Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Government censorship is an issue with many countries worldwide. Some governments will attempt to restrict access to information or otherwise curtail their citizens’ right to free speech. To get around this, tools like VPNs exist, but depending on how committed a country is to censorship it can become a bit of a game of cat and mouse. Now, Tor wants to help you circumvent censorship with its new WebTunnel feature.

The Tor Project has just announced the release of WebTunnel, a new bridge type that helps people in censored regions connect to the Tor network through the Tor browser. WebTunnel bridges function by mimicking encrypted web traffic (HTTPS), making the Tor Browser appear like regular browsing activity to censors. This is particularly useful in situations where only certain protocols are allowed and others are blocked.

WebTunnel is inspired by HTTPT and wraps the Tor connection within a WebSocket-like HTTPS connection. This allows it to coexist with a website on the same server, making it even more inconspicuous. Unlike obfs4 bridges, which aim to be completely unrecognizable, WebTunnel leverages existing, permitted traffic patterns to bypass censorship. Countries that block the use of Tor include Russia, Belarus, and Turkmenistan, and in theory, WebTunnel would allow you to connect to the Tor network from these countries. In order to use a WebTunnel, you need to grab a WebTunnel bridge from Tor’s Bridges website, and then set it up on your Tor browser. You’ll need an updated version of the Tor browser in order to use WebTunnel, as the feature is not supported on older versions of the browser.

These WebTunnel bridges might also soon become available through other platforms such as Telegram, but at the moment, they’re only available through the Tor website. If you want to check out WebTunnel, make sure to update your browser and download an appropriate bridge from the website. Also, if you happen to live in a country where censorship is rampant, you might also want to shoot your feedback at the developers and tell them how it compares to other circumvention methods such as obfs4.

Source: The Tor Project

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By John P.

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