O1.4: Increase the number of active obfs4 bridges.
Individuals running more Snowflake proxies is one strategy to increase the number of unblocked bridges to the Tor network. The second step is to increase the number of obfs4 bridges running on unblocked IP addresses. We have two strategies in mind for rapidly increasing these numbers:
- O1.4.1 Increase the number of dynamic bridges run by nonprofit partners. The Tor community has a close relationship with trusted relay operator nonprofits1 that run groups of relays, bridges, and exits. We will ask our relay operator nonprofit partners to set up new bridges, with the specific goal of spinning up new bridges when current ones get blocked, and taking blocked bridges offline. We will offer subsidies to trusted relay nonprofits in order to offset some of their infrastructure costs so that this effort can scale rapidly. We will monitor operation costs after scaling to develop a financial plan for long term sustainability together with these nonprofits.
- O1.4.2: Run a public campaign to encourage new individual operators to establish bridges. This campaign will target individuals and nonprofits who are part of the Internet freedom community, like free software advocates, relay associations, technical collectives, and hosting companies. In a previous DRL project titled Empowering Communities in the Global South to Bypass Censorship, we ran a bridge campaign2 and added approximately 100 obfs4 bridges to the network, and we know this strategy is effective in growing the capacity of bridge bandwidth resources.
- O1.4.3: Monitor bridge health. We will build continuous communication with bridge operators, sharing updates with them so they can update bridge configurations so they continue to work in target countries as new blocking attempts are deployed by CCP.