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Re: [tor-talk] FTe Bridges

The bridges.torproject.org site as well as the email service work fine.
Even if the email and/or visit to bridgeDB yielded three bridges, you
only have a single attempt/failure to evaluate as a data point in your
experiment with pluggable transports. Without getting into the protocol
chosen (FTE versus obfs3 versus obfs4 versus scramblesuit, etc), I
would say it's a little early to rule out the countless other variables
in play with your scenario and jump to the conclusion that the bridgeDB
service is down. 

As you'll find, if you choose to try twice, or even a third time,
pluggable transports add an additional layer of complexity to an
already complex machine. Bridges could be down, could be slow, could be
online for a bit only to crumble later and, most importantly, may not
be necessary for your application. 

If your local oppressive government is flagging tor users as suspects
in some heinous plot or your ISP is canceling service to identified tor
users, bridges are a potential solution. If your particular adversary
would be a greater threat by simply knowing you are using tor, bridges
are a possible shield. If you just want to escape the "metadatanet"
that ensnares people, constantly, then simply using tor might be enough
by itself. If you are contributing your computer to the relay network
that powers tor, bridges will never (afaik, I haven't actually looked
into this recently) work for you. 

Beyond the "why" lies the "how". In my experience, and I haven't done
any research in this silo so I may be way off, obfs3 is much more
popular and battle tested than FTE. I can remember FTE as far back as
obfs2, so unless the protocol has been continuously updated, it's
probably not as effective as the newer obfs3 or obfs4. But I have to
emphasize that I haven't looked at FTE for a while and there may be
many things I don't know about it that make it a superior choice for
some users. 

And bringing it back to your initial question; ending with what could
have been the only paragraph sent had I wished to be stingy with the
thought I put into your reply, the bridgeDB website and email service
are both working fine for me and several others. Might I suggest a
light-hearted quick read to give you the push you may find useful in
future endevours, especially those involving tor and it's many exotic
features: A folk-tale I bet you know called "The Little Engine That
Could"  ;)


PS: Apologies, in advance, if I seem sarcastic ~ I simple love
children's stories, oh the memories, such classics!

On Mon, 2 Nov 2015 19:39:07 -0600
Justin Davis <davisjustin002@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Hello,
> When I try to use FTE bridges from the bridge db email service, they
> don't work.  Keep in mind I've only tried this once, but has anyone
> else had this issue with FTE or any other pluggable transport bridges
> given out from bridge db?
> Thanks,
> Justin.

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