The BBC is joining the dark web by making its international news website available on the Tor browser. In places with rigid internet controls and censorship regimes (like China or Iran), people can now get the latest global news and royal family developments.
Tor = The Onion Router. It’s an anonymous, encrypted network that sends traffic through nodes around the world, obscuring your online footprint (nodes = volunteers’ PCs and computer servers). Like many other breakthroughs, Tor was originally developed by the U.S. defense community.
Tor embodies the dual-use nature of encrypted networks.
- The light side: Tor grants users privacy and access to the full internet.
- The dark side: That privacy makes it a haven for illicit activity, like the FBI-busted Silk Road or a recently shut-down child sexual exploitation site.
Big picture: The BBC has been experimenting with new formats for engagement with varying degrees of success—a now-defunct VR hub, a voice assistant called Beeb, and a dark web site. As long as it doesn’t start an emerging tech newsletter, I’m cool with it.