The BBC has made its international news website available via Tor, in a bid to thwart censorship attempts. The browser can obscure who is using it and what data is being accessed, which can help people avoid government surveillance and censorship.
Countries including China, Iran and Vietnam are among those who have tried to block access to the BBC News website or programmes.
Commenting on the news are the following security professionals:
It’s a nice idea but will have limited impact on accessibility in the jurisdictions where it is designed to circumvent state restrictions.
There is the added consideration that, despite TOR’s status as a legitimate browser, the pseudo-anonymity it offers to users makes it the preferred choice for Cyber criminal activity. It’s presence on any device is often, therefore, a trigger for law enforcement and/or security services to investigate the activities of the user more robustly.
Making the BBC website available on the dark web is a nice gesture and may in fact give people access to the site where it was censored before. However, countries that block the BBC such as China also block Tor, the anonymity network used to access the dark web. So for people in those countries, the site will still be inaccessible.