Facebook announced that more than a million users accessing Facebook via Tor or “dark web“. This is the first time the company has revealed details about its presence in this ghostly corner of the internet.
Tor (aka The Onion Router) is a network technology. With encryption and randomly routing Internet connection via a worldwide network of volunteer relays, it provides privacy to web users. It is harder for individual web connections to be traced back to a particular user.
Tor’s hidden services let users publish web sites and other services without needing to reveal the location of the site. Individuals also use Tor for socially sensitive communication. For example, chat rooms and web forums for rape and abuse survivors, or people with illnesses.
Tor prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.
Facebook officially launched the site’s Onion address (“a way to access Facebook through Tor without losing the cryptographic protections provided by the Tor cloud”) back in October of 2014.
“People who choose to communicate over Tor. For a variety of reasons related to privacy, security and safety.” Alec Muffett, a Facebook engineer who leads the company’s work on its dark-web presence.
“It’s important to us to provide methods for people to use our services securely—particularly if they lack reliable methods to do so.”
“Over this period the number of people who access Facebook over Tor has increased. In June 2015, over a typical 30 day period, about 525,000 people would access Facebook over Tor.”
For Example by using Tor Browser to access www.facebook.com or the Facebook Onion site, or by using Orbot on Android. This number has grown. This month, we saw this “30 day” figure tells that a million users accessing Facebook via Tor.”