[tor-talk] New TOR Service Suggestions and Enhancements

Mark McCarron mark.mccarron at live.co.uk
Mon Nov 18 16:23:25 UTC 2013

With all the recent crack downs on civil liberties, seizure of TOR services and general censorship that is now hitting even mainstream search engines, I would like to propose a set of new services and some enhancements to the network layer to improve anonymity.  We need to get as much support as possible behind these services and improvements as they will assist in both the expansion and self-funding capability of TOR going forward.

The following services have been suggested and will require a fee, paid in Bitcoins, which will be donated to the TOR project.  This is a security measure to prevent saturation of the services.  These services should be integrated into the TOR software and run in a distributed fashion.

1.  Distributed Web Hosting

Currently, anyone hosting a hidden service must provide their own hosting solution and use software to provide access to the TOR network.  This strategy has seen increasing number of services taken down in raids by various governments.  We require a distributed hosting solution that provides a web server and database to anyone.  The requirements for the service are as follows:

a.  Payment gateway that accepts Bitcoins and either generates a new site, or renews a previously generated private key.  This gateway should retain no knowledge of any transaction, or the ability to revoke a site once generated.  Sites should automatically expire after a given date, unless the private key is renewed.  Private key renewals should not require the private key to leave the client-side.

b.  Sites can be hosted at any node in an encrypted server with redundancy options (whack-a-mole) and automatic replication between nodes.  No node should be able to inspect what it hosts in any fashion.  A premium can be paid to increase replication times.

c.  Should provide a set minimum of traffic capacity, a premium can be paid to increase that capacity or link sites to build a larger service (i.e. multiple front-ends, database clusters).  A Bitcoin pool should be created that providers of this service can be paid from to compensated for the increased processing.

2.  Distributed File Hosting

Follows the same structure as web hosting, but provides an FTP service.  Should integrate into the web hosting layer seamlessly.

3.  Distributed Virtual Machine Hosting

Follows the same structure as web hosting, but provides a complete virtual OpenBSD/Linux platform.  A Bitcoin pool should be created that providers of this service can be paid from to compensated for the increased processing.

4.  Distributed Web Indexer

Uncensored search of the entire internet.  Speed is unimportant, as is the frequency of updates.  The primary goal is to make it uncensored.

5.  Distributed Email and Instant Messaging

Accounts can be purchased for Bitcoins, completely decentralized.  Speed of delivery is unimportant and should be a best effort system.  The inclusion of a "global broadcast" for a premium is recommended.  This latter services allows for important announcements to be flashed across the world.  The premium should be set very high to prevent abuse.

6.  Distributed News Service

Pay a premium and post your story.  This will ensure only important news hits this newswire.

7.  Distributed Start Page and TOR Index

TOR needs an entry point, somewhere that provides access to all services and can guide users through the system.  Many sites have tried to serve this function, none have survived.

Enhancements To TOR

The UK government has instructed GCHQ to dismantle TOR and it is known that Sybil attacks are underway that allow metadata analysis of traffic that can expose the source of traffic based upon statistical processes.  As such, we require an update to the underlying network layer of TOR that obfuscates any attempt at traffic analysis.

The following is recommended:

1.  Packet padding to fixed lengths
2.  Fake Packets
3.  Packet timing jitter
4.  Random rotation of cipher schemes between links

This will assist in eliminating the global view issue.

Any suggestions, modifications, comments or constructive criticism is very welcome.

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