible adaptation of Conflux [1] (which I did not read
previously, because I assumed a misunderstanding* in how Tor works,
based on a  statement in the abstract. Also I was not aware Ian Goldberg
[~iang]** was involved)

As far as my understanding goes this could hinder website fingerprinting
[2] in a major way. Using traffic splitting would make looking for
request patterns harder.

Obviously only if it is applied, which might be not the case since it
tries to be adaptive and would create a second{ary} circuit only if
required or requested.

Supposing it is applied does it help to prevent website fingerprinting
to a high extend? (high extend = being costly to circumvent by adversaries)

("With the introduction of bridges — unadvertised Tor routers that
provide Tor access to users within censored regimes like China —
low-bandwidth Tor routers are becoming more common and essential to
Tor’s ability to resist censorship.")

(The logic appeared flawed to me. Bridge relays are a problem of people
that use them. Since bridge relays don't take any other position as the
first hop — for bridge users only — they don't affect the rest of the
network. Low-bandwidth routers would exist without bridges, unless the
authorities enforce a certain amount of bandwidth. The commonness of
low-bandwidth routers in the network does not depend on bridges.
Low-bandwidth bridges may become more common or are already more common,
what likely depends on the fact that it's easier to contribute a bridge
than a relay from home, due to different requirements. Also bridges are
needed in high quantities since this is part of the censorship evasion,
which is also why the bridges are there in the first place.)

(Those bridges get more common and are essential to the diversity of the
user-base Tor has.)

(The quoted sentence still sounds to me as bridges would be the cause of
Tor's partial slowness.)


[1] http://www.cypherpunks.ca/~iang/pubs/conflux-pets.pdf
[2] http://www.cs.sunysb.edu/~xcai/fp.pdf
[~iang] http://www.cypherpunks.ca/~iang/
** he appears to be knowing what he does***
*** "appears to be knowing" as I'm unable to check that, which is true
for lot's of things.

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