Dear Relay operators community,
The parliamentary elections in Turkmenistan are coming up very soon on March 26th, and the Turkmen government has tightened internet censorship and restrictions even more. In the last few months, the Anti-censorship community has learned that different pluggable transports, like Snowflake, and entire IP ranges, have been blocked in the country. Therefore, running a bridge on popular hosting providers like Hetzner, Digital Ocean, Linode, and AWS won't help as these providers' IP ranges are completely blocked in Turkmenistan.
Recently, we learned from the Anti-censorship community and via Tor user support channels that Tor bridges running on residential connections were working fine. Although they were blocked after some days or a week, these bridges received a lot of users and were very important to keep
How to help Turkmens to access the Internet
You can help Turkmens to access the free and open internet by running an obfs4 Tor bridge! But here's the trick: you need to run it on a residential connection -- you won't need a static IPv4 --, and it would ideally be run on more robust hardware than just a Raspberry Pi (although that can help, we have found they can get overloaded).
You can set up an obfs4 bridge by following our official guide.
After you setup a new bridge, you can share your bridge line with the Tor support team at email@example.com, and we will share it with users.
A complete bridge line is composed of:
IP:OBFS4_PORT FINGERPRINT cert=obfs4-certificate iat-mode=0
Check this documentation to learn how to share your bridge line:
Just sharing your bridge fingerprint is not the best, but it's fine.
You can read more about censorship against Tor in Turkmenistan here:
- [Turkmenistan] Number of directly connecting users is going down (#40029) · Issues · The Tor Project / Anti-censorship / censorship-analysis · GitLab
- Snowflake blocked.
Thank you for your support in helping to keep the internet free and open for everyone.
 2023 Turkmen parliamentary election - Wikipedia
 Turkmenistan - NTC
Bidirectional DNS, HTTPS, HTTP injection in Turkmenistan · Issue #80 · net4people/bbs · GitHub
The Tor Project
Community Team Lead