Facebook Exploits Dark Web to Avoid Local Censorship
March 9, 2016
The article on Nextgov titled Facebook Is Giving Users a New Way to Access It On the ‘Dark Web’ discusses the lesser-known services of the dark web such as user privacy. Facebook began taking advantage of the dark web in 2014, when it created a Tor address (recognizable through the .onion ending.) The article explains the perks of this for global Facebook users,
“Facebook’s Tor site is one way for people to access their accounts when the regular Facebook site is blocked by governments—such as when Bangladesh cut off access to Facebook, its Messenger and Whatsapp chat platforms, and messaging app Viber for about three weeks in November 2015. As the ban took effect, the overall number of Tor users in Bangladesh spiked by about 10 times, to more than 20,000 a day. When the ban was lifted, the number dropped..”
Facebook has encountered its fair share of hostility from international governments, particularly Russia. Russia has a long history of censorship, and has even clocked Wikipedia in the past, among other sites. But even if a site is not blocked, governments can still prevent full access through filtering of domain names and even specific keywords. The Tor option can certainly help global users access their Facebook accounts, but however else they use Tor is not publicly known, and Facebook’s lips are sealed.
Chelsea Kerwin, March 9, 2016