Help Iranian dissidents
humphry.chris at yahoo.com
Sun Jun 21 18:19:19 UTC 2009
Hi Roger and Karsten,
The problem with Tor and Tor Bridges is so few people know about it. And to get a Tor bridge one must understand Gmail usage, etc. All when English is probably not the first language. I agree that collecting and sending Bridge address or Squid proxy address is not the ideal method but in my opinion it is better than nothing (assuming the Tor network get blocked).
What are the options? Tor needs to be easier for people to find and use Bridge addresses. I have helped 6 people setup Tor and Tor Bridges in the last week so they can help the Iranians. And every person was brand new to Tor and each one complained about how hard it was to setup and run (they all use Windows XP). Two people tried and gave up.
The hardest issues seems to be telling people about Bridges and how to find them. If one is using Tor and doesn't know about Bridges and all of the sudden Tor is blocked I don't think the person would find Bridges or understand their use without a lot of effort (most people have little understanding of most GUIs, let alone command line, etc).
I would love to see Tor get more attention, even though you (Roger) would not. I assume you are correct but it just seems so many people who could use and greatly benefit from Tor are not because they don't know about it....
I for one would like to email the Internet anchor Josh Levs from CNN. I would like to tell him about Tor and help him understand it. Then he can report on how people in Iran can use Tor and how people outside Iran can email Tor to people within Iran in case the Tor website goes down. Would be mind if I did so? I would not discuss Bridges.
I sees both sides of the issue but to me it's most important to let people know about Tor and Tor Bridges. I assume it's only a short time until Iran blocks anonymity networks. I am very surprised they have not done so yet...
You and Karsten know much more than I do so I defer to you. But I do think it's very important to let people know how they can use Tor to help in this crisis.
--- On Sun, 6/21/09, Roger Dingledine <arma at mit.edu> wrote:
From: Roger Dingledine <arma at mit.edu>
Subject: Re: Help Iranian dissidents
To: or-talk at freehaven.net
Date: Sunday, June 21, 2009, 11:38 AM
On Sun, Jun 21, 2009 at 01:02:09PM +0200, Karsten N. wrote:
> If we have problems to introduce our bridges, we should search for a
> general solution and do not give all bridges exclusive to a political
There are only a few hundred running bridges right now. I think it's fine
to "use" them all this week, if people want to. We'll have more later,
and it'll be good to learn some lessons here.
> Seems I am not up to date. My last information was, a GMail account is
> used for publish bridges. It does not working? Is there a solution in
> development? May I help in any way?
You can discover some bridge addresses either with a gmail account,
or with a web browser:
It seems that other people are collecting bridge addresses manually and
giving them out when they find people who could use one. This might
be a bad idea, in that it increases the risk that the attacker will
get ahold of the bridge address, since now there are two ways to learn
it. But it also might be a good idea, since now it's more likely to get
used by somebody who needs it (not everybody knows about the above two
URLs after all).
I'm not sure what the right balance is.
In any case, the Tor network itself hasn't been blocked in Iran, as far
as I can tell. So in a sense this bridge stuff (the next step in the
arms race) is all just practice.
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