[tor-talk] Why does requesting for bridges by email require a Yahoo or Gmail address?

Matthew Finkel matthew.finkel at gmail.com
Sat Jul 26 07:47:24 UTC 2014

On Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 03:44:21PM +0000, obx wrote:
> > Because we need an adequately popular provider that makes it hard to
> > generate lots of addresses. Otherwise an attacker could make millions
> > of addresses and "be" millions of different people asking for bridges.
> I know this is the reason, but there are still captchas, right?

Yes, they do rely on captchas and phone numbers. But luckily, in the
case for gmail, the capture-difficulty is variable. This in no way
solves the problem, but it's certainly better than most alternatives.

> Also, I think this list needs to be expanded.
> > (Also, it recently became clear that it would be useful for people to
> > access this provider via https, rather than http, so a network adversary
> > can't just sniff the bridge addresses off the Internet when the user
> > reads her mail.
> I'm not sure if gmail is safe against this recent adversary, regardless
> of the protocol.

Excluding the NSA/US Gov, I think gmail is the best
corporate-controlled service available, right now. This
opinion may change if contradictory information is released, but at
this time, for our purposes, I am happy requiring gmail.

Services like riseup are excellent, but we are abusing their systems
(a little), as well as potentially putting more work/stress/pressure on
the staff. I wish there was a way to necessitate the requirements and
rigor of riseup with the scalability of gmail. Alas, this isn't
available, as far as I know. Riseup is also special due to existing
person relationships, it's possible we can expand the whitelist to other
provides such as autistici, but it will be a more involved process.

Suggestions and help always appreciated

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