Opened 13 months ago

Last modified 2 months ago

#31282 new project

O3.1 - Research different scenarios of how human rights defenders experience censorship.

Reported by: gaba Owned by: antonela
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: UX Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords:
Cc: antonela, cohosh Actual Points:
Parent ID: #31269 Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor: Sponsor30-must


  • A1 - Develop Tor user personas as a tool to understand users’ contexts and mental models.
  • A2 - Define which censorship scenarios we are going to address.
  • A3 - Use Tor user personas to define user flows that will empower human rights defenders to effectively circumvent censorship based on the scenarios identified above.

Child Tickets

#30350needs_informationcohoshHello, in China, currently, Tor Browser 8.5a11 version can't connect to Tor network through Snowflake bridge.Circumvention/Snowflake
#32811assignedantonelaResearch on information controls to extend our user personas to specific censored personasUX/Research

Change History (4)

comment:1 Changed 2 months ago by antonela


Based on

(1) Blocking or filtering on devices

(2) Local network filtering

This includes reaching


Do we have a list of mirrors? can we have a list of mirrors? how users access to gettor information if the primary domain is blocked? can we optimize search engines to show trusted information?


Do we have a list of mirrors?
Should bridges.tpo have TPI branding? should bridges.tpo live under www maintenance?


Do we have trusted distributors? are app stores up-to-date?

(3) Blocking or filtering by Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

  • User cannot connect to the Tor network

Which scenario is missing? What use case is not contemplated?

Last edited 2 months ago by antonela (previous) (diff)

comment:2 Changed 2 months ago by cohosh

Cc: cohosh added

comment:3 Changed 2 months ago by cohosh

cohosh cc'ing myself on sponsor 30 work

comment:4 Changed 2 months ago by phw

Thanks for this, antonela. Your scenarios should cover the majority of censorship scenarios that Tor users experience. All three scenarios however can result in the same kind of censorship, so from Alice's point of view it makes little difference if she's subject to on-device or to ISP-based blocking because the effect is the same. All three scenarios can result in the following:

  1. The domain is blocked (user must use GetTor to get Tor Browser)
  2. Directory authorities are blocked (user must use bridges)
  3. Default bridges are blocked (user must use non-default bridges)
  4. Vanilla Tor is blocked by protocol (user must use obfs4 or snowflake)
  5. is blocked (user must use moat)
  6. Google's STUN server is blocked (user must use something other than snowflake)

All that said, here are two more scenarios, for the sake of completeness:

  • Self-censorship: fear of consequences may prevent users from learning about or using Tor Browser.
  • Throttling: In theory, an adversary could throttle (but not block) Tor traffic, in an attempt to discourage people from using it.
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