Facebook Sets Up Support for Anonymous Users

Facebook has set up support for users accessing the site through the web service Tor which hides users from the site. Accessing Facebook through Tor has become easier as the social media giant has worked in supports so that users working off Tor will not be mistaken for hacked accounts. Tor works by filtering a users location through numerous IP addresses, effectively cloaking the original location of the user. While Facebook users have always been able to access the site through Tor, the quick changes in user location triggers security settings built in to the site. Users can now browse Facebook while leaving all data encrypted without being mistaken for hackers.

The move by Facebook is a big deal as the company is the first Silicon Valley firm to officially support Tor. Some herald the move as a large win for consumer privacy protection, but some information will still be surrendered to gain access to the site. A legitimate Facebook login will still be necessary to browse.

It’s quite hard to use a social network completely anonymously, it somewhat defeats the point…but just because you want to tell Facebook your name, doesn’t mean they should be able to find out your location and your browsing habits,” said Dr. Steven Murdoch of the University College London, who was consulted by Facebook for the project.

Speculation for the use of Tor on Facebook has resulted in a few hypothetical scenarios. On one hand, the new shift could be useful to users in countries where access to Facebook is being blocked by governments. Others see the potential for the use of the Tor access for criminal activity. Dr. Steven Murdoch rejected both notions.

It’s not so much protecting people from governments,” said Dr Murdoch, “but protecting from people who are spying on communications – that could be anyone from criminals to marketers.”

 

Read More – Facebook Sets Up “Dark Web” Link to Access Network Via Tor (BBC, Dave Lee)

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Originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, Millan is a senior at the George Washington University studying Biological Anthropology.

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