Twitter Officially Launches Tor Service During Russian Blockade to Provide More Secure and Private Tweets
After being blocked by the Russian government, Twitter entered the dark web and people can now access the platform through the Tor Onion service to bypass censorship.
Twitter launches Tor onion service optimized for protecting privacy and evading censorship on the network
In response to Russia's ban on social networks, Twitter is launching a version of its website as a Tor onion service optimized for networks that protect privacy and circumvent censorship.
Software engineer and Enterprise Onion Toolkit designer Alec Muffett announced the news today on Twitter, describing it as "probably the most important and long-awaited tweet I've ever written." The Tor network has also been added to Twitter's supported browser pages.
While you can already access Twitter's regular site through Tor, the new release adds an additional layer of protection to an already anonymous browsing experience and is designed specifically for the Tor network. the anonymous nature of Tor will also help protect users from surveillance.
Alec Muffett customized the release and made the announcement on behalf of Twitter
The Onion service is sometimes referred to as a hidden service or "dark web" service, although the latter often refers to explicitly criminal sites such as the Silk Road drug market. Some sites offer versions for Tor, including the DuckDuckGo search engine and news outlets such as The New York Times, BBC and ProPublica.
Muffett, who works with Twitter to customize The Onion site, said on Twitter that he has been discussing the possibility of a Tor-friendly Twitter since 2014.Facebook launched its own version of Tor in 2014, a move aimed at fixing serious Facebook said in 2016 that one million users a month access the standard website or Onion service through Tor.
Muffett said the platform is based on a version of the Enterprise Onion Toolkit (EOTK) that was customized to meet Twitter's "specific production requirements. He, not Twitter, broke the news out of concern that news on the official TwitterSafety account would create a "load spike" that would overwhelm the Tor service when it was needed most.
Russian users can use the Tor anonymous network to access Twitter
Tor encrypts network traffic and routes it through a series of servers to hide identifying information about users, a popular way to access Internet-censored sites. Russia has censored and blocked Twitter, Facebook and other independent news services since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.
Some Russian ISPs began censoring Tor itself in December 2021, but the Tor Project says the actual level of blocking varies and that Russian users can still connect through the Tor Bridge. According to the Tor Project, 12.77 percent of Tor relay users initially connected from Russia in March 2022.
Twitter's Onion service has been in use for much longer, but it has benefits beyond just access to a blocked platform. It forces people to use Tor's network because it doesn't work with regular browsers and it prevents some of the security risks introduced by standard URLs. It will allow Russians to see and share the truth about the invasion of Ukraine, and when President Putin's government makes it illegal for media outlets to rebut the official narrative of the war, Twitter may provide one of the few ways to get objective coverage in Russia.
Twitter’s onion service is available at:
From：On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
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