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DW is a global advocate for freedom of opinion and freedom of speech. However, its websites are blocked in several countries. In order to reach their citizens nevertheless, DW is making its content accessible via Tor.
People in countries whose governments block or restrict access to independent news can access DW's websites securely and anonymously.
With the support of the OTF (Open Technology Fund) and the Tor Project, DW has installed a so-called mirror proxy that allows DW web content to be accessed through a Tor-web address. Websites accessible via Tor can be recognized by the URL extension .onion. A special browser such as the Firefox-based Tor browser is necessary to gain access to the websites.
The Tor Browser can be found here: https://www.torproject.org/de/download/
Once the Tor Browser is downloaded, users have to simply type dw.com and the Tor Browser will automatically offer the secure Onion address (dwnewsvdyyiamwnp.onion).
This so-called Onion Location Service was first introduced by the Tor Project in July. DW implemented this feature to make it easier for people who are particularly concerned about privacy to access DW content.
"As high levels of privacy protection on the Internet are often at odds with convenience, DW always strives to implement technical innovations as quickly as possible," says Oliver Linow, DW's IT and Cybersecurity expert.
Guido Baumhauer, Director of Distribution & Technology at DW, explains this effective alternative to the use of censorship circumvention software tools: "Providing our target groups worldwide with independent information is part of DW's DNA. It is therefore a logical step for us to also use Tor to reach people in censored markets who previously had limited or no access to free media."
Besides DW, so far only a few media websites such as those of the New York Times and the BBC offer a Tor-web address.