[messaging] Panoramix decryption mixnet messaging spec and design documents

Michael Rogers michael at briarproject.org
Tue Sep 19 03:08:27 PDT 2017

On 09/08/17 03:53, dawuud wrote:
> I just wanted to make you all aware that I've published our design
> and specification documents for our mixnet project:
> https://github.com/Katzenpost/docs

Hi David,

It's really exciting to see mix networks becoming an active area of
interest again. Can I ask a couple of high-level questions about Panoramix?

First, you're adding a reliability layer on top of Loopix, right? I can
see the usefulness of that, but I also wonder whether all applications
will have the same reliability needs - in the IP world some applications
use UDP rather than TCP, some use multicast, etc. To what extent is the
reliability layer fused with the mixnet layer? If I wanted to use a
different reliability layer (or none), which parts of the system
(clients, mixes, providers) would I need to replace?

Second, Loopix allows users to receive messages (via their providers)
while they're offline, which is great. But for mobile devices there's
another common situation, where the device is online but asleep. Email
and messaging apps typically wake the device with a push notification
when a message is available. On Android at least this can be done
without going through Google's push service by keeping a connection to
the provider open while the device is asleep. Sending a notification as
soon as a message arrives at the provider exposes more metadata to a
global passive adversary than holding onto the message until the user
polls for it - but on the other hand users of some applications may
expect timely notifications. Are push notifications something you've
considered in the Panoramix design, and if not, would you be interested
in including them?

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