Sponsor 125: Rapid Response Fund for Russia censorship circumvention
Objective 1. Localize Tor circumvention censorship guide
Although we have a wide translator community, to fight against an ongoing and uncertain censorship scenario, we will need to quickly adapt, translate, and deliver Tor circumvention guides with localized instructions in Russian. For example: https://forum.torproject.net/t/tor-blocked-in-russia-how-to-circumvent-censorship/982/5.
Objective 2. Improve and deploy Tor dynamic bridges: we will need to spin up dynamic bridges that works in Russia. And there are some development work needed.
Bridges are Tor relays that allow users to access the Tor network when public methods of connecting have been blocked. We've seen evidence that the Russian government is using deep packet inspection to block many of our bridge distribution mechanisms and bridge IP addresses.
To do so we need to: * Spin up dynamic bridges that can change IP address when blocked; * Develop & deploy fixes to bridge distribution mechanisms to unblock them.
Objective 3. Setup a probetest server in Russia to be able to test ourselves what is blocked there.
We work with volunteers to help us determine what is blocked in Russia and we also use public datasets like those provided by OONI. We have a connected community, but in order to make our response to this censorship more effective, we need to be able to run tests ourselves.
To do so we need to: * Establish and configure a probetest server in Russia.
Objective 4. User support: fund a Russian Tor person to answer Russian users on #tor (IRC) and other channels.
With more than 300,000 daily users connecting to Tor from Russia, we've already seen a huge influx of support requests coming into our email, IRC, Telegram, and forum channels. We expect this to continue. We can answer the best we can using translation tools and the assistance of volunteers who speak Russian, but this is difficult and time consuming, which leaves users without support. We need to be able to answer Russian users faster.
Objective 5. Improve our telegram bot to deliver dynamic Tor bridges.
As mentioned above, we've seen evidence that the Russian government is using deep packet inspection to block many of our bridge distribution mechanisms and bridge IP addresses. To help combat this, we have deployed a Telegram bot (@GetBridgesBot) that users can contact to receive a private bridge and connect to Tor. We need to improve this bot so that it can deliver the dynamic bridges we'll roll out as part of Objetive 3.
In this Objective we will: * Develop & deploy improvements to the @GetBridgesBot.