goTenna Mesh community

Gotenna Tor gateway and Gotenna Tor Host

I would dig deep to buy a machine capable of hosting 10,000 virtual Gotennas on Tor. That switch could be mirrored to other volunteers for redundancy. Many of these people have been involved in such efforts for decades.

Gotenna could then sell lower priced gateways to users so they could connect to these virtual Gotennas. Each virtual instance would tie to one and only one remote Gotenna network.

Tor would get these networks up quickly, but an I2P architecture would be even more resilient.

I’ve been involved with GoTenna for a little over 2 years, with Tor for more than 10. And still, I’m not sure I understand your proposal.

GoTenna uses an ad-hoc connectionless flood protocol (think UDP multicast), while Tor is connection-oriented by design (that’s why it doesn’t handle UDP well). Their operating principles are nearly polar opposites.

I can imagine Tor and GoTenna being used side-by-side as pluggable transports for specialized datagram-oriented software like ATAK, Briar or Bitcoin - and some work in this direction does indeed exist, in various stages of completion.

However, trying to tunnel GoTenna traffic through a network of Tor channels (if this is what you had in mind) feels to me a bit like a square peg in a round hole situation.

Can you please give some details on the way you imagine this system would work, possibly with some real-life use cases?

I didn’t know GoTenna used UDP.

Yeah, UDP would be a problem - but I would think the normal workarounds would be sufficient to handle that difficulty. Just placed a phone cal through Tor using my presumably UDP softphone, and others report same with Skype: Voice over Tor? - Guardian Project

So it’s not like others haven’t dealt with this problem…And while I never bothered to learn the envelope of Wireguard. Would expect it can tunnel UDP. Wireguard puts a trivial load on systems…it just behaves.

The attractiveness of Tor to host this node is the ease of creating fully functional onion sites. I’m sure you’ve used Onionshare. And I’m assuming even onionshare can be further enhanced with the addition of the Tor access cookie. Let’s say a school district needed to communicate with dispersed schools. They could just setup an onion site, then distribute that security cookie. Thereafter, only their staff could access that onion website.

I’m hoping one could do something similar with Gotenna. Create a virtual relay or relays on a server - then have dispersed Gotenna segments connect to it using their native protocol. This system could be open (available to anyone) or closed (available only to a school district).

An I2P virtual Gotenna might even be more advantageous since I2P supports UDP natively. I just thought Tor would be quicker to implement.

Onions and EEPsites are just easier. They require no grand poobahs to deploy.

It doesn’t, I was only using UDP as an example to help visualize. GoTenna doesn’t use IP protocols at all, it uses a radio protocol. It’s datagram based rather than connection based, which makes it similar to UDP in operation.

Got you. And what would the end-users use in your scenario? The GoTenna app, or a regular messaging app (based on a standard protocol like XMPP or Matrix) using GoTenna transparently as a transport plugin?

Use? Real world is messy. Quite often, it will be impossible to connect everyone who wishes to connect. If we had a “box” which could could connect together disparate small gotenna networks without a great deal of thinking ( :slight_smile: ) - it would go a long way in making Gotenna more useful.

Have installed a 24/7 Gotenna relay here. It’s quiet, but just 5 miles away can see a much larger cluster of Gotennas. Might be useful if I could reach them.

As I see it, anyone adopting the gotenna has reduced their communication standards in hopes of gaining some control. A good trade - IF you can collect it. Right now, the inability to connect at distance lessens the value of that trade. In practice, the trade does not live up to the promise. because of the lack of a “trunk”.

I like the idea that Tor allows you to setup a site almost instantly and with some degree of privacy protection. If you could get Gotenna to work in such an environment - it would be a plus.

And like I said, if all of this “jus’ worked”…I’d be happy to setup an unattended Tor node for Gotenna’s benefit. But it must be in a form where I’d never mess with it. Basically, I’d be sharing a good internet connection with others.

And if you throw out the need for real time communications - even more things are possible.

Remember trying to help an Iranian several years ago when their government was shutting down their internet. Given the constraints he provided, only some form of independent communications network or an advanced sneakernet could defeat the government’s measures. And you sure would not wish to use radio - because their government was actively hunting down people with radios.

The old Soviet people knew how to deal with this. They would simply write letters - then send them stampless through “friend channels” instead of using the official mail. Probably took longer that way - but it must have worked. because they kept using that channel.

Gotenna is so mobile and bursty, might be time to resurrect those old methods. Only this time you just attach a secure scuttlebutt box (or it’s equivalent) to a long distance truck - then use Gotennas to fill it’s “mailbox” all along it’s route.

Still a bit of a high wire act - even today. But I’d sure like to see that experiment executed.

At destination, the recipient would scan through a list of messages until the public key became a match.