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

Bill Cox waywardgeek at gmail.com
Mon Oct 28 04:02:07 UTC 2013

On 10/28/2013 7:30 AM, Yawning Angel wrote:
> On Sun, 27 Oct 2013 20:17:30 -0400
> Bill Cox <waywardgeek at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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.
> I'm really confused how you expect "middle relays" to implement this
> sort of filtering, given that *by design*, the middle relays are
> ignorant of the destination of the traffic.

One way would be for relay nodes to make their preferences known in the 
database where all the node data is provided.  Clients would simply be 
expected to take the wishes of the relay nodes into account while 
determining a Tor path that is valid for a given IP address.  That's 
easily defeated, but then again so is any other scheme of filtering.  
Hopefully most clients would work according to the spec.  If the client 
needs to access an IP address that isn't supported by the current path, 
it could form a new path.

> Oh I know, we could add a bit in the cell header that signifies if the
> cell is carrying "objectionable or evil" payload a la (RFC 3514), and
> it will be up for compliant implementations to tag their packets when
> they're watching pron, so that relays can filter/censor traffic as
> appropriate.  There's probably fairly "interesting" anonymity
> implications when certain relays won't ever be eligible to be part of
> your path as well.
> (As a side note how do you know that they were watching pron through
> your exit?  It's usually considered a bad idea for various reasons to
> look at user traffic.)
> Regards,

I agree that it's a bad idea to look at the actual traffic.  I suspect 
that the majority of traffic I saw on my node would not make it through 
my own OpenDNS filter I use at home, so just filter based on destination.

However, none of this filtering stuff is very interesting to me. I'm 
more interested in the idea of building a Ripple style social 
network/web of trust between secret identities, and using that network 
to promote freedom.


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