In an early morning blog post, no doubt targeted at overseas users, Facebook said it is experimenting with providing direct access to it social network over the Tor network.
Tor is a secure network that allows users to surf the web mostly anonymously and prevents websites from tracking their activity. For this reason, Tor is able to provide access to websites that might be blocked in certain regions. Facebook has been blocked in China and Iran, for example, where citizens live under strict censorship.
Traditionally accessing Facebook via Tor can be difficult. With this new project, Facebook lets Tor users connect directly with Facebook’s Core WWW Infrastructure through a Tor-specific link [https://facebookcorewwwi.onion/]. Communication on Facebook via the Tor network will be end-to-end encrypted, and users will be directly connected to a Facebook datacenter from their browsers.
Last year, Facebook rolled out HTTPS across all of its services. It now seems the company is keen to embrace more nuanced security technology, like Tor.
The blog post notes that Runa Sandvik, a security researcher and Tor contributor, was involved with this project, along with University of College London information security research fellow Dr. Steven J Murdoch. Both are well-respected figures in the security community.