Now you can not only purchase drugs and guns on the dark web but also read “all the news that’s fit to print.” Today the New York Times announced it was making its website available as a Tor Onion Service. This means that people can access the Times via a specially made router on the anonymous internet-browsing software Tor.
All jokes aside, this is actually a very cool and innovative move that will make the Times‘ stories more widely available to people who might not otherwise be able to safely access them. Some governments have tight controls over internet use and block a number of websites; others surveil local internet use. Making the Times available as an Onion Service means that anyone who uses the anonymizing browser can safely and anonymously access the website. Runa Sandvik, the Times’ director of information security, said the move will make the website “accessible via a special, secure, and hard-to-block VPN-like ‘tunnel’ through the Tor network.”
Other sites that have used Onion Services to make content more widely available include Facebook and ProPublica. You can read more about the Times’ announcement here.