Imagine How The FBI And NSA Would Flip Out If Tor Browsing Was Built Into Firefox Or Chrome?
from the things-could-get-interesting dept
All last week, we saw law enforcement types freaking out about the news that Apple and Google were making phone encryption a default. While a good step in the right direction, this was really kind of a minor thing, only protecting a small bit of information — and yet law enforcement folks went nuts.
So just imagine how crazy they’ll go if Tor were embedded directly into Firefox as the default “private browsing mode,” as was recently hinted at by Tor exec director Andrew Lewman. Even though private browsing mode still isn’t even used that much, adding Tor automatically to it would be quite handy for those who wish to have greater control over their privacy, but haven’t gone through the trouble of setting up Tor themselves. Lewman didn’t name the browser that has been thinking about this, but did say it had 10 to 20% of the market, which suggests Firefox is the most likely partner. Though, frankly, it would be nice to see this as a feature on all browsers.
Still, I imagine that if that happens, we’ll see a similar freakout from the FBI, DOJ, NSA and others, insisting that actually protecting user privacy is somehow better enabling criminals and terrorists. Of course, the truth is that most criminals and terrorists do plenty of other things to reveal themselves. Very, very, very few people are competently able to hide any and all behavior against even semi-competent detective and intelligence work. But what further expanding Tor can do is better protect perfectly legal and innocent behavior from being tracked and abused.