The BBC has made its international news website available via the Tor network, in a bid to thwart censorship attempts.

The Tor browser is privacy-focused software used to access the dark web.

The browser can obscure who is using it and what data is being accessed, which can help people avoid government surveillance and censorship.

Countries including China, Iran and Vietnam are among those who have tried to block access to the BBC News website or programmes.

Instead of visiting bbc.co.uk/news or bbc.com/news, users of the Tor browser can visit the new bbcnewsv2vjtpsuy.onion web address. Clicking this web address will not work in a regular web browser.

The dark web copy of the BBC News website will be the international edition, as seen from outside the UK.

It will include foreign language services such as BBC Arabic, BBC Persian and BBC Russian.

But UK-only content and services such as BBC iPlayer will not be accessible, due to broadcast rights.

What is Tor?

Tor is a way to access the internet that requires software, known as the Tor browser, to use it.

The name is an acronym for The Onion Router. Just as there are many layers to the vegetable, there are many layers of encryption on the network.

It was originally designed by the US Naval Research Laboratory, and continues to receive funding from the US State Department.

It attempts to hide a person's location and identity by sending data across the internet via a very circuitous route involving several "nodes" - which, in this context, means using volunteers' PCs and computer servers as connection points.

Encryption applied at each hop along this route makes it very hard to connect a person to any particular activity.

To the website that ultimately receives the request, it appears as if the data traffic comes from the last computer in the chain - known as an "exit node" - rather than the person responsible.

dark web

Image captionTor hides a user's identity by routing their traffic through a series of other computers.

 As well as allowing users to visit normal websites anonymously, it can also be used as part of a process to host hidden sites, which use the .onion suffix.

Tor's users include the military, law enforcement officers and journalists, as well as members of the public who wish to keep their browser activity secret.


But it has also been associated with illegal activity, allowing people to visit sites offering illegal drugs for sale and access to child abuse images, which do not show up in normal search engine results and would not be available to those who did not know where to look.

While the Tor browser can be used to access the regular version of the BBC News website, using the .onion site has additional benefits.

"Onion services take load off scarce exit nodes, preserve end-to-end encryption [and] the self-authenticating domain name resists spoofing," explained Prof Steven Murdoch, a cyber-security expert from University College London.

In a statement, the BBC said: "The BBC World Service's news content is now available on the Tor network to audiences who live in countries where BBC News is being blocked or restricted. This is in line with the BBC World Service mission to provide trusted news around the world."

On Wednesday, the BBC also announced the UK's first interactive voice news service for smart speakers.

People using an Amazon Alexa-powered device will be able to skip ahead and get more information about the stories they are most interested in.

[Source: This article was published in bbc.com - Uploaded by the Association Member: Patrick Moore]

Categorized in Deep Web

This election cycle, more users than ever before are turning to social media - and as a result, it can be difficult to separate reported fact from rampant speculation. The BBC's Charlie Northcott discovers how to spot a conspiracy theory.

Conspiracy theories, a common feature in many elections, have run amok in a new climate where scuttlebutt travels round the world on social media before the mainstream media can get its boots on.

On Twitter, rumours that Hillary Clinton uses a body double to hide her health problems run alongside mainstream media reports about her contracting pneumonia.

Donald Trump hasn't been spared either.

Some say he is a Russian spy, while others suggest he is really plotting to win the election for his rival, Hillary Clinton.

The BBC has spoken with four fact-checking and lie-detection experts. This is their guide to spotting conspiracy theories in the news.

Dick Cheney at 9/11 memorial


What do the claims that Hillary Clinton is scheming to ban Christian churchesand that Donald Trump is conspiring to destroy the Republican party have in common? Both involve a secret plot.

Hatching nefarious schemes behind closed doors is often a tell-tale sign of a conspiracy theory.

"If someone asserts something is going on in secret, alarm bells should be going off in your head," says Joseph Uscinski, associate professor of political science at the University of Miami and author of American Conspiracy Theories.

"People acting in secrecy is a necessary feature of a conspiracy theory, as it cannot be disproved."

Claiming a heinous plot is underway gives cover to even the most outlandish claims.

"The idea that 1% of America is secretly controlling the rest. Or that George Bush secretly plotted to blow up the Twin Towers. These ideas persist, with no evidence, because their 'secrecy' makes them impossible to verify."

The truth is, it's very difficult keep a secret plot secret, which ties into the next tell-tale sign of a conspiracy.



Sandy Hook families hold pictures of their loved ones



American politicians have engaged in serious cases of subterfuge and real conspiracy historically, from Bill Clinton's misrepresentation of his affair with Monica Lewinsky to Richard Nixon's deceit during the Watergate scandal.

"It is reasonable to suspect government," says Michael Shermer, publisher ofSkeptic Magazine. "Governments do lie."

But distinguishing between true conspiracies and false theoretical ones is difficult.

One way to go about it is to think about scale.

"The more people allegedly involved in a conspiracy, the less likely it is to be true," Mr Shermer says.

"People are bad at keeping secrets. People make mistakes. The chances of hundreds of people successfully controlling something, while keeping it secret are slim.

"The bigger the claim, the less likely it is to be true."

Hillary Clinton



Billions of blogs, articles and social media comments are posted on the internet every day. As many as eight billion videos are viewed on Facebook alone.

When digesting this information, readers should ask themselves a key question: who is the source?

"The first thing we do when we hear a television advert, a political statement or read an article is track down the source of that information," says Eugene Kiely, Director of FactCheck.org.

"Is a source cited? If so, how reputable is that individual or organisation?"

In the case of a fake Hillary Clinton medical record that recently circulated online, Mr Kiely's team had to track down her doctor's real name and contact her presidential campaign team to discredit the forgery.

But in many cases, basic source analysis can be done through search engines like Google, for gathering background details, and through cross-referencing stories with credible media outlets, which aspire to avoid publishing information that has not been verified.

Readers should be aware of satirical news websites which publish intentionally funny and false news. The Onion is the most notable example, but there are several other sites, including ones that are often more subtle and harder to spot.

Readers should also be wary of fake news websites which pose as organisations like the BBC.

When in doubt, click around to see what else that site is covering, or see what turns up when it's plugged into a search engine.

George Bush and John Kerry


Conspiracy theories often contain similar themes - like a desire for global domination, power or wealth. They also often contain similar narratives.

George Bush was accused of being fed answers during a 2004 presidential debate; in 2016 Mrs Clinton's detractors said she had received illicit information via a hidden earpiece.

Stories which touch these issues should be read with discerning eyes.

"A rumour that the government is planning to dramatically raise taxes occurs every year in America," says Angie Halan, editor in chief of PolitiFact, a US media outlet that fact checks politics.

"A lot of conspiracy theories have an alarmist tone. If it sounds too awful to be true, you should view the story with scepticism."

After all, in this election cycle, there is enough real news - strange, awful, and otherwise - to bother yourself with what's made up.

Source : http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37344846

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