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For the Tor network to properly work, the list of Tor relays always needs to be public, which also allows oppressive countries to block the relays any time they wish. These PTs connect to special relays, called PT bridges, which send the Tor traffic to its destination. The Tor Project is asking the community for help, requesting users to host PT bridges as well, not only regular Tor relays.

After helping the Debian Project move operations to the Dark Web, the Tor Project is now highlighting a hidden feature of the Tor Browser that allows users from certain countries to access the Tor network, even if that state is actively blocking access to the Tor relays themselves.

Countries such as China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and others use state-level ISP blocks to prevent Tor Browsers from connecting to Tor relays, the entry point to the Tor network.

The thinking is that if users can’t connect to Tor, they can’t use Tor to sidestep state-level firewalls and won’t have the means to access “sensitive” content, censored by a country’s ruling regime.

For the Tor network to properly work, the list of Tor relays always needs to be public, which also allows oppressive countries to block the relays any time they wish.


Since the practice of state-level Internet censorship has been gaining ground, the Tor Project has published a blog post today, revealing a hidden feature that’s been available in the Tor Browser for years.

Called Pluggable Transports (PT), these are special tools inside the Tor Browser package that take regular Web traffic and disguise it as innocuous protocols, where authorities rarely look.

These PTs connect to special relays, called PT bridges, which send the Tor traffic to its destination. The Tor Project is asking the community for help, requesting users to host PT bridges as well, not only regular Tor relays.

Currently, the Tor Browser supports four PT types and is working on adding three more.