The makers of Tor have released a new version of the privacy browser. It now gives warnings when visiting any v2 site, and has a ‘bridge mode’ that allows users to use a private node as a proxy.
Version 10.5 of the browser has been made generally available. In that version, the browser now gives a warning when visiting v2 onion addresses. Tor has been working on v3 addresses for some time now. Those are onion URLs that are even longer than the old ones. This makes, for example, hidden URLs more difficult to bruteforce. The new v3 protocol also contains better security and the code has been cleaned up.
The Tor Project plans to make v2 websites completely unavailable in the browser by October this year. The browser has been warning about its phasing out for some time, but only when the browser is started. Now, by default, users will see a warning if they visit websites via a v2 address. The warning does not mean that the website is unsafe, but urges visitors to contact the site admins to migrate to v3.
Tor 10.5 also includes Snowflake as a stable release. Snowflake is a feature that allows users to request a separate bridge to bypass censorship. Such a bridge is a proxy with a Tor node, which is useful for connections where Tor nodes are blocked by default. This happens, for example, in countries where protests against authoritarian regimes take place.
Browser users can connect to such a proxy in the menu in three ways. They can use a trusted bridge, request a bridge from The Tor Project, or use a standard bridge that comes with the browser. Other users who want to help can make their own connection with a Firefox or Chrome extension to build such a bridge.