Brave users can now contribute to the fight against online censorship with the latest update.
Brave version 1.47 allows users around the world to turn their devices into a proxy service to give people around the world access to the Tor Browser.
This is not the first step the secure browser has taken to bypass internet restrictions, following the earlier introduction of support for Tor Bridges in private Windows with Tor version 1.44. But the company’s new feature is a step forward to empower the Brave community to promote an open and free internet for everyone – right behind their screens.
Brave and Tor Snowflake
The latest Brave update adds the Tor Snowflake feature directly to the browser system. It is a peer-to-peer technology developed by the Tor Project to allow people around the world to access censored websites and apps.
Like many top VPN services, Snowflake helps those living under strict internet restrictions bypass online censorship.
However, as explained by Tor wa blog post (opens in a new tab)“Unlike a VPN, you don’t need to install a separate app to connect to Snowflake’s proxy server and bypass censorship. This is usually a workaround feature built into existing applications.”
Powered by a combination of proxy technology and the WebRTC protocol, Snowflake masks users’ online activities, making them appear as if they are using the network for a simple video or voice call. It then automatically assigns Tor’s ephemeral bridges to give access to blocked sites to anyone who needs it.
At the same time, it secures the privacy and anonymity of users, so that the authorities will not be able to know if and when someone manages to bypass their online restrictions.
Tor Bridges, already available in the Brave browser since September last year, is relay software run by volunteers with the goal of helping people access Tor in the event of a lockdown.
They basically give users an alternative access point to Onion routing.
To enable this feature in Brave Browser, you should head over to Settings menu and tap Privacy and protection strap. click on Windows Tor to select or manually add an active built-in bridge.
The snowflake represents the natural evolution of this. In fact, anyone who wants to help others access Tor can now enable the browser extension on their Tor Bridge of choice simply by enabling this option.
This means that users’ devices don’t just act as intermediaries between the external computer and the Tor website. They also allow encrypted messages to flow between the Snowflake system and other computers on the Tor network.
While anyone can do what they can to help people around the world easily access Tor, it is worth noting that the Snowflake feature does not work for users residing in countries where Tor is censored and/or accessing the internet through a firewall fire at school or workplace.
Through Beeping Computer (opens in a new tab)