Twitter’s privacy-preserving Tor service goes dark

Twitter’s Tor service, a model of the location that may very well be accessed even in nations the place the social community is banned, has gone dark after the corporate did not renew its certificates.

The certificates for Twitter’s onion web site expired on March 6, simply days earlier than the location was set to mark its one-year anniversary. Pavel Zoneff, director of strategic communications on the Tor Challenge, the non-profit group past the nameless international community, instructed ClassyBuzz that the location “is not accessible seemingly with no plans to resume.”

Twitter’s Tor web site now reveals guests a warning that its certificates has expired and continuing previous that time, which isn’t really helpful, shows a Twitter error web page.

“The Tor Challenge has reached out to Twitter to look into bringing the onion model of the social media platform again on-line,” Zoneff added. “Individuals who depend on onion providers for an additional layer of safety and assure that they’re accessing the content material they’re in search of now have one fewer manner of doing so safely. Let’s be clear, the necessity for onion providers, use of privacy-focused browsers that defend individuals’s anonymity, and different types of encryption nonetheless persist.”


Twitter launched its now-defunct Tor service days after the social community was blocked in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Tor is also referred to as “The Onion Router,” because it encrypts web visitors by many layers and routes it by 1000’s of servers world wide, permitting its customers anonymity and the power to skirt censorship techniques.

Whereas Twitter wouldn’t say if the launch of its Tor service was immediately associated to the block in Russia, a spokesperson for the corporate instructed ClassyBuzz on the time that making its service extra accessible was an “ongoing precedence” for the corporate.

Twitter has since dismantled its communications division, and as such the corporate was unreachable for remark for this story.

The corporate’s resolution to let its Tor service expire raises extra issues about Twitter’s dedication to consumer privateness and safety below Elon Musk’s management. The corporate’s safety, privateness, and compliance leaders all left the corporate lower than two weeks after its turbulent acquisition by Musk. Twitter, which is already falling quick on safety, in accordance with a whistleblower criticism filed by former head of safety Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, can also be dealing with elevated scrutiny from the FCC, which has a longstanding settlement with Twitter to make sure privateness protections.

Whereas Twitter has let its Tor service go offline, a number of different well-liked web sites, together with the BBC, Fb, and ClassyBuzz, have onion addresses. Alec Muffett, a cybersecurity researcher who helped Twitter launch its Tor web site final 12 months, has an extensive list available on his GitHub repository.

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