Russia throttling bridge traffic?

A bridge set up to assist users in Russia used to attract several MB/s of traffic. Of course, we do not know which countries these users come from, but presumably they are mainly Russia/China/Iran. But now it is receiving less than 200 KB/s of traffic. This is despite a fair number of users:

Heartbeat: In the last 6 hours, I have seen 101 unique clients.

I have read elsewhere that Roskomnadzor is throttling traffic to Facebook and Twitter. Is it possible that they are also throttling international traffic more generally? Has anyone else seen low traffic on their bridge?

Is the bridge in a network where Tor is blocked? I mean if the network where you are running the bridge is blocking the access to Tor relays will explain that many users do connect to the bridge but don’t manage to establish a Tor circuit and only few are producing traffic as they manage to reach a relay that is not blocked. If that is the case it will be better to turn off the bridge.

Do you see any other internet traffic being throttled from that IP address? Or just tor traffic?

If you want to know where your users come from you can look at the bridge-stats. They should be in the tor data directory (/var/lib/tor/stats on linux). Look for the file bridge-stats.

Have you used your bridge yourself to see if it is working as expected?

cat /var/lib/tor/stats/bridge-stats returns:

bridge-ips ru=272,us=16,bg=8,br=8,by=8,bz=8,ca=8,cn=8,de=8,es=8,fi=8,fr=8,gb=8,ir=8,it=8,jp=8,kr=8,lk=8,md=8,mk=8,mx=8,nl=8,no=8,pt=8,tr=8,ua=8,za=8

There’s not as many China and Iran users as I expected, but there’s lots of Russia.

Nyx says the average bandwidth utilization is now down to 150 KB/s.

The bridge is located in a Western Europe / EU country.

Have you tried using it yourself to see what kind of bandwidth you can expect and if the connection to tor works?

How long has the bridge been on the current IP? Maybe it is blocked now?

Also some things on the bridge distribution backend have changed. Maybe it gets distributed in a way that attracts less bandwidth. Have you checked, if the distribution method of your bridge changed?

I am able to watch YouTube at 1080p60 through my own bridge, and the bridge distribution method on metrics page is correct.

I see, so your bridge works fine, what you are worried to be throttled is the client connections to them. I miss understood at the beginning.

AFAIK we haven’t seen this problem in other bridges, and is not easy for the censor to throttle obfs4 traffic, as they will need to throttle any random looking traffic passing over them. But we should keep an eye to see if this is happening.

Thanks for the warning.