Improving Onion Routing: A Cloud-Based Approach; Fighting a Losing Battle: Suppressing Anonymous Network Traffic

Good, Jack, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Venkat, Ashish, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia
Norton, Peter, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

How have social groups responded to anonymous behavior on digital networks? Digital anonymity shelters cybercrime such as illegal markets and pedophilia rings, but it can also secure legitimate network users against data mining and surveillance, thereby protecting privacy, free expression, and human rights, for example against authoritarian states.
By securing The Onion Router (TOR) network, cloud systems can protect Internet users’ privacy. On TOR, a free worldwide network run by volunteers, users can access the internet anonymously by obfuscating their connection. TOR’s performance and reliability are sometimes deficient, and it can be blocked. Cloud computing can compensate by supporting on-demand provision of massive computing performance and connectivity. The tradeoffs of onion routing in the cloud were evaluated to support a recommended optimal configuration. Goals included low latency, high throughput, low cost per user, usability, and security from local and global network adversaries.
How are the most influential social groups striving to defend or suppress the anonymous network traffic they favor or oppose? The balance of power has favored defenders of anonymous network traffic. Regulators have generally proved ineffectual in suppressing idealistic cybercriminals and agile, state-funded political activists equipped with techniques that protect their anonymity. Evidence indicates that the practical feasibility of suppressing anonymous network traffic is lower than some (e.g. Jardine, Kling, and Bellaby) have contended.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
the onion router, cloud computing, dark web

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Technical Advisor: Ashish Venkat
STS Advisor: Peter Norton
Technical Team Members: Vineet Kalpathi, Brandie Young

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