[tor-dev] Flashproxy has been Deactivated by Stanford? Why?

David Fifield david at bamsoftware.com
Mon Dec 19 17:53:25 UTC 2016

On Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 01:21:04AM +0800, tomli at riseup.net wrote:
> It turned out that the entire code has been commented out and apparently
> Flashproxy became
> out of service. Why? Has the project discontinued, or just down for
> maintenance?

Flash proxy is basically retired now. It was removed from Tor Browser a
year ago (https://bugs.torproject.org/17428) after it had been
supplanted by more effective transports. I don't know why there was a
blog post on December 16 promoting flash proxy, because it's no longer

Even when flash proxy was part of Tor Browser, it had very few users
(less than 100; see https://metrics.torproject.org/userstats-bridge-transport.html?start=2013-01-01&transport=websocket),
probably because of the difficulty of running it as a client
Compare those user numbers to meek (current about 10K) or obfs4 (30K).

The reason I haven't asked people to stop running the flash proxy badge
is we're working on a new pluggable transport along the same lines but
without the usability challenges:
https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/doc/Snowflake. I was
thinking about adapting existing flash proxy badges to provide capacity
to Snowflake instead. This would go for Cupcake as well. The need to get
the badge running again hasn't been pressing because Snowflake isn't
deployed yet, but we're getting close.

The badge was deactivated by Stanford (without my knowledge, but I found
out a while ago). I arranged with them to move it to alternate hosting
and have them install a redirect, but that has been a low priority
behind other work on Snowflake.

I'm sorry about the confusion. If I get some time I'll add a notice to
the flash proxy main page saying that it's been retired.

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