Over 1M using encryption software to access Facebook

Over 1M using encryption software to access Facebook

Over a million people per month are now using anonymity software to browse Facebook secretly without outsiders being able to determine their location or other details about their computer.

Communicating through a connection secured by the software Tor allows users to hide the location of their device as well as information that could identify them. Many use it to get around internet censors in other countries or to keep their information from being obtained by mass surveillance.

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Facebook announced in 2014 that it had created a version of its website meant to run properly on a Tor-secured connection. Previously, the website would appear broken to some users browsing on Tor.

Facebook engineer Alec Muffett said in a post that in June of last year, roughly 525,000 were accessing Facebook through Tor in a given 30-day period. Now, that number is more than one million, he said.

The figure may show an increasing interest in encrypted browsing among the general public.

Facebook has proved to be supportive of encryption in recent years. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in February that he was “sympathetic” to Apple’s case in its legal battle with the FBI. The agency sought to force Apple to help access encrypted data on an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists.

Messaging platform WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, also turned on end-to-end encryption this month for all of its users, a move that could put its parent company in the political spotlight. Zuckerberg called the decision “an important milestone for the WhatsApp community.”