BBC News launches ‘dark web’ Tor mirror

The BBC has made its international news website available via the Tor network, in a bid to thwart censorship attempts.

The Tor browser is privacy-focused software used to access the dark web.

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.

Instead of visiting bbc.co.uk/news or bbc.com/news, users of the Tor browser can visit the new bbcnewsv2vjtpsuy.onion web address. Clicking this web address will not work in a regular web browser.

The dark web copy of the BBC News website will be the international edition, as seen from outside the UK.

It will include foreign language services such as BBC Arabic, BBC Persian and BBC Russian.

But UK-only content and services such as BBC iPlayer will not be accessible, due to broadcast rights.


What is Tor?

Tor is a way to access the internet that requires software, known as the Tor browser, to use it.

The name is an acronym for The Onion Router. Just as there are many layers to the vegetable, there are many layers of encryption on the network.

It was originally designed by the US Naval Research Laboratory, and continues to receive funding from the US State Department.

It attempts to hide a person’s location and identity by sending data across the internet via a very circuitous route involving several “nodes” – which, in this context, means using volunteers’ PCs and computer servers as connection points.

Encryption applied at each hop along this route makes it very hard to connect a person to any particular activity.

Source: BBC News launches ‘dark web’ Tor mirror – BBC News