Twitter makes another puzzling security decision, and its most vulnerable users could pay the price

Elon Musk in front of the Twitter logo
(Image credit: Kovop via Shutterstock)

Exactly one year ago, Twitter announced a Tor onion service designed to maintain security and prevent tracking, allowing citizens in countries where the social media platform is banned to continue using it. 

Naturally, Russia was in mind at the time of the announcement, which remains restricted to this day. With it being illegal for news outlets to report anything other than the official, government narrative on the war in Russia, Twitter has become an important source of objectivity in the country.

However, Twitter’s so-called onion is currently down, leaving users in affected countries currently without access due to national web blocks and susceptible to other filters and attacks.

Twitter Tor onion

Just two days short of its first birthday, it seems that Twitter has allowed the certificate for its onion to expire.

There has been no official word by Twitter on the matter, and since CEO Elon Musk killed off the company's communications department, it has been notoriously difficult to even get in touch with the platform.

“The onion site is no longer available seemingly with no plans to renew. The Tor Project has reached out to Twitter to look into bringing the onion version of the social media platform back online," the Tor Project said to The Verge.

Security engineer Alec Muffett who made the launch announcement on behalf of Twitter last year explained that “the people who built it — at least all those [he] interacted with — are all gone”.

With the network officially banning third-party clients like Tweetbot and countless other controversial moves, some believe that Twitter’s onion may be over and out for good this time.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!