Taking Back the Internet: Wins & Victories

Surveillance, censorship, and tracking run rampant online. By supporting and using Tor, you help to take back the internet.


Cambridge Analytica. Twitter “accidentally” selling your phone numbers, meant only for 2FA, to advertisers. The U.S. border patrol’s stack of surveillance files on journalists working at the Southern U.S. border. Iran shutting down the internet for all 80 million citizens to stifle protests. The onslaught of news about the powers that be exploiting us and violating our privacy—it can feel like there is no hope in resisting surveillance, tracking, and censorship online.
 
It’s true that there is a lot at stake, and there are many well-funded adversaries. But we’ve seen some important victories in taking back the internet. The Tor Project’s growth and continued existence despite billion-dollar global efforts to limit the free flow of information is one. And we’re not alone in the fight against surveillance, tracking, and censorship. Many people and organizations are, and have been, working to take back the internet and resist the surveillance state. Change happens with persistence.

Taking back the internet is a matter of liberty in line with the movements for free and open source software. The code of open source software is open for inspection and collaboration, and free software is free to be reused and adapted and shared into new forms. The roots of the free software movement go back to the 1980s with the launch of GNU as a reaction to proprietary software. Tor Browser is free and open source software built from Firefox, so these principles are playing a critical role in taking back the internet from tech giants today.

Most of what runs in the internet is open source--servers like Apache and Nginx, programming languages like Python and Ruby, and vast libraries for building websites and software. Similarly we’ve seen the rise the Creative Commons movement and Wikipedia overtaking the Encyclopedia Britannica.
 
And when Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA’s mass surveillance program, we crossed a line in the public understanding around privacy. The conversation that reached a new peak in 2013 has continued to mount, and more and more people are looking for options to keep their personal lives away from prying eyes and government monitoring.

Many of these news organizations are beginning to engage in the conversation about privacy, surveillance, and censorship. What some used to consider a theoretical thought exercise is becoming a clear reality, and as a result, more people and more publications are interested in discussing privacy, or our lack thereof, online. See: deep dives into surveillance and press freedom by Micah Lee and The Intercept as a whole, the Privacy Project from the NYT, How to Hide from Silicon Valley from Bloomberg, and WIRED’s article about Tor being easier than ever.

These major publications are also beginning to recognize that censorship impacts their readers, and stops users from reaching their sites. News outlets adopting onion services are helping their readers circumvent increasing censorship. Most recently, Deutsche Welle and BBC launched their .onion sites, joining the list of publications offering an onion site, alongside The New York Times, ProPublica, and BuzzFeed News. Similarly, more than 75 newsrooms have adopted SecureDrop, a Tor-powered open-source whistleblower submission system, to securely accept documents from anonymous sources.
 
We’re also seeing the result of a long push for the standardization of HTTPS, bringing encryption to web browsing. What was once an alternative is now the expectation. We’re also seeing adoption of DNS over HTTPS (DoH) to increase user privacy and security. (Ultimately, we imagine a world where the next widespread communication protocol upgrade is HTTPS → .onion.)

The rise of popularity of privacy extensions like Privacy Badger, HTTPS Everywhere and tools like Brave, DuckDuckGo, Signal, and Tor Browser point to the increased interest in privacy and security by people all over the world. The success of these tools underline how it's possible to make alternatives that aren’t based on data exploitation, and people will use them.
 
An increase in consciousness about privacy has also brought about new kinds of resistance to surveillance: communities across the U.S. are banning face recognition technology and placing limits on the ways law enforcement and governments can use this kind of tech, which has disproportionately high error rates for women and people of color. In October, a three-year moratorium was placed on law enforcement’s use of face recognition across the state of California, and other cities and states are opening up this discussion in their regions.
 
The struggle for a free internet and a world free of surveillance is interconnected, and we’re all part of the effort. It’s not easy to actualize, but it is easy to imagine a world where a different kind of online experience is the norm. You can help us get there. Supporting Tor is one step.

donate to the Tor Project

Make a contribution today, and help take back the internet.

These graphs are more precise because the most recent shutdown began on 2019-11-16.
https://metrics.torproject.org/userstats-relay-country.html?start=2019-…
https://map.internetintel.oracle.com/?root=national&country=IR
https://map.internetintel.oracle.com/?root=traffic&country=IR

Banks, government agencies, and universities were allowed to stay connected to the National Information Network (شبکه ملی اطلاعات). Some of them, such as the central bank, stayed connected to the global internet.

Two entities control the principal international gateways at internet exchange points (IX or IXP, نقطه تبادل اینترنت): state-run Telecommunication Infrastructure Company (TIC,شرکت ارتباطات زیرساخت) and the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM, پژوهشگاه دانشهای بنیادی) in Tehran. The Telecommunication Infrastructure Company of Iran (TICI), a subsidiary of TIC, provides all international connection services.

There are at least 8 IXPs in Iran, but the international gateway IXPs probably are in Tehran and possibly in Tabriz and Shiraz. In Tehran, IPM was the first Iranian organization to connect to the Internet and provide internet service to the nation. It is the domain name registrar of the .ir top-level domain (TLD). The city of Tabriz is near Azerbaijan from which the Trans Europe Asia terrestrial fiber-optic cable comes into northern Iran. That cable was also known as the ERMC cable. Shiraz was the first southern city to have an IXP. South of Shiraz, international submarine telecommunication cables in the Persian Gulf come on land at Bandar Abbas, Chabahar and Bushehr. Other minor IXPs are in Mashhad, Qom, Isfahan, Ahvaz, and Qasr-e Shirin.

TIC has also peered with DE-CIX in Frankfurt, Germany in 2017.

Any information on the huge protests in Shiraz? Apparently videos are surfacing which show the authorities using live ammunition to gun down people who cannot afford fuel prices.

Anonymous

November 23, 2019

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Breaking news of another victory! The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has just ruled that we cannot be compelled to cough up our passwords:

arstechnica.com
Suspect can’t be compelled to reveal “64-character” password, court rules
Prosecutors say forced disclosure permitted by "foregone conclusion." Justices disagree.
Dan Goodin
23 Nov 2019

Even better, ongoing cases in other state Supreme Courts being argued by EFF and ACLU may result in similar rulings:

eff.org
Victory: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules Police Can’t Force You to Tell Them Your Password
Andrew Crocker
20 Nov 2019

This ruling is particularly important for journalists, who need to use strong encryption to protect their notes and contacts. Similarly, social workers, doctors and lawyers need strong encryption to protect their case notes and privileged conversations.

There is a strong historical precedent for Pennsylvania taking a leading role in protecting privacy. Over the course of his long career in public life, Ben Franklin consistently argued that creating a US Postal Service and guaranteeing the sanctity of the mail could grow commerce, encourage innovation, and strengthen democracy. He believed so passionately in the Power of Privacy that he served as Postmaster for Philadelphia and later helped create the USPS and served as the first Postmaster General.

As a privacy advocate, Franklin occasionally got into political catfights with more authoritarian-minded American officials who demanded that they be granted the authority to search the US mail for "seditious literature". Those officials were not entirely imagining things. In 1807, American newspaper readers were shocked to learn that former Vice President Aaron Burr had plotted via mail to create a rival American Republic in the Ohio River Valley and the lands acquired through the Louisiana Purchase. Franklin's opponents in the privacy debates were quick to seize upon this example of a dangerous plot which had been "enabled", in part, by the postal service which Franklin had helped to create. Fortunately, Franklin's counter-arguments prevailed, and it was not until the creation of the predecessor agency of the FBI, in the early 20th century, that an American snail mail dragnet was created, in response to hysteria over alleged German sabotage plots during WWI.

Last month we learned of a previously secret FISA court ruling that FBI has for years engaged in illegal fishing expeditions (apparently targeting Occupy, BLM, etc.):

eff.org
Secret Court Rules That the FBI’s “Backdoor Searches” of Americans Violated the Fourth Amendment
Aaron Mackey and Andrew Crocker
11 Oct 2019

The hopeful signs that in the end The People just might win this thing are not limited to court decisions, secret or otherwise.

In the past year or two, as the biggest of the Big Tech companies have become increasingly hostile toward their own employees, particular the hordes of underpaid and overworked "gig workers", these employees have demonstrated solidarity in boycotting such ugly projects as "CensorBrowser", crucial technical support for the horrid post-Orwellian techno-Stasi apparatus of dragnet surveillance and population control being developed openly in China (as "social credit") and secretly in the USA. And employees of Big Tech are beginning to recognize that unionization can protect both consumers and workers from abuses companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft:

thehill.com
Technology unions' could be unions of conscience for Big Tech
Martin Skladany, opinion contributor
21 Nov 2019

For more on China's terrifying technologically supercharged population control programs, see

theatlantic.com
China's Surveillance State Should Scare Everyone
The country is perfecting a vast network of digital espionage as a means of social control—with implications for democracies worldwide.
Anna Mitchell and Larry Diamond
2 Feb 2018

Anonymous

November 24, 2019

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Sunday, Nov 24 2150 UTC

Please confirm:

Is this critical site down?

torstatus-blutmagie-de/

Is the Debian repository onion mirror down?

Is NBC news blocking Tor?

https://github.com/PaloAltoNetworks/minemeld-node-prototypes/issues/91
Nov 5, 2018

" As per https://torstatus.blutmagie.de;
Attention: This Tor Network Status site will be discontinued 11/06/2018, olaf.selke@blutmagie.de

This site will no longer function after 6th November. Suggest migrating to using the torproject exit node list https://check.torproject.org/cgi-bin/TorBulkExitList.py?ip=1.1.1.1 "

~~~~~~~~~~~

//www.nbcnews.com/
is readable for me.

guard node is Sweden, if that matters.

Thank you, this is very helpful.

NBC News is sometimes not responding to my connection requests via Tor Browser, and the Debian repos are sometimes not working for me either. Possibly the explanation is overload.

Yes, Olaf said he was shutting down in 2018 but then he won some kind of reprieve.

The "official" exit node list from Tor Project is more or less useless except to website operators who simply want to block all connections from Tor exit nodes.

Anonymous

November 25, 2019

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The tor project is corrupt to the core, fully owned by the US government and US corporations and serving their interests.

A contributor possibly funded by a non-US government wrote:

> The tor project is corrupt to the core, fully owned by the US government and US corporations and serving their interests.

For the benefit of newcomers, it is always worth pointing out that this kind of claim is wildly misleading.

What is true is that

o Tor originated inside the Naval Research Laboratory, a US Navy institution, with the twin goals of (i) defeating obnoxious censorship regimes constructed by certain "adversary nations" (ii) "hiding in the noise" the communications of US agents (including SEALs) stationed or operating overseas,

o a senior Tor developer spent one summer as an NSA intern, but many MIT students have done that, and there is no reason to think he acted as a USIC "mole" (at worst, it seems, he made one serious error of judgment colored by his USIC undergrad experience, see below),

o For many years, the development of Tor was funded by entities (the infamous "letter sponsors") associated with various USG "softpower" institutions such as RFA (Radio Free Asia), which are a legacy of the Cold War,

o In recent years, Tor Project has received grants from Mozilla Foundation (which is generally well regarded by privacy advocates) and Google (which is not), as well as contributions from individual users and some well-respected privacy-advocate foundations located in the EU,

o the Snowden leaks show that as of approximately Apr 2013, Tor Browser and especially Tails were considered very hard, almost unbeatable, by the notorious "global adversary" of the entire world including and especially US persons, namely the NSA,

o Some years ago, one of the original developers hired someone whom he must have known had worked for CIA under cover in a US embassy for a critical coding mission; that person may or may not have been a sincere convert to the ideology which holds the protecting vulnerable people such as dissidents is far more important than the ideology of "collect it all", but we will never know because he was fired, sued, and under terms of an out-of-court settlement, TP cannot say anything about the reasons for termination (lying on his resume about his employer, presumably)--- but I can say something because I have never worked for either Tor or the feds; the point is that CIA would hardly have tried to plant a mole inside Tor Project if Tor Project were truly "controlled" by the feds,

o Some years ago, Tor was been attacked by "researchers" working at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), which is associated with Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU); this work was apparently funded by FBI and the results were certainly exploited by FBI before the "research" was published; FBI would hardly have spent lavishly on that enterprise if Tor Project was happily cooperating in covertly trojaning its users,

o Tor is regularly used by detectives and federal agents to perform web research, for example by reading hate speech postings hosted on extremist websites; this is confirmed for example by the curricula of courses taught by public-private institutions which offer "investigatory techniques" training to police and federal agents,

o Under the leadership of the current and previous Executive Directors (Isa and Shari), Tor Project has wisely adopted the ambitious goal of building a loyal base of users who contribute financial support, in other words moving from a "USG softpower" funding model to a grassroots user supported funding model (like ACLU, EFF, HRW, and other human rights orgs); while much remains to be done before the Tor community fully realizes that goal (anyone can help by making a contribution!), Tor Project is moving in the right direction,

o Tor Project is a non-profit organization which offers Tor software for free; the software is not only open source but is now almost entirely consistent with the "reproducible builds" philosophy, which means (in principle) anyone (or rather, in practice, anyone with advanced software engineering skills) can verify not only that the source code contains no obvious backdoors or flaws, but can also verify that the binaries correspond exactly to the source code.

So there you have it: a somewhat complex and rather tangled tale, like pretty much everything in our troubled world. But very obviously nothing like the mischaracterization of Tor Project as "corrupt to the core, fully owned by the US government and US corporations and serving their interests" [sic].

Anonymous

November 26, 2019

Permalink

What's this? Retired General Keith "Collect it All" Alexander has become... a human rights advocate?!

thehill.com
UN's cybercrime 'law' helps dictators and criminals, not their victims
Gen. (Ret) Keith B. Alexander and Jamil N. Jaffer, opinion contributors
26 Nov 2019

> The expansion of global cybercrime, perhaps seen most prominently in the dramatic rise of ransomware attacks, recently led a key committee of the United Nations to adopt a resolution backing a new global agreement on cybercrime that purportedly would set serious limits on the use of technology for criminal purposes... The resolution — led by Russia and China, and supported by a motley crew including Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Nicaragua, Syria and Venezuela — does little to contain or limit cybercrime, instead employing significantly vague language ostensibly aimed at this global plague but in reality focused on reinforcing tools that authoritarian regimes can use to suppress domestic dissent, silence democracy activists, muzzle journalists and target human rights groups.

So is this another win for our side? No, it's a trick. Don't believe his change of heart.

Here is a dueling editorial from David Kaye, a genuine leader in the global fight for human rights (he is the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights):

theguardian.com
The surveillance industry is assisting state suppression. It must be stopped
David Kaye
The power and reach of private spyware companies is the stuff of dystopian fiction
26 Nov 2019

And here is an interview with Ron Wyden who has vowed to investigate credible reports of state sponsored malware being used to attack Americans (FBI or CMU SEI possibly not included):

theguardian.com
US senator to investigate if foreign spyware used to target Americans
Exclusive: Ron Wyden says hacking claims raise “serious national security issues”
Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Washington and Jon Swaine in New York
26 Nov 2019

This is an invaluable and long overdue initiative, but the natsec crisis is developing very quickly, and there are many indications that state-sponsored actors (very possibly including contractors for governments which USG regards as "hostile") have moved well beyond cyberespionage to using the information gleaned to refine their target lists and to follow up with physical intrusions. Decades ago, one of the ugliest revelations from the post-Watergate Church Committee was that FBI had engaged in extensive illegal non-breaking entries into the homes and offices of civil rights leaders, environmentalists, and musicians who had written anti-war songs, among other law-abiding innocent victims, who far from "doing something wrong", were doing things (ending Jim Crow, working to end the failed Vietnam War) where history has shown were very much the right thing to do at the time. In recent years, innumerable reports suggest very strongly that FBI is at it again. But the unprecedented aspect of the current threat environment is that other governments seem to joining USG in targeting Americans inside America with physical harassment. It is not yet clear whether FBI is actively assisting, looking the other way, or simply too incompetent or distracted (by searching for non-existent "BIE"s) to notice what is happening.

Alexander is however correct that governments extensively deploy malware, often bought from companies such as Gamma, Hacking Team, Cellebrite, or NSO Group, to attack journalists and human rights groups. Another technique pioneered by the Putin regime which is being deployed by other governments is to suppress human rights groups by hitting supporters with ruinous fines which bankrupt and dehouse them. The Drump administration is apparently trying to use this strategy against Americans. It is notable that not only has state-sponsored malware has been used in cyberespionage campaigns targeting groups such as Amnesty and HRW, but lists of supporters have been a particular target.

Another note on Gen. Alexander: shortly after his retirement, he became very unpopular with NSA employees after he patented a supposedly novel analytic technique which he claimed he had developed (for personal profit) in his spare time while serving as DIRNSA ("people who hold that post should not *have* any free time", was the outraged comment I heard from one of those deeply offended; other staffers felt that as a supposed "patriot" Alexander should have given his technique to NSA for free). Alexander quickly formed his company IronNet Cybersecurity in which the alleged technique and his dragnetting background is a centerpiece of marketing. Further, his protege was caught out by The Intercept in a self-dealing no-bid contract issued by NSA to company in which her husband served as an executive, which resulted in her demotion and early retirement. This kind of public rebuke from "Deep State" is quite rare, and underscores the extraordinary sense of entitlement claimed by Alexander and his cronies.

Another notable point is that when Alexander and his coauthor (an IronNet crony) decry governments shutting down human rights groups, they fail to mention that the government of Israel has just expelled the country director of NSO Group for the "crime" [sic] of promoting an international consumer boycott which could force the government to back off from some of its worst human rights abuses. Promoting an international consumer boycott of Israel (which would ironically stop NSO Group and Cellebrite from selling malware abroad) is illegal in Israel (and the US) but the country director did not in fact promote the proposed consumer boycott:

hrw.org
Israel Expels Human Rights Watch Director Today
Group Will Keep Documenting Abuses by All Parties

Further, long time politician and former counter-terror operative Bibi Netanyahu has been indicted on very serious charges of public corruption and bribery, and is contesting a close election. All this underscores an essential point about all human rights issues: no government can be offered a "free pass" for abuses simply because they claim the status of "the good guys", or claim that past horrors "justify" their adoption of methods which sometimes seem to be approaching a similar level of cynical brutality. It is terrifying but necessary to acknowledge that all around the world, populist right wing extremist leaders such as Bolsonaro are openly expressing their intention to imitate (in Amazonia and other places) the worst excesses of the original Nazi regime, Stalin's regime, Mao's regime, Pol Pot's regime, the masterminds of the Rwanda genocide and Balkan genocide and Armenian genocide and others. And state-sponsored cyberwar is playing a role in these nascent contemporary genocides.

State sponsored malware is particularly dangerous when it is used to attack journalists investigating public corruption, mafias, or human rights violations, or their sources.
In Malta, the long battle to bring to justice the murderers of Daphne Curuana Galizia has reached a crisis point:

theguardian.com
Maltese PM's aide and minister quit amid turmoil over journalist's murder
Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi resign, as police continue inquiry into 2017 death of Daphne Caruana Galizia
Juliette Garside in Valletta
26 Nov 2019

IMO, Alexander's op-ed should be viewed as a kind of information operation targeting Americans, which remarkably appears not to be pushing the "Deep State" agenda but rather Alexander's personal agenda to positively increment the profit-line of his company. Meanwhile, the RUtrolls remain an important threat to the democratic process around the world, and they have upped their game:

rollingstone.com
That Uplifting Tweet You Just Shared? A Russian Troll Sent It
Here’s what Russia’s 2020 disinformation operations look like, according to two experts on social media and propaganda.
Darren Linvill & Patrick Warren
Nov 2019

Anonymous

November 27, 2019

Permalink

Truly, we are surrounded by enemies, and their plots are growing ever uglier.

Look up at the URL bar. See that ".org" after "torproject"? Guess that don't much matter? Guess again.

Putin pioneered the strategy of silencing dissidents by bankrupting them. Now "the West" has come up with a nasty variant on the thing: ICANN has sold PIR (which controls domain names) to an equity group called Ethos Capital and removed price restrictions on ownership of .org domains:

techdirt.com
Private equity firm buys .org domain months after ICANN lifted price caps
ICANN eliminated price protections for .org domain owners earlier this year.
Timothy B. Lee
23 Nov 2019

> The Public Internet Registry, a subsidiary of a nonprofit called the Internet Society, has managed the .org domain since 2002. Earlier this year, ICANN asked for public comment on a new contract for the organization. The most significant change was the elimination of provisions limiting price increases for .org domain owners.

So, not a victory for us, unfortunately, but a new existential threat which Isa must address.

Anonymous

November 27, 2019

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The government of Iran, which is often cited as an "Enemy of the Internet" because of its harsh censorship and surveillance apparatus, recently disconnected from the Internet, apparently in an attempt to cover up enormous nationwide street protests by millions of ordinary people suffering ever more dire economic hardship (just like too many citizens in the Americas).

One of the Iran stories mainstream Western media strangely persists in ignoring, just one of the important stories "hidden" by an unholy alliance of Iranian government censorship and Western government oppression targeting anti-censorship software like WhatsApp, is the fact that Iran has a homegrown environmental movement. Like the strong environmental movement in the US, the Iran environmentalists are involved in big fights which they often lose, but sometimes they win a few.

Tragically, environmentalists around the world, especially in Iran and in Amazonia (in Brazil), have been caught in the crosshairs of "The Great Game" playing out in MENA and in Latin America between rival powers:

theintercept.com
Did an American Billionaire Philanthropist Play a Role in the Imprisonment of Iranian Environmentalists?
Murtaza Hussain
27 Nov 2019

Other environmental movements North American readers will never read about in the mainstream media include movements in such dangerous countries as Russia, Cuba, China, and Iraq, underscoring the fact that all over the world, ordinary citizens care so deeply about the environment and about effectively addressing climate change that they are quite literally willing to put their lives at immediate risk by speaking out.

Getting the story out about the plight of endangered environmental movements in some of the most political volatile regions of the world is another reason why the whole world badly needs Tor, ever more and ever better Tor.

In the city of Mumbai in democratic India, nearly 4000 trees were felled recently by the ruling national party of India (BJP) and criminal cases were registered against activists protesting against the deforestation of a city forest named Aarey Colony.

Anonymous

November 28, 2019

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Excellent, well-balanced review of an already enormous and rapidly expanding subject:

Republic of Lies: American conspiracy theorists and their surprising rise to power
Anna Merlan
Metropolitan Books, 2019

As I read I kept thinking of important points which add depth or perspective, only to be pleasantly amazed when Merlan made that very point a few pages later on.

Fortunately for us, Tor is not even mentioned in her discussions of Gamergate and RUtrolls, but we all need to keep thinking about straegies and tactics for making the Tor community a hard target for professional info-ops, no matter which oligarch, corporation, or government funds them, or what hidden agenda they pursue.

Anonymous

November 29, 2019

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I'm feeling a bit uneasy using TOR right now because the first page that loads when starting TBB has a completely different desgin. It's a black background with huge bright green lettering that says "Take back the internet with TOR" and a purple diagram of a computer and with a big 'donate now' button. But I can't find anything online about a website redesign. So it makes me wonder if my browser had been hijacked and someone's trying to get my credit card or information. Perhaps I'm paranoid because I have experience with fishy websites where they have some free content but also some aspects of trying to scam you and the scamming part is always the part with the big flashy letters and buttons, just like this current tor project design that I'm now seeing. So would someone be able to address these concerns? A link to an official source would be good.
Also, when I loaded it the first time the page was red and it said "something went wrong". And on a proxy checking website it said something about a 'compromised server' which message I've never seen before.
Thanks to anyone who can help me put these concerns to bed or give me some information.

Also, the artwork above contains visual references to various math topics like strange attractors, black holes, trees and railway diagrams, all of which could be said to be at least spiritually related to the goals of Tor. I think that's kind of cool.

(During World War II, the French resistance famously used some primitive steganography to transmit secret messages hidden inside official government railway diagrams.)

> I'm feeling a bit uneasy using TOR right now because the first page that loads when starting TBB has a completely different desgin. It's a black background with huge bright green lettering that says "Take back the internet with TOR" and a purple diagram of a computer and with a big 'donate now' button. But I can't find anything online about a website redesign

Actually, there was quite a bit of discussion of the long-promised redesign, which displeased just about everyone who spoke up. (I was one of the few semi-defenders.)

> thanks to anyone who can help me put these concerns to bed or give me some information.

Oh my goodness, I have the perfect link for you:

https://www.eff.org/wp/behind-the-one-way-mirror
Behind the One-Way Mirror: A Deep Dive Into the Technology of Corporate Surveillance
Bennett Cyphers
2 Dec 2019

Bottom line: Tor is your best friend as you try to avoid scams, hijackings, censorship, propaganda, trolls, and in general as you try to stay safe(r) on line.

> Also, when I loaded it the first time the page was red and it said "something went wrong". And on a proxy checking website it said something about a 'compromised server' which message I've never seen before.

Weird, but I doubt that many "proxy checking sites" are reliable, in fact they may be more interested in creating lists of people who are worried about on-line privacy (lists which are sold to unscrupulous businesses punting "security theater" or even pushing out malware) than in protecting people, so watch out. I suspect the site you checked simply got it wrong, or was even itself trying to trick you.

You would have to provide details if you want anyone to look into what happened.

Anonymous

December 04, 2019

Permalink

It is not only in Iran that internet has been shut down, but even in one of the states of democratic India, viz. Kashmir, internet has been shut down since 4 months by the democratically elected government of India, the Bharatiya Janata Party. This makes one think of what use is TOR when internet is shut down by governments to muzzle dissenting voices. What is the use of a bulb when there is no electricity? Can internet be free & open just like the air we breathe?

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