[tor-relays] Home Tor Middle Relay Blacklisted

zorc zorc+tor at protonmail.ch
Mon Jan 10 12:21:01 UTC 2022

> Fellow Tor Operators:
> After about 9 months of running Tor as a Middle Relay from my home network, I'm beginning to experience signs of my public semi-static IPv4 address being blacklisted with 403 Forbidden errors from Reuters and Venmo. I've confirmed by successfully accessing both sites with my mobile internet connection.
> I'm not surprised that Venmo is blacklisting, but extremely surprised I'm being blocked by Reuters. You would think such a organization would be a proponent of free speech. I wouldn't be surprised if Reuters used Tor in some capacity. It doesn't make sense.
> When Googling my public semi-static IPv4 address, it appears in several Tor blacklists. That being said, I'm at the point that, at a minimum, I will have to ask my ISP to freshen my public semi-static IPv4 address.
> Previously, when speaking with my ISP, they mentioned offering a static IPv6 address at no cost. I'm wondering if that offer was with the expectation that I would have to give up my existing IPv4 semi-static address? If they provided both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, at no cost, I'd like to run a Tor Bridge using the?semi-static?IPv4 address and configure my existing Middle Tor Relay to use the new static IPv6 address. That way, I'll be able to browse unimpeded through the?semi-static?IPv4 address and not have to be concerned with the static IPv6 address being blacklisted.
> Are other Tor Operators experiencing similar issues? Will I continue to experience blacklisting issues, even after migrating to a Tor Bridge? What are best practices in moving an existing Tor Relay to a new address, while avoiding the loss of flags?
> As always, I appreciate the feedback.
> Respectfully,
> Gary?

Hi Gary,

I'm having a similar experience. My main solution is (somewhat ironically I guess) to use a VPN. The sum of the two work reasonably well. When the VPN is blocked by something, my residential IP is usually not. What I also did once is directly contact a service I am paying for, and tell them to please use the Tor exit list instead of the Tor all-relays list if they really need. After some back and forth, this site started working again, although I never heard anything back from them whether this was indeed due to my enquiry. Maybe this could work for Reuters too if you explain to them how Tor is helping especially journalists?
As for the IPv6, my understanding is, that currently IPv6-only relays are not possible, i.e. your IPv4 would still show up on the blocklists. In addition, it would also show up as a Tor relay, i.e. your bridge would become blocked too. Not 100% sure on this, so someone please correct me if I'm wrong.


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