Mark James Talks about Tor and Facebook

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It was reported a week ago that Facebook will be providing a dedicated Tor link that will allow users of the privacy providing connection to use Facebook privately. Mark James discusses the possible benefits and ramifications.

“As with any type of privacy option it can protect you as an individual from being tracked but it also can be used for darker means to stop people being tracked when doing something wrong.”First things first, Mark explains some Tor basics: “Individuals use Tor to keep their privacy safe, whether that’s browsing the internet, using messaging services or accessing data blocked by their internet service provider.


Facebook Fights for Privacy


As Gizmodo put it in their report, Facebook “just made a historic move in the name of security and anonymity”, by giving Tor users a dedicated Facebook link.

Mark explains further, “interesting to note that Facebook has taken the step in providing a Tor enabled browser link for anyone wanting to connect to their network (using a tor-enabled browser only) and are the first website (with a certificate authority) to do so.”

Considering all of the negative press Facebook has gotten due to privacy issues over the past few years, the news feed manipulation for example, it’s surprising to see them making this move.

But Mark points out that “this could be used to enable Facebook access in countries that specifically ban access directly to their web servers.” A possible ulterior motive rears its ugly, but not unexpected, head.


The Future of Tor and Privacy


Mark believes that “if successful with few or no problems we could see a lot more companies following suit.”

From “governments wanting to track terrorists [to] cyber criminals and individuals wanting to surf anonymously,” there is always the possibility that this technology could be misused.

You could make exactly the same argument about the internet in general: it is a powerful tool that has the potential to be misused, but does that mean we shouldn’t use it at all?