[tor-project] Anti-censorship team monthly report: January 2020
phw at torproject.org
Mon Feb 3 21:28:54 UTC 2020
Here's what the anti-censorship team has been up to in January 2020:
* Debugged and wrote a Tor Browser patch to fix throughput issues with
Snowflake on Windows.
* Started implementing a feature for proxies to conduct throughput tests
* Continued Snowflake network health measurements and analysis.
* David built a prototype that integrates Turbo Tunnel in Snowflake.
Take a look at his detailed technical summary:
* Fixed a bug in GetTor's email responder.
* Got GetTor's Gitlab distributor back up and running.
* Moved GetTor's Github repository and got it up and running.
* Modified GetTor to hand out localized binaries.
* Fixed up GetTor's tests to run locally.
* Filed a ticket on GetTor's problematic use of rate limiting.
* Damian generously spent a lot of time and effort getting BridgeDB very
close to supporting Python 3. A handful of issues remain, but the
bulk of the code base now support Python 3.
* Started working on a patch that allows BridgeDB to test its bridges
using bridgestrap. The idea is that broken bridges are logged
(allowing us to inform the operator) and aren't handed out to users.
* Filed a ticket to display BridgeDB's distribution bucket for a bridge
on Relay Search.
* Improved BridgeDB's CAPTCHAs. We modified gimp-captcha (the script
that BridgeDB uses to generate CAPTCHAs) to make the CAPTCHAs easier
to solve. Our BridgeDB usage metrics reveal that the success rate of
our users increased from ~58% to ~87% after we deployed the new
CAPTCHAs. Take a look at the following comment for a more in-depth
It's still not perfect but it's a step forward.
* Coordinated the set up of a new default bridge in Denmark. The
bridge speaks both IPv4 and IPv6. Thanks to Toke Høiland-Jørgensen
for running this new default bridge!
* We did a retrospective analysis of our bridge campaign from September
2019. In particular, we tested how many bridges were still online
(61%) and we sent an email to all operators. We thanked the ones who
are still running a bridge and we asked the ones whose bridge vanished
what went wrong.
* Philipp gave a talk at FH Hagenberg on the Tor network and censorship
Approximately 80-100 people attended -- mostly students but also a
handful of faculty members and visitors. Almost all have heard of Tor
before and most have used it in the past. There were plenty of
questions at the end, and the event stopped before Philipp was able to
answer them all. All Tor stickers were gone almost instantly!
* Added go.mod and go.sum to bridgestrap.
* Coordinated with OONI on their new Tor test and its user
* Made two minor fixes to obfs4portscan (the service behind
1. Made it clear that the service supports IPv6 and expects IPv6
addresses in square bracket notation.
2. Made the service use GET instead of POST requests, to make it
easier to hand people clickable links for their bridge.
* We roadmapped the following three months, ranging from February to
April 2020. Check out our team's wiki page for the goals of this
* Lots of work on an NSF "Transition to Practice" grant we have been
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