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Re: Tor is out

> Yeah. We assume you have some way around your
> firewall (e.g. open proxies,
> friends, etc) but it's inconvenient and you don't
> want to use it all
> the time. But hopefully it's enough to get Tor
> itself.

The hard-working people at the firewall have managed
to block every open proxy I'd been able to find in the
past. If it's listed on any site that says it's
listing 'open proxies,' it's blocked. Keeping Tor
running was my last way around the firewall. I managed
to download an early version of Tor when it was easier
to find open proxies, then used Tor to keep Tor

I'm not sure why I can't get bridges at this e-mail
address, or (last Wednesday when Tor was running) by
accessing bridges.torproject.org. I only got a single
bridge, not a list, and the same bridge when I
refreshed. If I checked 'use bridges' in Vidalia, Tor
could not open a circuit using just the one bridge. So
I unchecked the 'My ISB blocks Tor' button in Vidalia,
and Tor built a circuit from the information it
already had.

Now, with Tor unable to build a circuit, the site to
get bridges is, of course, blocked.

> (We're looking into setting up a gmail autoresponder
> -- apparently gmail
> messages can be 20 megabytes. Handy.)
> > b) Tor cannot easily 'bootstrap,' since the
> > authoritative directory servers are all blocked.
> Is that also true for Tor

I'm running on Darwin, and on
XP. Both were able to create a circuit Wednesday, but
neither can create a circuit today.

A few weeks ago, when I downloaded, I got
about six bridges on the XP machine, but didn't bother
(since it was working without them) on the Darwin
machine. But now neither machine can build a circuit.

> If so, can you describe your firewall in more detail
> for us?

According to an old, but still unblocked post, they
use the SmartFilter filtering software.

This is a Middle-East firewall that uses a US firm
that provides them a list of every known site on the
Internet (all numerical IP addresses are blocked, so
only named sites can be accessed). All sites in the
categories 'porn,' 'political,' and 'hacking' are
blocked. Some sites seem to be manually blocked as
well (e.g., several blogs about the country) that
probably aren't in any category on the US provider's

About two years ago, I could leave Tor off for a
couple of weeks, but it could bootstrap itself. Then
one day it couldn't, since (I assume) the
authoritative servers had been put on the list of
'hacking' sites. I managed (after a week or so) to
find a way to re-bootstrap (I hacked the code to use
month-old network descriptors) and have been careful
to keep Tor running at least an hour a day ever since
to keep the network descriptors up to date.

The message I'm getting now is: Apr 04 10:35:12.277
[Notice] Tried for 120 seconds to get a connection to
geoip.vidalia-project.net:1443. Giving up. (waiting
for circuit)

I started with 70 usable descriptors, but that number
has been steadily dropping as I've watched, to 68,
then 65, and now 59.

I've noticed that I can't go back to, since
the old cached-status directory has been deleted by

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

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