The Tor search engine, probably the best internet browser that protects privacy available to most people, it is running out of bridge servers. The decline in the number of servers affects the ability of search engines to fight censorship and provide access to the open Internet in places where governments and other entities strictly control access to information.
U blog update released this week, the nonprofit organization Tor Project, an organization that maintains and develops Tor software, said it currently has approximately 1,200 bridge servers, or bridges, 900 of which support the obfuscation obfs4 protocol. They are bridges private servers which allow access to users living in places where the Tor network is blocked. Tor provides users with anonymity by repeatedly transmitting connections to the server and, in some cases, across multiple countries.
However, it should be noted that Tor is not only used by people who do not have internet access in their country. It is also used by people who want to hide their IP address or who do not want their search activity to be tracked.
Project Tor he said the number of bridges, led by volunteers, has been declining since the beginning of the year.
“It’s not enough to have a lot of bridges: in the end they could all find themselves on blocked lists,” the nonprofit stands in his blog post. “That’s why we need a steady stream of new bridges that aren’t blocked anywhere yet.”
According to Tor Project‘s metrics, from mid-August until now, among the first 5 countries with users connecting via bridges is (in the order of users) Russia, with an average of 12,480 users per day; The U.S., with an average of 10,726 users per day; Iran, with an average of 3,738 users per day; Germany, with an average of 2,322 users; and Belarus, with an average of 1,453 users.
To address the bridge server crash, the Tor project is launching a campaign to bring 200 obfs4 bridges to the network by the end of the year. He threw out modest “reward kits,” consisting of Tor sweatshirts, T-shirts and stickers, for volunteers who have been running bridge servers for at least a year. (Remember, this is a non-profit organization). The project campaign will end on January 7, 2022.
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