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Mixnet simulation


  • Three different sizes of envelopes (such that the smallest fits the medium-size and medium-size fits the largest envelope). The envelopes need either be of different colour or feature coloured dots for easy observation. Add a message to a small envelope, the small envelope is placed in a medium size envelope, and that one in a large size envelope.
  • Opaque containers (bags or cardboard boxes).
  • Coloured ropes.


Enough people willing to play the parts

  • a network of at least 12 people holding boxes as mixnodes. People can be source and destination.
  • 3 extra destinations (services on servers).
  • Depending on what situation you are translating, a few people are playing ISP observers (those infamous black boxes placed at ISP's). For example, for creating a situation like in Egypt, have one ISP (that is directly talking to government).
  • Some people playing governments
  • Everybody not in one of the above roles can be observers, of which some report to governments.




See concepts of mix networks: As a getting started mixnet scenario you can use:

by mercutio531

  • A few people make messages (message in smallest envelope, smallest envelope in medium sized envelope, and that one in the largest envelope) and place them in mixnodes (at random).
  • When having three messages in their box mix nodes remove one envelope for each message and distributed each message to a new mix node. If a mix node sees the final recipient of a message that message is forwarded to its destination.

Just have people send messages back and forth at different times to get the network in a “running state” with a clear “baseline” of observations.

Now ask the observers to focus on three senders to determine who gets whose message. And what else seems noteworthy. Play with mixnet parameters.

Onion routing

  • Set up a simulated Tor network. Use colored ropes to represent circuits.
  • Change routes (for the sake of the simulation every 3 minutes)
  • Have Alice send Bob a message. Can people in the room see that it was Alice who passed a message to Bob?
  • What if there are multiple messages being passed, can we still see?
  • What if a country creates their own national internet and we set up Tor in this country? What if (policing or intelligence agencies) of countries share what they see?

Garlic routing

The challenge: build a simulation for understanding I2P.

en/facilitation/montessori/mixnetsim.txt · Last modified: 2018/10/11 19:42 by Digital Dot