Twitter launch new ‘onion’ version to bypass Russian censorship

Twitter has launched a privacy-protected version of its site designed to bypass Russia’s censorship and surveillance.

This comes after the Kremlin announced a restriction of the social media platform in an effort to control the flow of information about the war in Ukraine.

Internet security expert and software engineer Alec Muffett, announced Twitter’s new service on his own account.

“This is possibly the most important and long-awaited tweet that I’ve ever composed”, he wrote.

According to Muffett, Twitter’s onion version had been in the works for some time since the Facebook onion was launched in 2014.

“In 2014 I led the team which launched the @Facebook onion; there have been occasional conversations re: “an onion for Twitter” ever since. This is the result of many peoples efforts, over years, and I’d like to thank them all for their perseverance”, he wrote when announcing the new move.

Facebook has also been blocked in Russia, but both companies have said that they are working to restore services to Russians in the country even as they restrict state media from their services.

Known as an “onion” service, users will be able to access this new version of Twitter by downloading the Tor browser, which allows people to access other sites on what is also referred to as “the dark web”.

While the term “dark web” usually implies illegal websites, it can also be used by those who want to remain anonymous for their safety and also to access sites censored by repressive governments.

Instead of using .com, onion websites have a .onion suffix. People can still access regular sites on the Tor browser, but .onion sites are made specifically for Tor and prevent them from being spoofed by malicious actors.

Facebook and other sites such as the BBC also have a version on the Tor browser.

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