[tor-relays] Maybe the next step in russian Tor discrimination

abuse at lokodlare.com abuse at lokodlare.com
Sun Jan 2 15:09:39 UTC 2022

Very interesting!

I have two VPS at different locations with justhost.ru (IQ Data St. Petersburg and DataLine Moscow - AS51659) and have also noticed a change:
- on December 30th, both servers could not reach deb.torproject.org and the torproject.org web page. Both IPv4 and IPv6 were blocked.
- I tried again today and everything worked fine. I even downloaded the tor browser bundle for Windows over one of the servers just to see if it works. It does and the signature also checks out (verified on a different server outside Russia)
- running tor nodes at both locations continues to work

Best Regards,
Jan 2, 2022, 08:22 by torrelaysaregreat at gmail.com:

> Hello,
> i have a relay at > profitserver.ru <http://profitserver.ru>>  at their Chelyabinsk location and recently the relay fell out of the consensus.
> I can ping all authorities with IPv4 and IPv6 and > torproject.org <http://torproject.org>>  is not blocked.
> I opened the ControlPort and tried to manually create circuits to the authorities.
> extendcircuit 0 authoritynickname
> getinfo circuit-status
> I observed that i can successfully create circuits to no more than three authorities and it seems to change to which authorities i can create circuits.
> The unsuccessful circuits stay in EXTENDED but never reach BUILT until Tor gives up eventually.
>  Currently no other of my russian relays are affected.
> I am not an expert with the ControlPort but i hope this is proving what i tried to prove.
> Here is the conversation with the support:
> me:
>  > Hello,
> I am running a (non-exit) Tor relay on the VPS and it stopped working a few weeks ago.
> I can ping the Tor authorities IP addresses but when i try to manually create a Tor circuit it seems to timeout 6 out of 9 times which indicates some blocking attempts on your (or your upstream providers) side.
> I have a couple of other Tor relays in russia and i have never seen routinely failing manually created circuits to the Tor authorities.
> Do you block Tor or do you otherwise mess with Tor traffic?
> support agent:
>  > Hello, i can't say something about TOR network, now.
> We have black box from government, which can control traffic, and perhaps block TOR.
> Ourselves don't block TOR>  
> me:
>  > Thanks for your answer.
> The TSPU from Roskomnadzor that is doing Deep Packet Inspection?
> I feel with you and all the russian citizens... :(
> Good luck>  >  > support agent:
>  > Maybe it's a black box
> If this is indeed their blackbox messing with Tor traffic then it is quite subtile because it does not block > torproject.org <http://torproject.org>>  and pings to the authorities are going through.
> The relay suddenly was online for one consensus in the last weeks and i can still use it when i manually set it as a Guard in my Tor client.
> So if you run a relay in russia and you experience weird stuff with it then you may not only want to check if you can reach the authorities by ping but you may want to try to manually craft a circuit to all of them.
> Hope that helps anyone
> Cheers

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