Adding a notice about RT to the Tor Project website

I have recently noticed that Russia Today’s website is linking to the Tor Project in their instructions on how to access RT [1] despite possible western government censorship*.
of course, while it is a good thing that tools for circumventing censorship are available and that more people are made aware of them, I think it is deeply problematic if russian state media is trying to use it to one-sidedly keep delivering propaganda and disinformation campains to uncritical audiences abroad.

I think the best way to counter this is to add a notice raising awareness both about RT being a russian propaganda network, as well as about how the russian government currently doing it’s best to silence dissidents at home to the Tor Project website, especially the download page [2].
The notice should be clearly visible and be as hard to miss as possible, to ensure that any people who are sent to the Tor Project website by that RT guide at least have the information to reconsider whether they can rely on RT as a trustworthy news source.

[1] the original guide on RT: How to access — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union
[2] this is the specific link in the guide (at time of writing): Tor Project | Download

  • Note: While western governments are now doing some censorship of russian state media due to the war, I don’t know how consistent it is across countries; At least where I live, I can still access the RT website fine through a regular browser (though their DDoS protection has given me some trouble), while the official youtube channel is blocked in my country.
1 Like

Hello and welcome to the forum.

If you would spread a hint about RT, it is clearly politically motivated. Warning about individual media is not part of the Tor Project’s mission… Here are my thoughts.

I think the Tor Project is obligated to neutrality. Also we as a community if we carry the positions of the project to the outside.
It would be arrogant to judge individual media. And in this case even to criticize.

Disinformation is also spread on Youtube. We would have to warn about the entire Internet if we were to warn about RT.

Surely we all agree that acts of war of any kind are to be condemned from a human point of view.But in my opinion this is the only statement we are allowed to make as Torproject.

Political views have no place here. With one exception: We all stand united behind the idea that all people have the right to uncensored communication and information. If a state censors something, then we clearly oppose it and offer a technical solution to circumvent the censorship.

That is the mission of the Tor Project.

My personal opinion: I welcome the fact that RT refers to Tor. Don’t get me wrong, I have the same opinion about this medium as you do. But I don’t think it’s right when so-called free and open states censor Russian media in these times. Even if it is state-controlled propaganda. It is important for me to have access to Russian media. Because then you can also get a picture of what context the Russian propaganda is trying to create.

One more point. You find it problematic when one-sided media take advantage of Tor. Okay, that happens all over the world. Look at German state TV “DW”. See: https://www.dwnewsgngmhlplxy6o2twtfgjnrnjxbegbwqx6wnotdhkzt562tszfid.onion/

This institution has the function to broadcast the views of the current government of Germany to the world. There is no neutral journalism there, even if the impression is to be given. This medium is responsible in the most part of the world for the opinion of the people about Germany.
It also spreads opinions that differ from those of the citizens. This is because there are no neutral debates about political positions in DW’s programs. Opinions and debates with citizens take place in the independent public broadcasters.
It is a government-dependent institution with one-sided and non-debated opinions.