[Freedombox-discuss] Dumb idea: Alternative to Tor that promotes good behavior

Bill Cox waywardgeek at gmail.com
Sun Oct 27 17:26:18 UTC 2013

I would love feedback on an idea for promoting more internet freedom.

Here's the problem: Tor has little public support, because most Tor
traffic is wasted on supporting bad behavior.  When I ran a Tor node, it
became clear that most of my bandwidth was being wasted on video
downloads.  People want to promote free speech, not child pornography.

Here's my solution: Build a Tor-like network for routing anonymous data,
but track behavior of all users' secret identities, and make their
Internet history public.  Allow node operators to choose categories of
public identities they which to support.

For example, I would choose to promote all forms of non-violent free
speech.  I should be able to contribute my bandwidth to this purpose.
If a dissident in China goes by the public ID of ChinaCat, and has a
high reputation for promoting freedom, they are welcome to use my
bandwidth.  If someone just wants access to redtube.com, they can get
that access from someone else.

There are various technical aspects to this idea.  For example, would
prefer that the social graph between secret identities be public so I
can use a simple network flow algorithm over trust edges between
identities to determine how much I trust someone.  The entire social
network should be P2P, like Tor, and it should route a lot of dummy
traffic to help hide the real traffic.  With the considerably lower
bandwidth that is needed to promote freedom rather than free porn, this
should be no problem.

What do you guys think?

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