[tor-project] Anti-censorship team monthly report: August 2020
phw at torproject.org
Fri Sep 4 21:48:12 UTC 2020
Here's what we accomplished in August 2020:
* We set up an anonymous bug-reporting pad for the team. Take a look at
our reporting instructions:
* NAT type matching in Snowflake browser proxies. Released version
0.4.1 of the browser extension.
* Perform a test for symmetric NATs on startup.
* Implemented a fix so Snowflake stops using the client's network when
Tor isn't making reqests.
* Hashik Donthineni, our GSoC 2020 student, successfully finished his
Android proxy app project! It needs more UI improvements and testing
before being ready for use.
* Made progress on allowing clients to split traffic across multiple
* Updated Snowflake stats to include counts of restricted, unrestricted,
and unknown proxies.
* Inspected several months worth of BridgeDB's HTTPS distributor logs
and distilled a few insights.
* Took a closer look at bot scraping attempts.
* Decided to call our BridgeDB redesign rdsys, which is short for
"resource distribution system." Do you have a better name? If so,
let us know!
* Created a GitLab repository for rdsys. The code is a messy
construction site and will continue to be in the foreseeable future.
* Improved the way rdsys talks to bridgestrap to verify that bridges are
* Built an HTTP streaming interface between rdsys's backend and its
distributors. This interface allows the backend to stream resource
updates to the distributors without delay. The goal is that resources
(i.e. bridges) are distributed to users immediately after they are
added to the system.
* Implemented a crude prototype of the Salmon bridge distribution
mechanism. Brainstormed a handful of privacy-preserving features that
would improve the original design.
* Improved the service's shutdown procedure, caching mechanism, its
documentation, and its HTTP API. Added a command line flag to print
* Added a token bucket mechanism to limit the number of requests that
the service accepts.
* Updated the resources that emma tries to connect to (replaced a guard
relay and removed the default bridge "frosty"). Changed trac links to
* Retired the default bridge "frosty" because the colocation site where
the bridge was running will be shut down.
* Published a blog post on our challenges, priorities, and progress.
* Published our July 2020 report as blog post.
* David presented his Turbo Tunnel paper at FOCI'2020. His talk is
* Roger participated in a FOCI'2020 panel on "Internet Freedom in the
* Cecylia was a panelist at Tor's latest PrivChat iteration, called "the
Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Censorship Circumvention." The
recording is available online:
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