tor replacement - was Re: Box for simple Tor node.

jim bell jdb10987 at
Mon May 25 19:30:21 PDT 2020

 Components of software are supposed to be reuseable, which is one of its efficiencies.  Of course, if there is some sort of flaw already present, reusing it adopts the flaw.  Nevertheless, I suspect that it is more valuable to get SOMETHING working, relatively rapidly, especially if the same group of hardware nodes can run multiple 'virtual' anonymity networks.  
I don't have the expertise to weigh in on the issue of using the code of a specific network.  But if the new network we are building can readily run multiple examples of code, I don't see anything wrong with trying to implement multiple software concepts.  
          Jim Bell

    On Sunday, May 24, 2020, 02:59:42 PM PDT, Karl <gmkarl at> wrote:  
 A general purpose network sounds nice.  Everything is doable.
What do you think of forking the codebase of an existing network, like tor or gnunet or one of the newer examples from anonymity research?
On Thu, May 21, 2020, 1:55 AM jim bell <jdb10987 at> wrote:

 On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 07:27:40 PM PDT, other.arkitech <other.arkitech at> wrote:

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
 On Tuesday, May 19, 2020 10:41 PM, jim bell <jdb10987 at> wrote:

Algorithm-agnostic anonymization network.

Let's say we are agreed that a new anonymization network should be implemented.  One problem is that advances in such networks generally  require implementing entirely new networks to check out new algorithms and new features, such improvements are strongly deterred.  After all, that's one reason that TOR doesn't get as many improvements as we might like.  (Another reason is that it is financed, at least in part, by people who are hostile to a "too-good" anonymization system.)

Sure, we could implement a new set of nodes, hopefully at least 1000 in number. I think that ordinary, residential users should be able to run nodes. Internet services are provided with as much as 1 terabyte/month capacity, and possibly unlimited as well.  (CenturyLink 1 Gbps, for example)    We could implement a new onion-routing system, akin to TOR but with some improvements, most prominently adding chaff.  So far, so good.  But there may be other ideas, other improvements that people might want to try out.

I've already proposed that it should be possible for just about every node to be an output node.  Possibly every node should be an input node, as well.   The big impediment to this is that people naturally want to avoid the potential legal harassment they might get if their IP node sent out gigabytes of 'in the clear' forbidden data.  My ideas for a solution?  Output data could be encrypted, enough to make it unreadable except by the end recipient.  The operator of an output node that emits only seemingly-random data would be hard to hold legally responsible for that forbidden content, since nobody expects him to know how to convert it into plaintext.  And/or, the data can be output into two streams, which would be XOR'd with each other only by the intended recipient to find the data.  

And, this network could also run different anonymization algorithms, simultaneously.  Onion-routing may have its own limitations.  Somebody might have a good idea for an alternative system.  Why shouldn't it be possible to serve two algorithms?  Or dozens?  How about Bittorrent as well?  Imagine 1000 nodes, each equipped with a 10-terabyte hard drive?  

                 Jim Bell

>I am preparing a draft of a draft for a spec of what I think would be the ideal complimentary anonymization overlay that fits on the already running distributed system I am working on, which is USPS and is very good. 
It would be great if many ideas arise in this list so we can start focusing a conversation. My personal interes is to achieve a system that can provide Sybil protection for voting systems. Which is the reason Tor cannot be used with USPS, since one could create millions of colluding evil nodes and ditch the system. I limit it using IPv4 because it is very easy to enforce an homogeneously distributed network controlling the maximum number of nodes/votes   per IP. This limit will grow as the IPs are filled with voting power.
I already have the Sysbil protection implemented and the network of nodes running exchanging encrypted traffic about consensus. The only thing I have left are two things:
onion routing (or a faster alternative that doesn't exist but I am researching), chaff traffic.

Jim Bell's comments follow:
I hope that what I've suggested, an anonymization constellation that can run multiple algorithms simultaneously, is practical and can be implemented successfully.  I suppose what I'm describing amounts to multi-tasking, and my understanding is that's not trivial.  What does everyone think about this?  Can it be done?

...and probably more considerations. I am not expert in anon overlays, but perhaps we can brainstorm so I can become one : )

Thanks for reading

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