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Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. It also enables software developers to create new communication tools with built-in privacy features. Tor provides the foundation for a range of applications that allow organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy.
Note: You can also download the latest final version, Tor Browser 8.5.5 here.
Individuals use Tor to keep websites from tracking them and their family members, or to connect to news sites, instant messaging services, or the like when these are blocked by their local Internet providers. Tor's hidden services let users publish web sites and other services without needing to reveal the location of the site. Individuals also use Tor for socially sensitive communication: chat rooms and web forums for rape and abuse survivors, or people with illnesses.
Journalists use Tor to communicate more safely with whistleblowers and dissidents. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) use Tor to allow their workers to connect to their home website while they're in a foreign country, without notifying everybody nearby that they're working with that organization.
Groups such as Indymedia recommend Tor for safeguarding their members' online privacy and security. Activist groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recommend Tor as a mechanism for maintaining civil liberties online. Corporations use Tor as a safe way to conduct competitive analysis, and to protect sensitive procurement patterns from eavesdroppers. They also use it to replace traditional VPNs, which reveal the exact amount and timing of communication. Which locations have employees working late? Which locations have employees consulting job-hunting websites? Which research divisions are communicating with the company's patent lawyers?
A branch of the U.S. Navy uses Tor for open source intelligence gathering, and one of its teams used Tor while deployed in the Middle East recently. Law enforcement uses Tor for visiting or surveilling web sites without leaving government IP addresses in their web logs, and for security during sting operations.
Our old screen had way too much information for the users, leading many of them to spend great time confused about what to do. Some users at the paper experiment spent up to 40min confused about what they needed to be doing here. Besides simplifying the screen and the message, to make it easier for the user to know if they need to configure anything or not, we also did a 'brand refresh' bringing our logo to the launcher.
Censorship circumvention configuration
This is one of the most important steps for a user who is trying to connect to Tor while their network is censoring Tor. We also worked really hard to make sure the UI text would make it easy for the user to understand what a bridge is for and how to configure to use one. Another update was a little tip we added at the drop-down menu (as you can see below) for which bridge to use in countries that have very sophisticated censorship methods.
Proxy help information
The proxy settings at our Tor Launcher configuration wizard is an important feature for users who are under a network that demands such configuration. But it can also lead to a lot of confusion if the user has no idea what a proxy is. Since it is a very important feature for users, we decided to keep it in the main configuration screen and introduced a help prompt with an explanation of when someone would need such configuration.
As part of our work with the UX team, we will also be coordinating user testing of this new UI to continue iterating and make sure we are always improving our users' experience. We are also planning a series of improvements not only for the Tor Launcher flow but for the whole browser experience (once you are connected to Tor) including a new user onboarding flow. And last but not least we are streamlining both our mobile and desktop experience: Tor Browser 7.5 adapted the security slider design we did for mobile bringing the improved user experience to the desktop as well.
This release features important security updates to Firefox.
This is the first alpha release based on Firefox ESR68, and therefore contains several important changes such as the rebasing of our Firefox patches, toolchain updates, integration of Torbutton directly into the browser and updates to Tor Launcher to make it compatible with ESR68.
If you find any issue with this release, please help us by reporting them so we can fix as much as we can before the first stable release based on ESR68, which is planned for October 22.
The full changelog since Tor Browser 9.0a5 is:
- Update Firefox to 68.1.0esr
- Update NoScript to 11.0.3
- Bug 26847: NoScript pops up a full-site window for XSS warning
- Bug 31287: NoScript leaks browser locale
- Bug 30429: Rebase patches for Firefox 68 ESR
- Bug 10760: Integrate Torbutton into Tor Browser directly
- Bug 25856: Remove XUL overlays from Torbutton
- Bug 31322: Fix about:tor assertion failure debug builds
- Bug 31520: Remove monthly giving banner from Tor Browser
- Bug 29430: Add support for meek_lite bridges to bridgeParser
- Bug 28561: Migrate "About Tor Browser" dialog to tor-browser
- Bug 30683: Prevent detection of locale via some *.properties
- Bug 31298: Backport patch for #24056
- Bug 9336: Odd wyswig schemes without isolation for browserspy.dk
- Bug 27601: Browser notifications are not working anymore
- Bug 30845: Make sure internal extensions are enabled
- Bug 28896: Enable extensions in private browsing by default
- Bug 31563: Reload search extensions if extensions.enabledScopes has changed
- Bug 31396: Fix communication with NoScript for security settings
- Bug 31142: Fix crash of tab and messing with about:newtab
- Bug 29049: Backport JS Poison Patch
- Bug 25214: Canvas data extraction on locale pdf file should be allowed
- Bug 30657: Locale is leaked via title of link tag on non-html page
- Bug 31015: Disabling SVG hides UI icons in extensions
- Bug 31357: Retire Tom's default obfs4 bridge
Windows + OS X + Linux
- Update Tor to 0.4.1.5
- Update Tor Launcher to 0.2.19.3
- Bug 29197: Remove use of overlays
- Bug 31300: Modify Tor Launcher so it is compatible with ESR68
- Bug 31487: Modify moat client code so it is compatible with ESR68
- Bug 31488: Moat: support a comma-separated list of transports
- Translations update
- Bug 29430: Use obfs4proxy's meek_lite with utls instead of meek
- Bug 31251: Security Level button UI polish
- Bug 31344: Register SecurityLevelPreference's 'unload' callback
- Bug 12774: Selecting meek in the browser UI is broken
- Build System:
- Bug 31465: Bump Go to 1.12.9
- Bug 31547: Back out patch for Mozilla's bug 1574980
- Bug 31141: Fix typo in font.system.whitelist
- Backport fix for bug 1572844 to fix broken build
- Bug 29818: Adapt #13379 patch for 68esr
- Bug 31403: Bump snowflake commit to cd650fa009
- Bug 31403: Bump snowflake commit to cd650fa009
- Bug 31010: Rebase mobile patches for Fennec 68
- Bug 31010: Don't use addTrustedTab() on mobile
- Build System:All Platforms:
- Bug 30585: Provide standalone clang 8 project across all platforms
- Bug 30376: Use Rust 1.34 for Tor Browser 9
- Bug 30490: Add cbindgen project for building Firefox 68 ESR/Fennec 68
- Bug 30701: Add nodejs project for building Firefox 68 ESR/Fennec 68
- Bug 30734: Add nasm project for building Firefox 68 ESR/Fennec 68
- WindowsBug 30322: Windows toolchain update for Firefox 68 ESR
- Bug 28716: Create mingw-w64-clang toolchain
- Bug 28238: Adapt firefox and fxc2 projects for Windows builds
- Bug 28716: Optionally omit timestamp in PE header
- Bug 31567: NS_tsnprintf() does not handle %s correctly on Windows
- Bug 31458: Revert patch for #27503 and bump mingw-w64 revision used
- Bug 9898: Provide clean fix for strcmpi issue in NSPR
- Bug 30323: MacOS toolchain update for Firefox 68 ESR
- Bug 31467: Switch to clang for cctools project
- Bug 31465: Adapt tor-browser-build projects for macOS notarization
- LinuxBug 30321: Linux toolchain update for Firefox ESR 68
- Bug 30736: Install yasm from wheezy-backports
- Bug 31447: Don't install Python just for Mach
- Bug 31394: Replace "-1" with "−1" in start-tor-browser.desktop.
- AndroidBug 30324: Android toolchain update for Fennec 68
- Bug 31173: Update android-toolchain project to match Firefox
- Bug 31389: Update Android Firefox to build with Clang
- Bug 31388: Update Rust project for Android
- Bug 30665: Get Firefox 68 ESR working with latest android toolchain
- Bug 30460: Update TOPL project to use Firefox 68 toolchain
- Bug 30461: Update tor-android-service project to use Firefox 68 toolchain
- Bug 28753: Use Gradle with --offline when building the browser part
Note: this is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable release instead.
Tor Browser 9.0a6 is not reproducible on some platforms right now: We have issues on 32bit Linux, Windows, and Android. Those are planned to be fixed in the next alpha release, though, to give the usual guarantees reproducible builds aim to provide.
New Identity and the bridge configuration in the browser are not easily accessible anymore as we removed the onion button. We are currently working on a replacement for both: New Identity will be exposed directly in the toolbar and the bridge configuration gets integrated in the Firefox settings. For New Identity please use the shortcut (Ctrl+Shift+U) for now or the item in the hamburger menu.
We already have a number of known tickets we need to work on in the coming weeks. The most important ones are tagged with the tbb-9.0-must-alpha keyword. Moreover, we have accumulated Firefox 68 ESR related issues over the time that can easily be queried with our ff68-esr keyword.
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