(Tor-talk) Help users in Iran reach the internet
In the last 48 hours a major campaign of filtering has started in Iran – it started slow and now appears to be that nearly all SSL/TLS traffic is blocked on a few major Iranian ISPs. Details are rather rough but we’re working on some solutions – we’ve long had an ace up our sleeves for this exact moment in the arms race but it’s perhaps come while the User Interface edges are a bit rough still.
Here’s the deal – we need people to run Tor bridges but a special kind of Tor bridge, one that does a kind of traffic camouflaging – we call it an obfuscated bridge. It’s not easy to set up just yet because we were not ready to deploy this for everyone yet; it lacks a lot of analysis and it might even only last for a few days at the rate the arms race is progressing, if you could call it progress.
There are highly technical instructions here:
Currently if you run such a bridge, you’ll either need to manually tell us (via email to tor-assistants at torproject.org ) about it or you’ll need to share these bridges with people you want to help directly. It’s a pain and we’re working on it.
Here’s a bug report where we’re working around the clock to get stuff going in a user friendly manner:
This kind of help is not for the technically faint of heart but it’s absolutely needed for people in Iran, right now. It’s likely that more than ~50,000 – ~60,000 Tor users may drop offline.
Watch this graph for an idea of the censorship impact of directly connecting Tor users:
Here’s the same graph but for Tor bridge users in Iran:
We’re working on easy to use client software and if you’re in Iran or need one desperately, please email help at rt.torproject.org. We’ll try to get you a working obfsproxy bridge address and working client software.
All the best,