Welcome to the anti-censorship team page. The anti-censorship team is a group of Tor people who make Tor reachable anywhere in the world. We analyze censorship attempts and develop technology to work around these censorship attempts.
One of the reasons we are not listing the names of the team members here is because we want to keep the team open to everyone. You're on the team if you're participating in discussions and development, and you're not part of the team anymore if you decide you want to move on (which we hope won't happen).
Excited about joining the team? Here is more information on how to get started.
IRC meetings schedule
We use IRC for our weekly meetings and we meet on the OFTC network in the #tor-meeting channel. The meeting takes place each Thursday at 16:00 UTC and typically lasts for an hour. This page can tell you what time this is in your part of the world. Sometimes, we have to cancel our meeting but we announce cancellations on our mailing list. Besides, our pad always shows the date of the next meeting.
If you want to get involved in Tor's anti-censorship work, try to show up to the team meeting! To get an idea of what we discuss in our meetings, take a look at our Riseup pad. In a nutshell, we use our weekly meetings to:
- Make announcements to the team.
- Discuss topics like our development roadmap, team processes, or code architecture.
- Ask for help with whatever we're working on.
- Coordinate code review.
People on the anti-censorship team use the pad to keep track of what they did the past week, what they plan to do next week, and what they need help with. If you missed a meeting, fret not! We post log files of our meetings on the tor-project mailing list, typically with the string "Anti-censorship meeting notes" in the email's subject line.
We use the string "anti-censorship-team" on IRC to reach all team members, e.g. "anti-censorship-team: take a look at bug #1234 (closed)". Be sure to configure a highlight in your IRC client for this string.
For asynchronous communication, we use our anti-censorship-team mailing list. The list is publicly archived and available for anyone to sign up, so feel free to participate! Among other things, we use this mailing list to coordinate meetings, send announcements, and discuss all matters related to the anti-censorship team. Note that for development-related topics, we use the tor-dev mailing list.
Every three months, we roadmap the challenges we intend to work on for the next three months. The following are our goal for the current roadmapping period (Feb 2020 to Apr 2020):
- GetTor must be reliable and must work for people in all censored regions.
- We want to have accurate and safely-collected statistics of GetTor use.
- Snowflake must be reliable (will allow a user to bootstrap and start browsing without needing to be restarted).
- Snowflake throughput should not be painful.
- Snowflake should work on all platforms (including Android).
- We have happy Snowflake proxy volunteers that remain active.
- We want to have more comprehensive BridgeDB metrics.
- We will improve BridgeDB's broken CAPTCHA system.
- We will monitor all critical components of the team's infrastructure.
ROADMAP 2020 Q1
* Think about obfs4/obfs5 and what can be done (read Eric's paper)
* GetTor is reliable and works for people in all censored regions * We have accurate and safely-collected statistics of GetTor use
* Snowflake is reliable (will allow a user to bootstrap and start browsing without needing to be restarted) * Snowflake throughput is not painful * Snowflake works on all platforms (including Android) * We have happy Snowflake proxy volunteers that remain active
* Create an evaluation framework and collect data to better monitor and evaluate current bridge selection and distribution processes.
In other components
Becoming a volunteer
Thanks for volunteering with us! There are many things that we need your help with:
- Do you think that Tor (or one of its pluggable transports) is blocked in your country or network? Let us know!
- Do you know how to code? Come help us improve one of our software projects! See below for more details.
- We maintain lots of documentation which regularly needs updates and new content.
- Do you have a background in UX? We maintain user-facing software whose user experience matters to us.
The best way to get involved is to visit our weekly IRC meeting (see above). Tell us your background and interests and we will find a project for your to get started.
We are maintaining several anti-censorship software projects. The table below lists our projects and their respective maintainers. If you're interested in contributing to any of these projects, please get in touch with the respective maintainers!
|= Name =||= Language =||= Maintainer(s) =||= More info =|
|GetTor||Python||hiro, cohosh||info page|
|snowflake||Go||dcf, cohosh, ahf, arlo||info page|
|emma||Go||phw||Emma is a lightweight censorship analyser, run on censored machines.|
Information for developers
- Overview of the pluggable transport space
- A Child's Garden Of Pluggable Transports
- Tor Browser hacking notes for including pluggable transports.
- Guidelines for deploying pluggable transports.
- Guidelines for retiring pluggable transports.
Service survival guides
This is a list of service-specific survival guides. These guides document essential operational tasks.
Active Sponsors and Contracts
- RACE (Resilient Anonymous Communication for Everyone)
- Empowering Communities in the Global South to Bypass Censorship
We use tags for Trac tickets to group tickets together. The following tickets are particularly important for our team:
- anti-censorship-roadmap marks tickets that are on our roadmap.
- anti-censorship-roadmap-maybe marks tickets that are candidates for our roadmap.
- anti-censorship-roadmap-2019 marks tickets that are part of our 2019 roadmap.
- Supporting NGOs with private bridges
- List of the default bridges that Tor Browser ships with.
- An incomplete timeline of events (including censorship) that might affect user metrics.
- Censorship wiki with info on where Tor is blocked.
- CensorBib hosts censorship-related research papers.
- Services and machines that we currently monitor
Tor meeting notes
- Mexico City 2018 meeting notes on the anti-censorship team.
- Mexico City 2018 meeting notes on censorship in China.
- Stockholm 2019 meeting notes on how to get more snowflake proxies.
- Stockholm 2019 meeting notes on anti-censorship rapid response.
- Stockholm 2019 meeting notes on sponsor 30 kickoff.