Tor Cloud project reaches the end of the line

The Tor Project has discontinued the Tor Cloud project due to a lack of dedicated software developers and maintainers.

The Tor Cloud project was started in late 2011, with the aim to provide a user-friendly way of deploying bridges (i.e. Tor relays that aren’t listed in the main directory) on Amazon EC2 to help users access an uncensored Internet.

Those users who would set up such a bridge would effectively donate bandwidth to the Tor network, making it both faster and safer for all users.

Unfortunately, the project can’t go on like it has until now. The Tor Project is aware that they aren’t able to provide quality maintenance to avoid serious flaws, and haven’t been able to find a new maintainer.

“There is at least one major bug in the Tor Cloud image that makes it completely dysfunctional (meaning that users could not use this particular service to access the Internet), and there are over a dozen other bugs, at least one of them of highest priority. Probably as a result of these bugs, the number of Tor Cloud bridges has steadily declined since early 2014,” they explained.

“There have been offers to send us patches, but we couldn’t find a Tor person to review and approve them. We encourage everyone who stepped up to start their own cloud bridges project under another name, possibly forking the existing Tor Cloud code that will remain available,” they noted. “Tor Cloud is still a good idea, it just needs somebody to implement it.”

While no new Tor Cloud instances can be set up this way, existing ones will remain intact, they reassured. Also, those who still wish to spin up an instance on Amazon EC2 or any other cloud computing platform may do so, only they will have to install a Tor bridge manually.

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