Great response, thank you.
Roberto Vis

That’s great in terms of my being able to confirm what I have installed at my end … and I would expect no less before I’d install any software.

The problem remains, however, that I have no idea what the service provider is running: I can read all the sourcecode I like, compile it and check the hashes … but I have no idea what the service provider has installed — are they really running what the source says they should be … or are they running something different?

So … even with a decentralised, P2P service, I’m in the same boat — I know what the source says it does, but I don’t know what the nodes on the network are actually running.

It’s the problem with TOR/I2P — in theory my communications are anonymised, but that only holds as long as none of the entry/exit nodes I pass through is a MitM honeypot.

Like I said, at the end of the day, it boils down to trust … which is the single most cogent reason for not sleeping around — they can tell you they’re clean, but you’ve only got their word for it … and a trip to the clinic for an STD test just isn’t going to work in the context of a one-night-stand, is it? So, do you take their word for it, or do you decide to wait for a more serious relationship with someone who takes an STD test before you take that extra step?

There’s no simple answer … because, unlike waiting for a serious and trustworthy partner … a relationship with a VPN provider or a P2P network is a constant blind-date one-night-stand, no matter how many nights you share your bed with them.

I’m not knocking your efforts … I’d rather use something like what you’re suggesting than a centralised VPN service for the reasons you listed — just as I prefer the idea of I2P to Tor … and a cryptographic/steganographic P2P filesystem (preferably one with plausible deniability) [1] to the filesystems of yesterday.

So, I hope it gets off the ground and I hope it’s successful.

But there are inherent limitations and I feel that people should be aware of them, that’s all :)