[tor] Re: Torservers Update

  • From: Mitar <mmitar@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: torservers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2010 04:41:57 +0100

Hi!

On Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 9:22 PM, Moritz Bartl <moritz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> For torservers.net I still have the idea of a "business model" to offer
> nodes carrying one's company or organization's name (think of a
> Greenpeace/Attac node) - not because I want to make big money out of
> this, but because I see commercialized services as supplementation of
> the current volunteer model.

Good idea. ;-)

> but I want to suggest to still provide (free) hidden service hosting,

Also a good idea. There are many hosting providers, but not many
hidden service hosting providers.

>> Do you feel there's enough interest in this concept by users / supporters 
>> around
>> the globe to be able to fund completely separate node farm organizations and
>> people that would be complimentary to torservers.net? Such as one each 
>> legally
>> formed in say the USA, India, Russia, Brazil, etc. But primarily the USA.

I also believe multiple organizations would be beneficial. So it would
be harder to close all down. This was a main argument against such
approach as torservers because it would allow easier way to closing
all down. But maybe it shows another approach: instead of saying that
every individual should setup a node to be diverse and global, such
organizations of multiple individuals should be formed, because it
seems it is to hard tor one only to run a good exit node. And then
have a diversity and global with that.

So let us make multiple such organizations. And then we can share
software, experience, materials and also stand together for some EU
and other larger-scale law-making.

So it would be great to have software which helps being such a
group/organization. Developed in open source manner. So software for
donation handling, network monitoring, hidden service hosting. Maybe
even a search engine then.

Also ideas/experience/software how to protect such hosted data such be
provided, so that even if the server is taken away hosted content is
not revealed. (Because it could be also hosted just for a smaller
group of people, not really freely public in the Tor network.)

Maybe also a web proxy into the Tor network would be interesting for
some? So that you do not need to use Tor to access hidden services,
but can use hidden-service-name.torservers.net to access it from the
Internet. Hopefully over HTTPS (for what we would probably require
wildcard SSL certificate).

As I wrote to Tor mailing list about very same idea Moritz is now
putting into practice few months before he started doing it, I am all
for such approaches. I was quieted down at that time with above
argument and I am glad Moritz is proving that they were wrong (and
that I should have been more persuasive). Because at the end for
people now at this moment using torservers.net Tor servers it does not
matter if such organization is more susceptible to being shut down. It
is working at 40 MB/s now and here! (And I would also argue that
individual nodes are susceptible to people simply turning them down
because "the fad" passes for them. By such organization it is easier
to keep the spirit up.)

So my offer from that time still holds: I can organize a hosting of
server in Slovenia. We here are also in the process of establishing an
association for promoting exactly this ideas (free, open and
uncensored access), we are also doing community wireless network here
from same ideas and we will probably go also to being LIR ourselves.

I think it is good that we would be independent organization and this
is why I have not actively joined into Moritz's action.

But we are developing some network monitoring software and other
things for community approach for our open wireless network and I see
also here options to collaborate. We are also trying to make similar
networks around EU connected and interoperable. Page for this is here:

http://interop.wlan-lj.net/

So, Tor is in my picture a special gateway inside such community
networks. My idea is to setup an independent open physical network in
the country people would be free to use. And would not be required to
have technical knowledge to use it. We would try to do it in
best-practice and secure (but open) manner. And having a Tor gateway
in our network would be one of such approaches where they would only
select which gateway they want to use and would not need to worry
about how to setup Tor node, configure it, how to prevent privacy
information leaks, etc. We would be doing that for them.

You can read more about our network on our web page:

http://wlan-lj.net/

and check how the network looks like here:

http://nodes.wlan-lj.net/

It seems I digressed a bit, I didn't want to make this a propaganda
for our network. Just wanted to paint a bigger picture I see here. In
creating an independent people-owned and operated networks,
interconnect them and provide anonymity and privacy for those wanting
or needing it. This is how we see Internet that it should be and was
meant to be. And if others are changing it into some other direction,
then we can do it ourselves in our direction.

What I learned from wireless community networks is that it is
important to share technologies developed. Otherwise much things get
reimplemented and reinvented and we are all doing duplicate work. And
this prevents us from doing newer stuff. So I would argue for making
development of software used open and public so that everybody can
join in and use it. So that creating another organization somewhere
else would be just setting a server, installing that software for
donations and start.

For some of this features we will probably develop for ourselves
(automatic donations managing and (good idea) automating collecting
regular donations for nodes in our wireless network). Also we already
made great software for whole network maintenance. For example:

https://nodes.wlan-lj.net/network/statistics#graph-replicator-traffic

And we will also do stuff for helping with hosting content inside the
network and then having a proxy from outside the Internet to this
content. I see all this very portable also to other network, not just
wireless, like Tor is.

So what I want to say: yes, we and I are for doing another Tor node
like that in Slovenia. If anybody would like to join us in this from
this region (or just support it to happen in this region), you are
welcome.


Mitar

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