New Release: BridgeDB 0.10.1

New Release: BridgeDB 0.10.1


Philipp Winter
May 27, 2020

When ISPs or governments block access to the Tor network, our users rely on bridges to connect. With BridgeDB, we tackle the problem of how to get bridges to censored users while making it difficult for censors to get all bridges.

We just released and deployed BridgeDB version 0.10.1. Here’s what’s new:

  • Ticket #30941: Our email autoresponder was notoriously difficult to use and would only respond with bridges if you got the email commands right. Many people didn’t, so we tried to ease the pain by making the autoresponder reply with obfs4 bridges even if the user sent an invalid request. We also simplified the language in the autoresponder’s reply. Keep in mind that you need to send requests from either a Gmail or a Riseup address.
  • Ticket #33631: So far, BridgeDB remembered only the first distribution mechanism it ever learned for a given bridge. This means that if a bridge would change its mind and re-configure its distribution mechanism using the BridgeDistribution config option, BridgeDB would ignore it. This patch changes this behavior, so bridges can actually change their distribution mechanism.
  • Ticket #31528: BridgeDB used a bunch of silly phrases across its UI that made it unnecessarily difficult to translate and interact with. This patch replaced these phrases with simpler language. Thanks to Armin Huremagic (agix) for fixing this issue!
  • Ticket #30946: Python 2 is no longer supported, so we ported BridgeDB’s code base to Python 3. This was no easy feat but thanks to Damian Johnson (atagar), who did most of the heavy lifting, we are now done!
  • Ticket #33008: We added an info page to BridgeDB which explains its distribution mechanisms. Relay Search now shows a bridge’s distribution mechanism and links to this info page, so bridge operators can learn more.
  • Ticket #30317: This patch updates our “howto” box, which explains how one adds bridges to Tor Browser. In addition to updating the instructions, this patch also links to instructions for Android.
  • Ticket #33945: This patch fixed a bug that broke BridgeDB’s email autoresponder after a few hours or days. We believe that this was a regression that was introduced as part of our port to Python 3.
  • Ticket #12802: We built a small script that can test BridgeDB’s email autoresponder. Our monitoring tool monit periodically runs this script and sends us an email alert if the autoresponder stopped working.
  • Ticket #17548: BridgeDB’s email autoresponder used to be able to send PGP-signed messages. This feature broke a long time ago and the cost of maintaining it outweighs its usefulness, so we removed it.
  • Ticket #31967: BridgeDB now uses a CSPRNG to select a cached CAPTCHA. Thanks to Armin Huremagic (agix) for fixing this issue!
  • Ticket #29686: We renamed source code files to prevent file name conflicts on file systems that are not case sensitive.
  • Ticket #34154: We added several new fields to our SQLite database that we will use to keep track of where bridges are blocked.

Hopefully, these changes make the lives of our users easier. Please let us know what you think and share your experience with BridgeDB!

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