[B.A.T.M.A.N.] Why we switched to Babel

Marek Lindner mareklindner at neomailbox.ch
Mon Aug 17 10:57:10 CEST 2015

On Saturday, August 15, 2015 07:05:17 Marc Juul wrote:
> > I am afraid by telling your mesh users that you switched to an IP based
> > mesh protocol you lure them into a false sense of 'non-traceability'. It
> > kind of feels like a debate we had almost a decade ago when WiFi came to
> > the masses. People had the feeling to use WiFi they had to learn what this
> > cumbersome SSL thing is. Because WiFi is insecure as the waves leave your
> > home and the neighbors can eavesdrop on you .. Countless hours had to be
> > invested into educating our mesh users that SSL always is a good thing.
> > 
> > Personally, I rotate my MAC address on a daily basis. That works not only
> > with
> > batman-adv but everywhere. Obviously, that won't help you against the
> > countless ad networks, Google, Facebook, etc, etc
> I hear you.
> The biggest danger I feel is that associating to one of our access points
> once with your phone would then allow anyone, even a technically
> semi-literate stalker, to track you and find out where you live and work
> using something we built. My fear would be that someone could use this data
> to put up a public web app where any idiot can put in a MAC address and
> instantly get a nice map of movement activity.

I think we are at a point in our discussion where we just repeat what was 
already said. batman-adv certainly can be improved to provide better anonymity 
by default. Even with such a mechanism in place people can be tracked in your 
network (with IP mesh routing or without). Tracking without connecting to your 
network is even easier than that.  

Therefore, I favor education over a technology arms race. The latter you won't 
be able to win as you eventually will have to battle people's desire for the 
'least effort route'. 

> Hopefully these tracking services you mention are not quite so easy to
> access and use for something like this by an unlicensed individual (but
> maybe they are?) though even if others are making these types of services
> available, I'd rather not make it easy for them to use our network for their
> nefarious purposes.

These systems are built for absolutely non-technical users. For those who 
prefer videos over boring texts:

I recommend to pay close attention to the section they call 'loyal customers' 
(around 1:30min into the video). Note that this was just the first search 
result that came up. There are many more.

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