Facebook can no longer stake any preposterous claim to "help people connect better". It is a business entity - always has been - and does not give half a damn about "making the world a better place", or whatever corporate marketing catchphrase they use right now.
Related to recent events or not, the privatized internet is continuing to backlash with severe consequences for anyone dependent on Tor to ensure that their tyrant government doesn't come knocking on their door just for speaking their mind.
The government tends to look out for and protect its biggest corporate partners, particularly those that play a strategic role (think: Boeing). The major Internet services companies are now protected government sponsored entities, just like Verizon and AT&T.
The Feds can never risk the potential that the massive orgy of data that Facebook makes possible - both domestically and globally - might unravel or be challenged by competitors that might threaten the 'total information awareness' system they've built. I would argue Facebook's well being is now considered a national security interest for the US Government, as there are few other sources that provide easy access to the lives of a billion people around the world.
I wish Facebook were merely a business.
As an European I never understood what is the "strategic" interest of Washington to protect the telecom companies. This might have made sense 20 years ago, but now that these companies tend to become like any other utility companies I don't see why the Government would care if they break up or if new (possibly foreign) competitors appear.
Why not? Facebook does help billions of people connect better. Yes, it is a business entity and what's wrong with that? Does this make it inherently evil? Do non business entity do a better job at "making the world a better place"? Look at the latest NSA scandal to get an idea. At least we're not forced to pay Facebook with our tax money like we do with the NSA. But sure, business are the devil. Oh, and to stay on topic, if you want to be mad at something, be mad at those dictators forcing people to use TOR, not Facebook. TOR is also a great tools for spammers and Facebook has to fight spam too if it wants to survive as a business.
Facebook has plenty of ways to fight spam besides blacklisting Tor exit node IPs, exactly as it has done up until now.
First, you seem to imply that a privately-owned public space is a bad thing. What alternatives do you envision? Wouldn't a space regulated and controlled by governmental entities or NGOs be just as liable to abuse?
Second, when you speak about "Facebook," what do you mean? Do you mean that the people who work there don't care about helping people connecting there? That Mark Zuckerberg personally doesn't care? Or that the corporate entity of Facebook has some sort of conscious will of its own separate from the will of its employees?
Third, you seem to imply there's an obvious reason why Facebook blocked TOR that furthers their business interests. Can you elaborate on what that is?
I didn't RTFA but use of Tor can impair Facebook's tracking of people, thus making the data about people less valuable commodities to sell to their advertisers. Using Tor may also increase Facebook's network usage a bit by making less use of cached data, locally and remotely.
An anarchist collective wrote something you may find interesting on this subject, "The Internet as New Enclosure
Digitized Capitalism, the Attention Economy, and the Surveillance State" although I doubt the author(s) would agree that any enclosure of public space is "inevitable" as you put it.
I for one am immensely proud to be part of the civilization that created the free and open Internet, and will fight tooth and nail to keep such an option available to people.
It should be considered enemy soil for anyone who believes in privacy and freedom.
"A number of users have noticed that Facebook is blocking connections from the Tor network. Facebook is not blocking Tor deliberately. However, a high volume of malicious activity across Tor exit nodes triggered Facebook's site integrity systems which are designed to protect people who use the service. Tor and Facebook are working together to find a resolution."
>Google and Facebook are part of the military surveillance complex, it's as simple as that. They are privatized surveillance companies who serve the US government.
1. One or more governments (which ones?) have told Facebook to block Tor or else. (Or else what?)
2. A manual security review revealed more hacking attempts via Tor than legitimate use, so Facebook decided to block Tor.
3. After a sustained hacking attack via Tor, an automated Facebook security system automatically blocked Facebook access from Tor.
Further questions: When did Facebook start blocking Tor? Any idea when they might stop?
It's a pitifully poor article.
Uh, yeah. That's why the parent comment suggests asking Facebook what's going on NOT guessing about it!
Edit: fixed mobile typos
Google takes a similar approach - if you use Tor there's a high chance it'll accuse you of being a bot and require a CAPTCHA.
But in a broader sense, it does. If it's a temporary automatic block, that has different implications for who you protest against than if it is a manual block put in at the behest of the House of Saud, say, or at the request of America's NSA.
The world is so different place in unsafe countries, people might be playing with their lives(and lives of their close ones) for doing this stuff. It's not unlikely for a totalitarian government to assassinate opposition, to physically kill activists. You say that's wrong, but I ask whatcha gonna do about it?
Lets let them use TOR.
Of course the reliance on US based(of all Western countries) company through which all the stuff gets organized and through which the communications happen might have to be questioned -- but the status quo is that there are no viable alternatives and it's very unlikely to change due to the nature of the market.
edit: at least for me, it's impossible to log in to HN and when I occasionally succesfully log im, everything I post while being on Tor is instantly dead.
 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5864439
It's really easy to set up, and only costs ~$3 a month if you have your free tier available.
The whole point of Facebook is to share some private information with a selected group of friends.
This is all purely out of convenience. If I wanted to go full on stealth mode I could have used Tor at which point my account would not give facebook any information apart from a couple of "like" clicks from a super generic gray faced account.
Activists can create these accounts and have a place where they can tell the world about their experiences without risk of being found out. They dont need to give out their IP addresses, they dont need to give out addresses. All they need is a cause and a way to speak and, given luck, people will start listening.
Now at least one small avenue of communication has been closed.
Facebook seems to connect you to anything except the future..
People get better at this stuff, but slowly. The current privacy issue is growing in the public consciousness, spurring action from "techies". Maybe 20 years from now easy to use encryption will be the norm, even among regular people.
For instance, Facebook messaging vs instant messaging. For most standard users I know, they have literally lost any reason to use an alternate client, and many of them will probably never become familiar with one as a result.
Anyway, its a wait and see situation, hopefully we are both around to see!
If you're in a situation which can threaten your life, the latter is clearly more important.
I'm unsure if Facebook blocked signups from Tor however.
Imagine you're in Egypt and you lead a political party that is targeted by other parties or even the government. People will still follow your stream and information (facebook also has pages) it doesn't matter if you filled out a "profile".
Or maybe you just want to follow that political page without anyone finding out. Create an account with fake information, it's simple and useful.
Is this possible/practical?
Why WOULD anyone who cares about their anonymity use Facebook? I am wondering why I use Facebook even.
Because, as much as you shout and holler about your privacy being violated, and as much as you act like you value said privacy, you're more than willing to give it up for a modicum of convenience.
You, me, and everyone else. Anyone who still uses a 3rd party to handle unencrypted data they expect to remain private is simply uninformed. Period.
Like Chrome's "incognito mode" that extends beyond cookies to an anonymous network identity. Like using Tor through a VPN tunnel, I guess.
Did you not even finish reading the headline?
If activists want a potential mass audience, facebook is an essential part of of that. Something private will not get to most people. Its the exact same reason it is hard to compete with facebook. Its is a virtual monopoly.
"Force"? No. But by using that word you are in the same disingenuous camp the "what have you got to hide" people. I mean, why bother about privacy at all, no one is "forced" to use the internet. Why bother about anything facebook does, no one is forced to use it.
I could go on, but I'm not forced to....
Well, why not clear it through an individual that will put it up there so that the private dealings of everyone else won't leak?
Being grateful for health and freedom is one thing - being so grateful as to not put them to use, or let them slip away, is another. If Facebook has made a change for the worse, it's worth talking about.
I get similiar behaviour with VPNs & Google.
So you are told that the IP you are using is rate limited.