[tor-talk] Project Gutenberg

DeveloperChris developerchris at rebel.com.au
Sat Nov 2 06:54:59 UTC 2013

On 01/11/2013 12:39 AM, mick wrote:
> On Thu, 31 Oct 2013 17:59:39 +1030
> DeveloperChris <developerchris at rebel.com.au> allegedly wrote:
>> Could exit nodes act as caches. I know that would introduce a number
>> of issues including a compromised exit node revealing what was
>> retrieved by that node (but not whom for) so if it was limited to a
>> few popular 'safe' sites it could help alleviate those sites from
>> some of the traffic burden.
> I think that might cause a few problems. Firstly, the obvious one of
> definitions. Define "safe". Who gets to decide whch sites are OK to
> cache and whch aren't. Definitions will vary according to the user's
> location and the regime under which s/he lives (or the location or
> regime under which the owner/operator of the relay lives.

Yes precisely. So if you considered running a caching exit node it would 
only be sites that are safe for you the exit node operator to run

Obvious ones are non copyrighted and non copyrightable stuff like the 
Gutenberg project I think Wikipedia has a policy that is amenable and there 
would be thousands of others.

> Secondly, by caching (and thus later serving) data the relay ceases to
> be just a neutral "common carrier" and moves into the realm of
> hosting provider. I see lots of room for lawyers to get fat(ter) on the
> back of legal argument about whether a relay providing a cached copy of
> a document can be sued (for whatever reason). Look at the stupid
> situation we already have where sites simply pointing to torrent
> sites are taken down (while of course Google, which has fat lawyers,
> doesn't get taken down).

Of course torrents, kiddie porn etc would not be considered safe.

> Thirdly, the simple act of serving a copy from cache, rather than
> transparently passing the request out to the end server, means that
> the relay by definition is now intercepting Tor traffic (even if
> only to "help" the end user).

This is the main issue that I see. I agree with you here one hundred 
percent. but if we are to persuade sites like the gutenbergproject not to 
directly block tor exit nodes then I am not sure what else can be done?
> Fourthly, the end user might not /want/ Tor to "help" in this way
> (I wouldn't). What guarantee do I have that the Tor relay is giving
> me exactly what I wanted and not some "tampered" copy. How can I
> really trust a supposedly anonymous network which I now know to be
> looking into my requests with a view to giving me a "better" or
> "faster" service.

Exit nodes by their nature must look at your request. Whats to stop an exit 
node modifying the response now?

> And how would I cope with SSL?

As is currently done. Its not cached and it cant be. end of story

> Best
> Mick
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>   Mick Morgan
>   gpg fingerprint: FC23 3338 F664 5E66 876B  72C0 0A1F E60B 5BAD D312
>   http://baldric.net
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------

But in the end its just a thought.


Please keep the replies civil. I know there is one in every crowd. Don't be 
that one.

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