It’s going to be much harder to view the full web in Russia before the year is out. President Putin has signed a law that, as of November 1st, bans technology which lets you access banned websites, including virtual private networks and proxies. Internet providers will have to block websites hosting these tools. The measure is ostensibly meant to curb extremist content, but that’s just pretext — this is really about preventing Russians from seeing content that might be critical of Putin, not to mention communicating in secret.
The Russian police have arrested Tor node operator Dmitry Bogatov. They charged him with terrorism offense and the reason for this, as they claim, is the connection between his IP address and a series of posts allegedly inciting dissent and disorder.
Yesterday, Friday, the Russian Duma held its first (of three) readings to adopt a law making use of TOR and VPN illegal.
The plan is to make access to sites blocked by net censor authority Roskomnadzor illegal. And there are plenty of them.
The decentralized marketplace Openbazaar has been continuously building its platform since inception. Now the Bitcoin-powered marketplace has finally merged Tor integration into the Openbazaar platform adding a long-awaited layer of privacy to the program.
Sites on the so-called dark web, or darknet, typically operate under what seems like a privacy paradox: While anyone who knows a dark web site’s address can visit it, no one can figure out who hosts that site, or where. It hides in plain sight. But changes coming to the anonymity tools underlying the darknet promise to make a new kind of online privacy possible. Soon anyone will be able to create their own corner of the internet that’s not just anonymous and untraceable, but entirely undiscoverable without an invite.
The Tor community is boiling with infighting as high-profile member Jacob Appelbaum have left the project — after allegations of sexual misconduct (and alleged sociopathic behavior).
I know nothing about what’s really going on. I don’t know the involved parties. And the more I read, the more muddled the whole affair seems to be.
My main concern is: What about Tor?
Tor is an important tool for people all over the world, who need to be anonymous on the Internet. In some cases, it’s really a matter of life or death.
No matter how you view the Appelbaum case. There is an obvious risk that all of this will derail the entire Tor project.
Having seen the Swedish and the German Pirate Parties going down in flames after infighting, I can recognize some sort of underlying tone in the Tor dispute. Conflicts in tech-oriented communities often tend to spiral out of control and reason.
This will lead to no good, believe me.
Now, please focus on Tor and its future.