Tor network runs out of bridges
First you have to explain what are the Tor network bridges. Basically they are repeaters that are not part of the public Tor listing. They serve to avoid the blocking that may exist in a certain country, especially in terms of censorship so that users can use web pages or services without having problems.
If a government of a certain nation blocks the Tor network, it would not be able to do so with these remaining repeaters or bridges off the public listing. That is why they allow many users to continue connecting without restrictions and without censorship problems.
The problem is that, as they warn from Tor, they are running out of these private bridges. They don’t have enough to meet the growing demand from users in certain countries who need to go online to bypass censorship.
From the Tor project they have indicated that they currently have about 1,200 bridges, of which 900 support obfs4 obfuscation protocol. These bridges are very useful so that users from countries such as Belarus, China or Iran, where there is censorship, can connect to the network without problems.
However, they indicate that this year the number of bridges has decreased and that they need at least 200 obfs4 bridges to be operational by January 2022. It is a warning for sailors who want to support the project and host servers. Tor, through its project, offers compensation to these users who voluntarily give up their connection. For these rewards to be realized, it is necessary that they keep the bridges active for a certain time.
Privacy, important for browsing
Beyond the use of Tor to avoid censorship in certain countries, the truth is that many users consider it as another tool to protect privacy. Every time we surf the Internet, our personal data can leak and even become part of malicious databases. You can see tips to improve privacy in Chrome.
We must always protect personal information when we sail. For example, not giving more data than necessary or taking care of which sites we visit. This will help us reduce the amount of data accessible to a third party and avoid certain problems.
But of course, for this we have different options. One of them is to use a VPN when browsing public Wi-Fi networks, for example. Also the use of the Tor browser can be very useful to achieve our goal of improving privacy on the network.
In short, Tor bridges are not enough for the high demand and from the project they have launched a notice to get more users to share their support. It is a way for others to connect and avoid censorship.