If you are a fan of the largest social networking site Facebook, but also want to remain anonymous while using your Facebook account, then there is really a good news for you. Lately, the social media giant has created a new Tor link for users who wish to remain anonymous.
Facebook has seen that its users get connected to its site in many different ways. The social media giant has always wanted that every users of it can use the site securely. So, in 2013, Facebook decided to use HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) across its service by default for all its users (Using HTTPS means that a person’s browser is told to communicate with Facebook using a secure connection as indicated by the “https” rather than “http.” This uses Transport Layer Security [TLS] and makes the communication between browser and Facebook servers more secure). Later, Facebook brought some more methods such as Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS), HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security), and other technologies which help give people more confidence that they are connected securely to Facebook.
But in the past few months, Facebook has seen that there are many users who are a great fan of this social networking site, but also want to remain anonymous while using their Facebook account. So, Facebook decided to create a new Tor link for users who wish to remain anonymous. That means, while using Facebook, you can hide your identities online.
Tor Browser is an open source project, launched in 2002, designed to increase the anonymity of your activities on the Internet by not sharing your identifying information such as your IP address and physical location with websites and your service providers. Browsing and data exchange over a network is made through encrypted connections between computers. However, now Facebook has created a special URL – https://facebookcorewwwi.onion – that will allow users running Tor-enabled browsers to connect Facebook’s Core WWW Infrastructure. Hidden services accessed through the Tor network allow both the Web user and website to remain anonymous. It is important to be noted here that Tor link will only work on Tor-enabled browsers.
Alec Muffett, a software engineer with Facebook’s security infrastructure group, said in a blog post, “Facebook’s onion address provides a way to access Facebook through Tor without losing the cryptographic protections provided by the Tor cloud. It provides end-to-end communication, from your browser directly into a Facebook datacenter. We use the Tor daemon as a reverse proxy into a load balancer and Facebook traffic requires the protection of SSL over that link. As a result, we have provided an SSL certificate which cites our onion address; this mechanism removes the Tor Browser’s ‘SSL Certificate Warning’ for that onion address and increases confidence that this service really is run by Facebook.”
On the other hand, Facebook has previously been criticised by Tor users as the company’s security features treated Tor as a botnet — a collection of computers designed to attack the site. Users were able to access their Facebook account before today, but it often loaded irregularly with incorrectly displayed fonts and sometimes didn’t load at all.
We have tested the new link out on a Tor browser and it does seem to work better than using Tor to visit Facebook’s regular homepage. However, different people have different minds, different thoughts and so do have different views. So, you can cast your verdict of Facebook’s such approach in the comments box below.