In a move certain to give the National Security Agency and other spy organizations conniptions, Facebook has made it possible for members to access their accounts anonymously. A new URL set up by the company lets users post on the site through the Tor Web browser, a privacy tool designed to protect and encrypt users' data.
Although users had previously been able to access Facebook through Tor, the new link means that their data will be encrypted and use of the Tor system will not cause the social network to assume that an account has been hacked. Previously, attempts to use Tor set off Facebook alarms that could lock an account down.
Looks Like a Botnet Attack
Tor is a special type of browser that encrypts users' traffic and hides their locations when surfing the Web. Every user's computer connected to the Tor network acts as a node within the network through which other users' traffic can be anonymously routed. By redirecting a user's traffic through other nodes, the system helps keep the identity anonymous and location hidden. A Web site such as Facebook only sees the identity of the last computer through which the data was relayed, masking the original user.
The Tor network is frequently used by journalists, whistleblowers and activists hoping to protect themselves from hostile governments. But it also allows users to hide from companies and marketers looking to track users' movements online. From Facebook's perspective, the user's location appears to be constantly shifting from one location to another. That sort of behavior is also associated with botnet attacks, which had made it difficult to distinguish between a malicious hacker and a legitimate user.
"From the perspective of our systems a person who appears to be connecting from Australia at one moment may the next appear to be in Sweden or Canada," Alec Muffett, a Facebook software engineer for security infrastructure, wrote in the blog post announcing the change.
"Considerations like these have not always been reflected in Facebook's security infrastructure, which has sometimes led to unnecessary hurdles for people who connect to Facebook using Tor," he said.
Spy Agency Worries
The move makes Facebook the first social network or major Internet service to support the Tor tool. The development could prove a boon for people hoping to access Facebook from countries where the network is blocked such as Cuba, North Korea and Iran.
In addition to helping users fight Internet censorship by totalitarian governments, the new link could also help people and companies protect their private data from spy agencies in their own governments.
Documents leaked by former NSA contract employee Edward Snowden showed that the UK's GCHQ uses Facebook to collect enormous amount of data on citizens and corporations. Filmmaker Laura Poitras, who made a documentary about Snowden's efforts to expose the NSA and GCHQ's actions, called Facebook "a gift to intelligence agencies."
Although the Tor service will allow users to access Facebook without revealing their physical location, they will still have to provide their usual credentials to log in to their accounts, limiting their anonymity on the site.
Posted: 2014-11-04 @ 11:29am PT
Blackmailers hire hackers to gain the data of innocent people who could be manipulated further...so under a constant fear an ordinary man lives like he is never safe. Tor could be the solution for safeguarding self interests, at least from hackers. FBI or NSA is not going to harm you even if they read you as they have bigger sharks to eat. Misuse of Tor can be stopped by Tor itself by adding filters to banned topics. As far as terrorists using Tor for active assignments -- Tor needs to have its secret surveillance sensing such anti-humans. Tor could would both way protecting the common man and exposing the devil man. It's high time to form an Internet ethics [committee] for the betterment of this world.
I can Think:
Posted: 2014-11-04 @ 9:27am PT
Come on gang, I know you all think that the right to privacy is Sacrosanct. Tell it to the kids being abused in pornography. That is itself is illegal in the US. I have been at the ROAD site and it had links to murder for hire and child pornography. Ergo, what the FBI did was totally legal with or without a warrant. Murder is also illegal in the US. TOR has no redeeming social value. The links on TOR to child pornography, the sale of weapons illegal in the US and the sale of heroin, also illegal in the US, out weigh any legitimate links by 95%. I have tried to find one legitimate political site and could not. They are childish. There are support groups and forums for pedophiles and rapist of children saying what they like to do to kids.
If TOR had any socially redeeming philosophy they would not let child pornographers link up there on the onion. Let them figure out how to do it on their own. One must take the good with the bad. On TOR the bad outweighs the good 95 to 5 at best.
If you want to "blow the whistle" use hard copy mail. Why did the unabomber and bin Laden stay free for sooooo long. They eschewed the internet.
GOOD FOR THE FBI .
DO NOT DELUDE YOURSELF THAT PERVS ARE NOT IDENTIFIABLE ON TOR.
TOR has been hacked by the FBI, Anonymous, NSA and law enforcement around the world.
USE Bitcoins at your own Peril!!!
Legit Data can be found any where on the internet.
If you are legit, u do not need TOR. Pervs and Child pornographers do. TOR is cesspool for the bad in the world