PTIM2020 Introduction


This week, Internews is delighted to host the Pluggable Transports Implementers Meeting (PTIM). This is the first PTIM held virtually and we look forward to the time together, though we wish, of course, that we could be in person.

For this year’s conference, we have brought together a group of people and projects from across all stages of PT development and deployment, from researchers working on new concepts, to beneficiaries of tools that embed Pluggable Transports. As a team, we’re interested in all stages of PT development and deployment, which is evidenced in the call for small grants that is now a rolling process.

The community of Pluggable Transports implementers is global, and PTs are a crucial technology due to their importance in internet security and obfuscation. Developers are involved with PTs at every step of their development, and it can take a long time for transports to be usable in the real world and deployed in a production capacity.

Of course, deployment of a transport is not the end of the cycle. Continuous re-iteration of transports is often necessary, as adversaries continually improve their abilities to block traffic and interrupt the flow of communication. We also look for transports to be improved, by upgrading them to work with the latest specification, for example, or increasing the stability of the infrastructure on which they operate.

The community spec for Pluggable Transports has also come a long way since the first release. During this PTIM, we’re aiming to approve and release the changes that upgrade the spec to v2.2. This release has some non-breaking changes from v2.1, and you can contribute to the discussion by reviewing the proposals here.

As the week unfolds, we have some structured panels and discussions, but have also built in lots of space where developers and tool providers can convene and hack on projects. We’re also very excited about the quantity and quality of submissions for lightning talk ideas. When you join in with these sessions, you will see and hear people talking about topics as diverse as the next generation of PTs, real-world implementations of cutting-edge technologies, software distribution opportunities and how computer games can be used in censorship circumvention. Check out the entire schedule on our website.. We’ll also be sharing out media and blog posts from the community over the next few weeks – looking forward to your continued participation.