Tor Browser should support ENS
New Feature Proposal
Tor Browser should recognize, process and follow ENS (see [https://docs.ens.domains]) links formatted as such:
name is a sequence of one or more labels internally separated by a period.
ENS enables anyone with access to Internet to interact with Ethereum blockchain and register a name to end in
.eth. Anyone can remain anonymous if they take care of their Ethereum address/es.
ENS has a text record type. An owner might provide a
.onion URL for this. Tor Browser could automatically resolve an ENS name and lookup its text record - if that ends in
.onion then Tor Browser could follow the link.
Registration is an open and fair process. Names are inexpensive: ~ $5/yr for a name of 5 characters and up.
Any name owner can make subdomains and register new names therein.
Such a capability would enable Tor users to optionally enjoy DNS-like convenience of using
<readable>.eth names instead of
Add a new protocol handler that recognizes
.ethurls, similar to the way an existing protocol handler recognizes
Enable the user to specify a number of
.onions known to provide RESTful ENS-to-onion lookup service. Tor Browser should use a random-round-robin approach to select one such
.onionfor each query. The implementation might occasionally cross-check the results of any query from multiple
.onions as a public service to expose miscreant
Tor project should publish a new standard syntax for ENS name-to-onion and name-search RESTful queries.
Tor project should implement one such ENS nameserver. We suggest that
eff.organd perhaps other privacy-supportive organizations may wish to do the same.
Tor project should buy an ENS name and renew it yearly for a minimum of five years. We suggest
Tor project could set up a custom Registrar smart contract and sell subdomains under
.torproject.ethto offset costs of running the ENS nameserver.
Tor project could subdomain and sell names to raise donations for specific projects and initiatives. For example, Tor project might register
killcaptchas.torproject.ethand enable donors to purchase names under that if they wish to support such an initiative.
Tor Browser should support an ENS-search capability that scans the blockchain for all names within a user-specified
Improve Tor Browser and network user-experience by providing "anonymous names" capability
Support a Tor-search capability without requiring centralized
.onions. An ENS-to-onion nameserver might implement an additional query to return all registered names within a given subdomain.
Disrupt IANA's monopoly on Internet names
Support anonymous Internet usage
Save internet users the significant costs of registering and renewing DNS names. A tld might require a $200k fee to IANA just to process a proposal. A country domain can cost $50/yr and a web-commerce certificate can cost $100's to obtain and similar to renew each year.
Challenges and Risks
This proposal changes Tor Browser code. Although plugins and extensions are well-understood, this incurs some risk and potential future expense for maintenance and support.
ENS might not become popular enough. It caters to a small set of users who are comfortable with Tor and Ethereum.
The price of Ethereum may increase and make ENS too expensive to use.
The owner of
.ethmay increase the cost of renewal. While the community would migrate away to a similar service, this would again require Tor Browser to update.
Few users may hear about
ens://urls and accept that they work with the same level of anonymity granted by Tor.
Ethereum may disappear someday (unlikely, but you never know)
Blockchain tech invites attention from governments and other organizations that feel threatened by it.