Do Snowflake Proxies Reveal Tor Traffic to ISP?

Hello world!

I decided to join the forum earlier today in hopes of finding an answer to something that I’ve been pondering for quite sometime and even attempted to do some of my own research, but wasn’t able to find much. I currently run Tor’s Snowflake proxy through my browser however, I was concerned if ISPs are able to notice that I’m running a Tor proxy, or at least the Tor traffic that would be routed through said proxy? I don’t live in a country where internet is censored fortunately, its just that I’m worried that the ISP might put a “flag” on the network that I run the proxy from. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

No, the ISP can’t see that you hosting a snowflake proxy.

Hi @AnonymousByte :slight_smile:

The Tor project’s Snowflake proxy web extension utilizes the WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) protocol, the same technology that’s used by Skype, Zoom or any other peer-to-peer web connection.

“From the perspective of your ISP it will look like you are connecting to a Tor bridge, which if you are running a Snowflake proxy should be legal and unrestricted in your country. There is no more risk running a Snowflake proxy than running Tor browser.”

You can learn more about the Snowflake proxy web extension at https://snowflake.torproject.org/

Additionally, you can take a deeper dive by checking out the technical overview

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Thanks for the reply SirNeo,

Out of curiosity, how would the ISP not be able to detect the Snowflake proxy? It would after all be an outbound connection from my network. Could this be due to encryption/obfuscation?

I disagree. They can see that you’re connecting to the Snowflake server and to the Snowflake broker.
But I don’t think that ISPs currently “flag” based on that. Some VPS services prohibit you from running a Tor relay, but Snowflake doesn’t use the Tor protocol, or Tor ports.
So I don’t think you have to worry currently.

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