- It is more practical to think of privacy as a multi-faceted continuum rather than a binomial feature.
- Something often has to be traded-off for privacy and the compromise might not make sense in all cases, all the time.
- Tor Browser goes at painstaking lengths to protect the privacy of its users, such as routing all requests through Tor, which results in the infamous endless-CAPTCHAs (patented by Google), increased latencies, and a more frustrating experience overall that makes it unfit for everyday use.
- Instead, website operators are targeted and punished much more than their visitors, thus the need for privacy is wildly asymmetric between those two groups most of the time.
- Whilst there is HTTP (followed by HTTPS) at the one end and Tor at the other, there should be a middle ground that provides strong privacy guarantees to website operators while allowing visitors to access their services with ease.
- Currently, the onus is fully on the operators who resort to domain-cycling to evade DNS-based censorship attempts, grey CDNs to mask IP addresses of their servers, and bulletproof hosting services as a last resort against cease and desist requests.
- In the light of recent events such as the de-platforming of Parler in January and Navalny’s app a couple of weeks ago (just as Navalny had warned about setting a precedent when Twitter has banned Trump), the increasing prevalence of deep packet inspection mechanisms, and IP-based blocks, there is decreasingly little breathing room for dissenting voices on the Internet.
- Tor is positioned as a privacy suite first and foremost, but it is also a censorship-resistant platform that can protect the privacy of website operators while providing a comfortable and reasonably private browsing experience to their visitors.
- Mainstream browsers should integrate Tor to allow users to visit .onion websites just as any other, with only the requests to
*.oniondomains being routed through the Tor network.
EDIT on 2021-10-05:
Beware! The following demo is NOT as anonymous as using Tor Browser, proceed with caution.
Install Tor daemon:
sudo apt install tor # or, using Homebrew: brew install tor # or, using Chocolatey: choco install tor
- Install Firefox, and FoxyProxy extension.
- In FoxyProxy, add a new proxy:
- Title: Tor
- Proxy Type: SOCKS5
- Proxy IP address:
- “Send DNS through SOCKS5 proxy” on
#7D4698(see Tor Styleguide)
- Click “Save & Edit Patterns”.
- Add a new white pattern:
- Name: Onions
- Type: Wildcard
- HTTP/s: all
- Enabled: on
- Click “Save” to complete the proxy setup.
- Click the FoxyProxy button near the address bar, and select “Use Enabled Proxies By Patterns and Order”.
- Visit ProPublica to test your access to Tor Hidden Services.
- Visit ipinfo.io to confirm that other websites are accessed as usual.