I have been running a bridge relay 24/7/52 on a very old computer, which I do not use for anything else, for over a year.
Recently the Tor metrics Relay search page for my bridge includes the details
“blocklist ru” and explains that this means that the bridge is not distributed in Russia.
I operate the bridge to help censored internet users worldwide, and have seen the news about the large recent increase in use of bridges by Russian users.
Is there anything that I can do to make my bridge useful to Russian users?
For example, should I ask my Internet Service Provider to change my fixed IPv4 address, which I requested a year ago because the instructions on setting up a bridge relay stated that a fixed IPv4 address was better than a dynamic one.
Or should I be asking the ISP to give me a dynamic IPv4 address, even though the ISP website states that having a fixed IPv4 address cannot be changed back to a dynamic one.
My IPv6 address is dynamic, and I do not know if it can be made fixed, or if that would be useful or not.
I could not find much about this subject online, and so I thought that I should ask for explanation and advice about this before I contact my ISP.
I can’t give you an advice, but can share the experience with my bridge. It runs on my Raspberry Pi with a Dynamic IP. The IP changes every day. The bridge do not realise the IP change, so I decided to restart tor every morning via cronjob. It works well, no blocklist ru message till now.
The “blocklist ru” means that censors blocked your bridge IP in Russia, and Russian users can’t use your bridge to connect to the Tor network. Maybe your bridge will still see some users from Russia, where the Internet Service Providers didn’t deploy TSPU devices (yet).
I followed the advice given and contacted my ISP (Free, in France) and the person I spoke to appeared to understand my problem, but did say that normally it was not possible to change a full stack IPv4 address, which I already knew.
They suggested that I look at the options available on the part of my account dealing with the technical details of my Freebox, in case there was a way there to change the IPv4 address.
Otherwise they suggested using a VPN to protect myself from the Russian blocklist.
They did say that they would check at their end to see if there was anything that could be done, and checked my email address and phone number.
I have had a look and could not see any way to change my IPv4 address on the Freebox section of my account, though I am aware that I do not know enough about this subject to be sure.
I believe that I cannot use a VPN and run a Tor bridge. Is that correct?
Is there anything else that I can do? I do intend to contact the ISP again in a couple of weeks’ time if I do not hear from them, in case they have found something else they can do, or have decided to do something to counter the blocklist action by Russia.