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[tor-talk] Giving Hidden Services some love



Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com wrote:

This has long been a chicken-or-egg problem.  A general audience (i.e.,
not digital security specialists) must know what hidden services do
before they get involved in hosting hidden services (or even using them,
for that matter).  But to know what hidden services do, a general
audience must be able to use hidden services that interest them.  If
there aren't any that interest them, then consequently there's no demand
for anyone to create them.  So few people know what they do, outside of
"hacking" and "omg darknet".

I do not agree that to understand what hidden services do that one must use them or find using them interesting. I, as well as many ancient astronaut theorists, contend, that the explanation on the Tor Project's Hidden Services section of their website needs to be more ... something [I was thinking 'Clear', but if you understand the concepts, then it is most likely quite clear].

It starts out with a very simple claim about anonymity being the purpose of using hidden services, but then, as it goes on to explain how that works, it gets a bit confusing, mentioning things like "rendezvous points", "relays", "circuits", "introduction points", "hidden service descriptors", "public keys", "distributed hash tables", "XYZ=16characters.onion", "one-time secrets" "introduce/rendezvous messages", "entry guards", "entry nodes", & "end-to-end encryption/decryption", which do not make sense to most people [Dad].

To me, understanding some of these concepts, it seems like a closed network that overlays the internet protocol with a security blanket. But is this accurate? Is this needed? How does this differ from p2p, or does it then become p2p? Is it comparable to Dotcom's Meganet, which is supposed to be non IP? Other than not using the exit relays, what value does it provide that Tor on the regular web does not? Also, and this goes in a slightly different direction so ignore, why is Tor using some relays to exit and not all?

I would like to communicate p2p but if scrambling my middleman connections is the better [more secure] option then I would like to know. Also, does this series of relays count as a third party, ultimately classifying my content [whatever I am communicating] as public knowledge?

Also, I think saying "Hey, fbook uses it." does nothing to help people map the concept in their mind.

Awesome,
SpencerOne

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