Will Tor browser block certain websites?

I just received an email from Mozilla about Firefox on which Tor is based. Rather than sum it up, here is a snippet.

The French government is working on a law that could threaten the free internet.

The bill is designed to increase online safety. But the draft dramatically overreaches, and includes a section that would give the government the power to censor what you can and cannot see online.

This bill would require web browsers – like Mozilla’s Firefox – to block websites chosen by the government in the browsers themselves. It would set a dangerous precedent, providing a playbook for other governments to also turn browsers into censorship tools.

It will probably pass. So are there plans to bypass or circumvent this? It will probably start an avalanche for other governments to join in.

Well so much for the first word of their motto.

Thoughts anyone?

It will go nowhere similar to the UK and EU bills

Not familiar to those 2. Can you expand or give a link?

EU Bill: https://prostasia.org/blog/europes-chat-control-mandate-begins/

UK Bill: https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3137

Its not as scary as it sounds. Provided that you use E2E encrypted messengers and a VPN. What the bills relate to is nothing new anyway; ISPs have done the same for years already.

And security focused services will quit UK involvement rather than install backdoor encryption weaknesses.

Oh OK! Those ones. I knew about them wanting to not allow end-to-end encryption or wanting a back-door. My link was about France wanting browsers to blacklist sites in the browser directly. This includes Tor. So if this bill does pass, I wondered what would be a Tor reaction… Or anyone else. There must surely be ways to circumvent. Those who want to visit the blacklist will find a way. Those who do not aren’t going there anyway.

I’ve long known that any law can be passed if framed within “protect the children” or “national security”. Almost anything can be framed within those two concepts.

You are seriously asking if a censorship bypass tool will use censorship?


You are seriously asking if a censorship bypass tool will use censorship?

Yes! That is exactly why I am asking the question. When the law passes in France will Tor comply? Of course not. Then does the Tor browser become illegal in France.

IMO there’s no way that is going to happen. Let’s just really think about it for a second. If France approves that kind of law, every browser will have to block certain websites, and if they do, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari… will be banning those website for everyone, not only french citizens. If they want to ban some content, it’s better to just block by IP address, or more effectively (yet useless), DNS queries. Controlling the content online is just really difficult and expensive and only useful for non-tech-savy users. The only real possibility to block everything you don’t want users to access to is by sealing yourself, which is what Russia has been planning (and trying to achieve) for some time, disconnecting from the internet and run their own net (RuNet).

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Why? How? Tor Browser is free libre open source software, mirrored on countless git. Why should a dev implement that at all, anyone would delete the patch. :rofl:

The Tor browser is illegal in China, Turkmenistan, Iran, Russia and Myanmar,… and governments are trying to block the Tor network. And yet people still use it.

If you’re French: Stand up for the law not to go through.
If you’re a windows user: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD & Open Hardware https://distrowatch.com/

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I’m thinking the same thing. I would be a nightmare and near impossible to implement.
“Controlling the content online is just really difficult and expensive and only useful for non-tech-savy users”
This would kinda do it because it would affect the masses.
It’s a dumb and stupid idea but since when has dumb and stupid stoped governments from passing laws.
“or more effectively (yet useless), DNS queries”
That’s in there also.
(French) https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/dossierlegislatif/JORFDOLE000047533100
(English resume) https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/117/materials/slides-117-pearg-proposed-laws-on-dns-blocking-00

“The Tor browser is illegal in China, Turkmenistan, Iran, Russia and Myanmar… and governments are trying to block the Tor network. And yet people still use it”
Of course but it catches the masses and (and a really BIG and) France is not one of those countries. Remember: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
They will never make Tor or other browser illegal.
Yes Tor is “open source software, mirrored on countless git”.
Most people do not compile things. Most people who use cars do not build them or repair them or even understand how they work. Press here: start. Press this pedal: go. Press this pedal: stop.

I did not compile Tor. I downloaded it then took the extra step of verifying the certificate.

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Thanks for sharing this, now I better understand what’s going on.

i. Require DNS providers (including resolvers) to block domains without a court order

I really hate that, being able to block domains as you wish? No, thanks. They will be able to censor whatever they feel like.

iii. Require communications providers to disclose non-identifying internet traffic upon request

I’m ok with this as long as it doesn’t identify in any way users, just for understanding what is going on.

iv. Install data collection tools in data centers without a court order.

I feel like that is the worst measure of all, with it, the government can identify user’s services and activities and wiretap on demand, even on users who host their services there but are from a different country.

If you read near the bottom of that link: “Impacts to Web Browsing” there are alternatives which already exist and I bet this what will end up as the solution.

Google’s Safe Browsing and Microsoft’s Smart Screen are the 2 most common nannies for browsers.
Cloudflare’s public DNS service one.one.one.one also has a nanny mode: (No Malware) & (No Malware or Adult Content)
France’s browser-based website blocking proposal will set a disastrous precedent for the open internet - Open Policy & Advocacy (see the blog for links to those browser nanny modes and search for Families for Cloudflare’s nanny mode)

They will probably oblige all browsers and DNS services to provide nanny mode as a default.

So you see in 12 posts we solved this problem hundred of legislators have been working on. Maybe we should run for office.

Et voila la France, problème résolu.

Then everything is fine, why did you start this thread in the first place?

You can continue to do that. Tor is a community project not a company. Dev’s from all countries of the word, hosted in US and build in US.
France has no legal rights there. No Tor Dev cares what France wants.
Try stopping free open source encryption, bitcoin, monero, libdvdcss, p2p… SourceForge, GitHub, GitLab, etc. are full of projects that some companies or governments would like to get rid of.

Microsoft was previously (90s)not allowed to export Internet Explorer with >128-bit encryption from the USA. (War Weapons Control Act) Then Europe got the Explorer from Australia.

But you have to learn to drive. Nowadays the so-called digital natives don’t even know the basics of how the internet works. Proxy-, DNS-, POP-, SMTP-server, they don’t know that. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ The internet is the most important thing in our world. If you don’t have a basic knowledge of this, you will be doomed later, both professionally and personally. Your examples here show, for example, how important it is to be able to enter a desired DNS server on your system.

My government in Germany (formerly CDU) wanted to ban the Tor network and onion services in 2019. This encouraged me to become one of the largest relay operators in the Tor network.

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I finished the original post with “Thoughts anyone?” That is why I started the thread.

“They will never make Tor or other browser illegal” I was being positive. Just because I said it does not make it a guarantee.

And when I think about it again, since Tor implements google safebrowsing (I think) then it is compliant. All any government needs to do is get the bad sites which would harm the children on that list. How hard would that be.

Yes you have to learn to drive and they did as I mentioned “Press here: start. Press this pedal: go. Press this pedal: stop.” I forgot a few: turn the wheel this way go left; the other way go right.

I disagree that you need to know all the specifics of the internet to get on like DNS, POP, SMTP, etc. Do you really need to know how your fuel injector works.

90% they will. GUIX (French) does not allow updates through Tor and relocatables from overlays since the riots. The government will impose itself. I can give you a lot more info. Most likely Waterfox (Dutch version of Beta) will be OK. If you are on this forum, you do have a lot of options.

If the French do, others will follow for sure… Keep us posted

Yeah, you do. Knowing about protocols and how they work can be helpful in diagnosing a issue with your connection or software. Having good knowledge of how the internet works is essential for your safety.

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I agree too; otherwise we end up extending our trust and faith onto other third-parties instead, which is risky and leads to consolidation of power elsewhere.


90% they will

After a few days thinking about this, I am wondering what you are basing this 90% on? Just to be clear, both you and I mean that the French government will pass the law not that the French (people) want this. I can see many problems implementing this law. Too many as described above by others. If a law is passed but cannot be enforced then it is useless.

I see a compromised using alternatives which are already in place. What do you know that we do not?

Glad that you got to the right side of the discussion. Cheers.