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Re: [GNUnet-developers] FPS paper & browser study

From: Christian Grothoff
Subject: Re: [GNUnet-developers] FPS paper & browser study
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2013 19:38:52 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:17.0) Gecko/20130827 Icedove/17.0.8

On 09/10/2013 07:31 PM, Ludovic Courtès wrote:
> Hello!
> Christian Grothoff <address@hidden> skribis:
>> As you can verify by running our script (before & after doing a search) from
>> it is indeed the case that following a search result like this would be
>> counted as following a link (and thus not be in the 8%).  We cannot tell
>> from the data what percentage of followed links were from search engines.
> OK.
>> However, I do not see this as a problem.
> Just to be clear: I don’t think the fact that people abuse centralized
> search engines as a name system is a problem for the paper’s argument;
> I think it’s a problem from a censorship-resistance viewpoint (and
> beyond GNUnet’s scope.)

Not outside of GNUnet's scope, but outside of the question we were trying
to answer with the study.  After all, the users we were observing were
most likely only moderately censored.

>> GNS will work fine with search engines: once you've gotten
>> "search.gnu" in your zone, you will resolve links from the search
>> engine for say a search for "ludu" using "", which
>> would go to Ludo's zone (where "Ludo's zone" is defined by the search
>> engine, which is fine --- you will get the Ludo corresponding to the
>> search result you clicked on).
> Now you’re proposing abusing the name system as a search engine.  :-)

Actually, I'm envisioning search engines abusing GNS ;-).

>> Now, we might not like people exposing their browsing habits like this from
>> a privacy perspective, but that's another story.  And obviously the 8% is
>> given on a limited sample for today's behavior; how people may evolve to
>> behave tomorrow is another story.  I mean, sample the percentage of encrypted
>> e-mails you got two months ago vs. today... Sometimes these values change,
>> and if you need to import a public key into a zone, I can imagine that users
>> may change their surfing behavior in a way that reduces the 8% further.
> Yes.  Perhaps we should push for Firefox’s address bar to behave
> exclusively as an address bar by default.

I'd not hope on Firefox doing this; my hopes for this are on the Tor browser,
as those guys are actually privacy-aware --- and much more likely to integrate
GNS support than stock Firefox as well.

Happy hacking!


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