A recent comment called my attention to a law called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act. Thanks David, I hadn’t even considered the possibility of hardware backdoors compromising the intents of this project.
First, the intent of the darknet is to make any sort of tracking or wiretapping impossible even if you are on the same node as the person you are trying to track.
Secondly, I don’t know if any (or all) of the hardware I’m looking at has CALEA backdoors built in. I need to do more research on this.
Ideally, this project would fall outside CALEA. I’m not a “telecommunications carrier” or a “manufacturer of telecommunications equipment”, I’m doing this as a hobby, and will be showing other people how to do the same, and maybe making a few for friends, neighbors, and family. But, I doubt this would hold up in court if the FBI or some other agency decided that I was “a threat” of some sort.
Potential solution: obfuscation and encryption. Wiretapping or monitoring will do absolutely no good if the data returned is meaningless. How to encrypt traffic over an open network?
Potential solution 2: Possibility of requiring the use of a client, like Tor? This could make ease of access a problem.
Potential solution 3: In theory, all web/http traffic could be rerouted/redirected to https, similar to how the Tor browser bundle does or the “https everywhere” plugin, but on the node/access point side rather than client side, using IPTables or something similar.
Related thought: I wonder if it would be possible to build a Tor relay into each node? This would possibly attract attention from the creators of Tor and give people an easy way to support both Tor and a darknet.
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