tor's auto bridge default and unintended Vidalia side effects
Tor has this change as of 0.2.2.28-beta:
- If "UseBridges 1" is set and no bridges are configured, Tor will now refuse to build any circuits until some bridges are set. If "UseBridges auto" is set, Tor will use bridges if they are configured and we are not running as a server, but otherwise will make circuits as usual. The new default is "auto". Patch by anonym, so the Tails LiveCD can stop automatically revealing you as a Tor user on startup.
What this means for Vidalia is that "My ISP blocks connection to the Tor network" is already checked, and bridges will be used by default, which is possibly not a desirable thing for people who have a list of them but do not want to use them for whatever reason.
I played with this a little bit, and it seems like you can merely uncheck the ticky box and have no problems (i.e., your list of bridges remains and you don't need to clear them out, and Vidalia correctly saves the configuration after exiting and restarting), but I think there should be some discussion about how to handle this in Vidalia since Tor just got a little too smart for it. I personally do not feel comfortable shipping Vidalia bundles with this current setup, though I think right now it's okay for TBB, since it has its own torrc & vidalia.conf that users haven't edited.