How the Tor Project is Fighting Russian Censorship

In December 2021, Russia’s media regulator Roskomnadzor ordered ISPs to block the Tor website and its servers. A competition has since developed between Russian censors and the developers and users of the Tor project. Russia is different from China. China completely controls the Internet infrastructure, so it is more effective to block Tor, while Russia’s network infrastructure is relatively fragmented. The order to block Tor is executed by different companies, and the effect is also uneven. Blocked, other people can use it normally, and the same city may have different censorship conditions. Tor network data shows that the number of people connecting to Tor in Russia has dropped significantly since December last year. Now Russian users connect to the Tor network mainly through bridges and Tor’s anti-censorship tool Snowflake, and the number of Russian users using Snowflake has increased significantly. . Russian censors attacked Snowflake twice in the past few months to fingerprint Tor user connections, but a fix released by the Tor developers resolved the issue. In addition to blocking Tor at home, users in Russia’s occupied region of Ukraine report Tor not connecting.

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