[tor-talk] Thoughts on Tor-based social networking?

Bill Cox waywardgeek at gmail.com
Mon Oct 28 00:17:30 UTC 2013

On 10/27/2013 6:41 PM, Roger Dingledine wrote:
> Hi Bill, Check out 
> https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-relays/2013-August/thread.html#2558 
> including my response at the end 
> https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-relays/2013-August/002575.html 
> for the latest version of this answer. As for "Tor based secret 
> identities that can accrue reputation", check out Nymble: 
> http://cgi.soic.indiana.edu/~kapadia/nymble/ (and there are several 
> other research groups with similar ideas). But nobody has deployed a 
> Nymble-like service in a usable way, and also it's not clear that it 
> would solve the types of problems you describe. --Roger 

Thanks for the links, Roger.  On the first thread, I agree with you that 
exit nodes should not be expected to analyze the unencrypted traffic to 
determine if behavior is acceptable.  That's what NSA exit nodes are for 
:-p  However, OpenDNS style filtering should be acceptable, IMO.  It'd 
be a simple set of flags that each exit node says it supports or blocks, 
so it could be fairly simple for Tor users to route to an acceptable 
exit node.  I would want the same flags for relay nodes as well.  That 
would block some sites people don't want to redirect, such as porn sites 
- not that I have issues with porn.  I just don't want to waste my 
bandwidth routing it.

However, that wont stop griefers.  Nymble sounds like a step in the 
right direction to me.  I would prefer to add a social networking 
component with reputations and a web-of-trust.  That would allow 
anonymous users to have public secret identities, and I suspect that 
people would behave better in general if they needed to earn their 
peers' trust.  Nymble would give servers a way to black-list Tor users, 
but that's only useful after griefers have struck.  Requiring a specific 
trust or reputation threshold to allow Tor users access to a service 
might stop griefers before they strike.  Users could have multiple 
secret identities in case they have different kinds of things they like 
to do on the Internet.


More information about the tor-talk mailing list