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More than a million people are now using Tor to access Facebook anonymously

By Shawn Knight
Apr 22, 2016
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  1. Facebook on Friday said that more than a million people have used the Tor anonymizing browser to connect to the social network over the past 30 days. That’s up from an average of 525,000 people during a typical 30 day period in June of 2015. Either way, it seems a bit oxymoronic, no?

    Tor, also known as The Onion Router, is a tool that directs Internet traffic through a large network of volunteer relays. By doing so, Tor offers its users a bit more privacy while surfing the web by making it more difficult to determine their identity and location.

    Critics of the network point to potential nefarious uses, such as terrorists that might use Tor to coordinate an attack or those that seek to purchase illegal drugs on the darknet. Of course, there are just as many – if not, more – legitimate reasons to use Tor.

    Journalists, for example, may use Tor to speak anonymously with sources for a story. As TechCrunch points out, the network is also handy for those in countries that censor or otherwise block portions of the Internet. Iran, for example, blocks access to Facebook but with Tor, users can still get to it.

    It does seem a bit oxymoronic that someone would want to use Tor to access Facebook, the world’s largest social network. But as a spokesperson for Tor told the publication, the Tor network is in charge of a user’s data when it visits Facebook, not Facebook. As you likely know, Facebook is a gold mine when it comes to user data. Of course, posting a status update revealing your location would then de-anonymize said user.

    Facebook added support for the Tor network with an official onion address in October 2014. Since that time, it has implemented Tor connectivity for its Android mobile app by enabling connections through Orbot, said Alec Muffett, a software engineer for security infrastructure at Facebook in London.

    Facebook image courtesy Dado Ruvic, Reuters

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,536   +2,333

    This isn't oxymoronic. Connecting via Tor means all those nasty little trackers that follow you around the web like parasites get shed every single time you disconnect.
     
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,475   +2,033

    I guess the FB users using the TOR network aren't terribly scrupulous, they have things to hide and don't mind working at dial up speeds.
     
  4. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 865   +434

    Brilliant idea!!
    Is there such thing for android?
     
  5. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,506   +498

    Yeah but they may have limited features or restricted connection from their countries into Facebook.
     
  6. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Maniac Posts: 816   +231

    Orbot, Orweb and Orfox are available for android. No Tor app specifically for Facebook but you would use Orweb with Orbot on to use it anon.
     
  7. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,660   +767

    I've played with TOR and I do like it, although it would be nice if it had tabs like Chrome ... still, a little sacrifice is certainly worth it for a lot more privacy .....
     
  8. Joe Kidd 1992

    Joe Kidd 1992 TS Rookie

    This is for all the people that know they can lose their jobs just for speaking their minds. Whether you love or hate him, Curt Schilling is the posterboy for posting anonymously. Because he has lost his job over posting things under his own name. Usually it is a lot more benign than what he said, though.
     
  9. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,506   +498

    So you make a random account and log through tor into facebook just to reply to a horde of trolls?? Daaaamn...
     

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