CIA posts instructions for accessing its dark web site on Instagram, inviting “concerned Russians” to contact it via the dark web

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) says Russians upset about Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine may be trying to get in touch with U.S. intelligence - and it wants them to access the dark web.

The agency on Monday (May 2) began a new initiative to boost its presence on a part of the Internet that can only be accessed through a dedicated tool that provides more anonymity. The CIA has a dark web site that functions like a regular home page but can only be accessed through the Tor Internet browser, which has encryption features not found in most regular browsers.

Instructions in English and Russian on how to access the dark web site appeared on the CIA's social media channels Monday. The agency wants Russians living abroad to be able to share those instructions with their contacts at home.

The CIA's Instagram posting of instructions for accessing its dark web site is at

While many Russians appear to support what the Kremlin officially calls "special military operations," longtime Russian observers believe that Putin's management of the war could push some powerful people who disagree with him to the opposite side.

Even with powerful capabilities for capturing communications and satellite imagery, it remains critical for Western intelligence agencies to recruit sources who can provide insight into conditions in the Kremlin and Russia.

"Our global mission requires that individuals can contact us securely from anywhere," the agency said in a statement.

The Associated Press quoted a CIA official as saying the agency was aware of "a number of worrisome Russians who are desperately trying to make contact with the CIA." The official declined to say how many people have tried to make contact since the war began.

The official said it is "not safe to have direct physical or virtual contact with Americans" in Russia. "It's a safe way for those who want to have safe contact with us."

The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) dark web site, launched in 2019, is accessible through the Tor browser, short for "onion router," which routes Internet traffic through multiple third parties to disguise the user's identity and destination. After downloading the Tor browser, users typically enter a long string of characters with the ".onion" suffix.

The V3 URL for the CIA's dark web site is

The use of Tor removes cookies and many other methods of typically tracking Internet users. While no form of communication can be guaranteed to be completely secure at all times, U.S. intelligence officials say potential whistleblowers will be better protected on the dark web.

Originally created with support from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Tor has been operated by the Tor Project, a nonprofit organization, since 2006.

From:On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
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