Add new field for publication time of first known descriptor
Nusenu writes on tor-dev@ that "timestamps are useful to link relays, unfortunately onionoo only says in which consensus the relay was first seen (granularity: 1hour) but does not include the timestamp of the first seen descriptor that ended up in the consensus (published line). That timestamp would have a higher granularity (seconds). What do you think about adding such a timestamp? (I acknowledge that I might be the only user of this field)"
I'm yet undecided. Here are some pros and cons:
- Onionoo data will become more useful to detect relays that are part of a naive Sybil attack where the attacker adds all relays at the exact same time.
- It's unclear whether the additional timestamp precision will make this task much easier, or whether precision up to one hour is sufficient, especially if compared with other properties.
- We'll have to parse all server descriptors once again, or this field won't be accurate. Server descriptors reach back to December 2005, so that's almost 10 years of data. This would probably keep a mid-size EC2 instance busy for a week.
- Each client that downloads a details document will have to also download this additional timestamp which they won't care about. Not the end of the world, but something to consider.
I'm leaning towards not adding such a field, but I'm happy to hear more pros.