Bugs blamed for Tor Cloud closure

News by Doug Drinkwater

The Tor Project has discontinued the Tor Cloud service, citing various software bugs for the closure.

Tor Cloud is based on Amazon's EC2 cloud platform, and provides a secure way for uncensored web browsing and sharing of computing resources.

However, in a blog post on 8 May, a spokesman for the Tor Project said that “the main reason for discontinuing Tor Cloud is the fact that software requires maintenance, and Tor Cloud is no exception. 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 a dozen other bugs, at least one of them of highest priority.”

The group subsequently saw the number of Tor bridges reduce, and attempted to improve maintenance by using a new maintainer. However, this was to no avail. Users even tried to send patches for Tor Cloud, but the group wasn't able to provide a dedicated person to review these.

It now urges developers to create their own forked versions of Tor Cloud service.

“We encourage everyone who stepped up to start their own cloud bridges project under another name (“Onion Cloud?”), possibly forking the existing Tor Cloud code that will remain available. Tor Cloud is still a good idea, it just needs somebody to implement it.”

The Tor Project has stressed that it is still possible to manually install Tor bridges on EC2 and other cloud platforms, though it's not as simple as with Tor Cloud, and said that any existing instance of Tor Cloud will remain unaffected by the closure.

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