Facebook Android backs anonymity service Tor

Facebook’s commitment to privacy continues as it offers Tor’s anonymity service on Android app

Tags: Facebook Incorporation
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Facebook Android backs anonymity service Tor Facebook has been accessible through Tor-enabled browsers since 2014, but will now feature on its Android app (Getty Images)
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  January 20, 2016

Facebook has made it possible for its Android app users to privately browse the social platform through the anonymity service, Tor.

Though Facebook has been accessible through Tor-enabled browsers since 2014, the move to Android comes as Facebook revealed that a ‘sizeable community' has grown around its privacy feature.

Tor is an encrypted network and is used to hide computer IP addresses, typically by concealing the identity of the user and its origin.

Kate Krauss, a spokeswoman for the Tor project said: "Everybody in the world needs more privacy online and almost everybody is on Facebook. This will allow people to choose whether to share their location or not. For some people, this is convenience. For others it is lifesaving."

With Facebook's 1.5bn monthly active users, Tor's developers hope the collaboration with Facebook and Android support will expand Tor's following.  

Despite policymakers and technology companies debate over whether digital privacy should be curbed, Tor's popularity continues to increase since revelations of US Internet spying came to light by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

To use Tor on Android devices, requires a download of Orbot, an app which connects to Tor and updates Facebook's app settings.

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