Why is the telegram account publishing bridges in the open!?

I thought the whole point of bridges were that they would not be easily searchable/findable by state actors. That users would have to find way to request them and they would be provided privately, upon request. But @tor_bridges on telegram is openly publishing daily lists of them! My bridge is already all over different forums and pastebins, even though the distribution method was specifically set to Email (and I’ve been switching between email and none depending on monthly load). I looked up some other bridges and some had email or none as distribution method, none had telegram. I understand that people in Iran and Russia have trouble requesting bridges, but openly publishing their addresses is basically asking for state actors to block them.

Last year I had set the bridge dedicated to two friends with family from Iran, so they could easily talk to them, with none as distribution method. I sometimes switched the bridge to email so other people could also use it. Now I will have to take it down because the IP will eventually get blocked in Iran or Russia and because I could get into trouble with my own ISP.

This is extremely frustrating and disappointing, especially during this time.

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First of all, thanks for running a bridge!

This is not a official Tor Project telegram channel. It’s likely someone is getting the bridge addresses via email and listing them on that Telegram channel.

(For the record, our official Telegram channel is https://t.me/GetBridgesBot and it will never share bridges that don’t have ‘Telegram’ as their distribution method)

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Thanks for clarifying. So the rogue bot has been leaking email bridges for 5 years already (since September 2018)? I imagine contact has been tried with them since then to explain they are burning up bridges?

Seems like the vast majority of bridges being leaked are coming from email. Can’t their requests simply be blocked? It mustn’t be hard to find their requests on the email logs, right?

With the given situation I’m forced to kill the bridge. Now I’m pondering if it’s worth setting up a Snowflake proxy or not. It’s on a pi4 in an IP that doesn’t change and that I can’t change, so I always thought a bridge would be better.

Seems someone wants promote you ? Did you configure your bridge to advertise ?