T

Team

Meta for non-specific project tickets, projects management, and general information in the wiki.

Network Health Team

About us

Welcome to the Network Health page! There are several people in the Tor community taking care of the network's health.

The five areas that we focus on are:

  1. Track community standards about what makes a good relay
    • Publish up-to-date expectations for relay operators
    • Set best practices for how to set relay families
    • Detect and resolve bad relays
      • Exitmap, sybil detection, hsdir traps, etc.
  2. Anomaly analysis / network health engineer [with network team]
    • Establish baselines of expected network behavior
    • Look for and resolve denial of service issues
    • Track connectivity issues between relays
    • Look for relays hitting resource limits
  3. Make sure usage/growth stats are collected and accurate
    • Track network performance, relay diversity by various metrics
    • Count users [with network team]
    • Monitor bridge growth and usage [with censorship team]
  4. Relay advocacy [with community team]
    • Maintain docs for setting up and running relays and bridges
    • Grow a cohesive community of relay operators so they have peers
      • Keep relays on the right tor versions
    • Relaunch a gamification / badge system for lauding good relay progress
    • Strengthen relationships with non-profit orgs that run relays
    • Help companies that want to offset their tor network load
  5. Maintain the components of the network
    • Maintain directory authority relationships
    • Keep bandwidth authorities working (including setting the right balance between speed and location diversity)
    • Have enough tor browser default bridges, and keep them running smoothly [with censorship team]
    • Update the fallbackdirs list

Communication Channels

Just go to #tor-dev, and somebody from the team might either be around or appear later and get back to you.

We use IRC for our meetings, we meet on the OFTC network.

Team meeting UTC Location
Primary team meeting Monday 16:00 #tor-meeting

The Network Health's asynchronous medium of communication are the network-health@, tor-relays@, and tor-dev@ mailing lists, depending on which is more applicable. These lists are public in the sense that anyone can subscribe, send emails, and read archives. Feel free to subscribe and just listen if you want, and feel free to post if you have a question that you think is on topic.

General Priorities

  1. Detect and resolve bad relays
    • Exitmap, sybil detection, hsdir traps, etc.
  2. Anomaly analysis / network health engineer [with network team]
    • Establish baselines of expected network behavior
    • Monitor network disruption or problems
  3. Relay advocacy [with community team]
    • Strengthen relationships with non-profit orgs that run relays
    • Maintain docs for setting up and running relays and bridges
  4. Make sure usage/growth stats are collected and accurate
    • Track network performance, relay diversity by various metrics
  5. Maintain the components of the network to keep it healthy
    • Keep bandwidth authorities working (including setting the right balance between speed and location diversity)

Priorities for 2020

As our capacity has been reduced, in 2020 focused on maintaining essential services.

  • Get all critical sbws bugs fixed so we can replace Torflow.
  • Run the "bad hsdir" hunter scripts and other exitmap scripts.
  • Surprise 'anomaly analysis' on the network as needed.
  • Keep moderating and answering the tor-relays mailing list.
  • Maintain the relay operation documentation.
  • Maintain the list of fallbackdirs.
  • Maintain the set of default bridges in Tor Browser.

Priorities for 2021

We survived 2020 and start to be more active again in various network health areas.

  • Run the "bad hsdir" hunter scripts and other bad-relay detection scripts
  • Deploy sbws on all bandwidth authorities replacing Torflow and fix critical issues
  • Various work within our performance and scalability project
  • Support for researchers for network experiments
  • Consider tickets from other teams
    • dgoulet - network team
    • gus - community/comms
    • roger - anti-censorship
  • Integrate metrics into network-health
  • bad-relay tooling improvements
  • Improve user support for relays operators
    • Keep moderating and answering the tor-relays mailing list
  • Handle EOL relays
  • Work on sbws2
  • Start accumulating a list of metrics we want to have from arti-based relays
  • Map out possible plans for quantifying and improving our trust in relays/operators
  • Surprise 'anomaly analysis' on the network as needed
  • Things that we should look for and escalate to ourselves if we notice:
    • Are there changes to tor or tor browser that would improve our bad-relays treadmill?
    • Are there any current "issues inside the Tor network or protocol that allow attacks that harm UX for other users"? The onion service DoS is the big one?

Active Sponsor Projects

Resources

Developer meeting notes

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