Twitter’s censorship-evading Tor service is no longer working

Visiting the Tor onion website on Twitter will now show you a warning that its certificate has expired, and pushing forward will just send you to an error page. The Tor Project, the non-profit org responsible for maintaining the software for the Tor network, confirms this The Verge that the onion site on Twitter “is no longer available with no plans to renew.” Pavel Zoneff, the group’s communications director, said: “The Tor Project has reached out to Twitter to look at bringing the onion version of the social media platform back online. People who rely on onion services for more layer of protection and guarantee that they Access the content they are looking for now has a small way to do it safely.” It’s worth noting, however, that you can still access Twitter in a Tor browser.

Twitter launched its Tor service in 2022, shortly after Russia blocked people’s access to the website. The Tor service allows you to bypass censorship and gives you the ability to visit an online destination even if it is restricted in your country. It also protects you from snooping, thanks to anonymization features that encrypt your traffic. You can use it anywhere, but it’s probably most helpful for people living in countries with stricter censorship laws, including North Korea and China.

The company has not yet announced whether it has plans to revive the Tor service. Alec Muffett, who helped Twitter engineers adopted Tor services last year, it said The Verge that the people inside the company he was associated with “are gone.” He added that he was sure it would stop working completely “unless Elon [Musk] needs interest.”

Musk, who bought Twitter later in 2022, has laid off thousands of workers since he took over, including employees who supported his vision for the website. CNBC reported in January that only 1,300 personnel remained from the 7,500 people who worked at Twitter before it changed hands. Seeing that Musk seems to be focusing on monetizing Twitter at the moment, and there are almost no employees left in the company, its Tor service may remain unavailable for a long time, if not for good.

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