Brave browser gets private tab with Tor option

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 29, 2018
Updated • Sep 28, 2018
Brave, Internet

The makers of the Brave web browser announced a new feature today that introduces an option to open private browsing tabs with Tor for that added bit of privacy.

You cannot really say that Brave is just like any other browser out there. While it is based on Chromium code and supports pretty much all the web standards that Google Chrome supports because of it, it is different in several key areas.

Probably the biggest is the attempt to disrupt the advertising industry and one of the main revenue streams for web publishers. Brave includes ad-blocking technology by default and uses an electronic currency called BAT.

BAT is given to websites by users who get the currency either by viewing privacy-focused advertisement or by purchasing currency from BAT. So, users earn the currency for browsing the web and they may reward websites or cash out instead.

Private Tab with Tor

brave private tab with tor

The most recent version of Brave, download it here and released earlier today, introduces the new Private Tabs with Tor feature. Tor is a free software project that protects its users from traffic analysis and network surveillance.

Brave's private tabs feature is another useful feature that most other browsers don't support natively.

The integration of native Tor functionality in Brave gives Brave users an option to improve privacy and security when using private tabs. Firefox users could install the Private Tabs extension in pre-Firefox 57 versions of the browser but the extension is not compatible with Firefox 57 or newer versions, and there is no alternative.

Private browsing blocks certain data locally so that it is not recorded by the browser. What private browsing does not do is block data that is recorded remotely or protect user privacy by hiding the IP address or through other means. That's where Brave's new feature steps in.

Private Tabs with Tor help protect Brave users from ISPs (Internet Service Providers), guest Wi-Fi providers, and visited sites that may be watching their Internet connection or even tracking and collecting IP addresses, a device’s Internet identifier.

Brave users can select the new Private Tabs with Tor option from the main menu. The tab that opens highlights that it is a private tab and that Tor is enabled.

brave private tab tor

It includes a description that explains what Tor does in case users selected the option without really knowing what Tor does and what effect using Tor has on the browsing.

While Tor does hide the IP address and protects your browsing from snooping ISPs, employeers, hackers, or even state actors, it may also slow down the browsing or result in some sites working differently or not at all.

It is a good thing that Brave describes the good and the issues that users may experience on the page. It is easy enough to disable Tor just by flipping the Toggle.

The tab highlights the Tor session as well so that you know that this particular session is connected to Tor. The connection process is dead simple as it is fully automated. The feature is in beta right now and there are no options right now to modify the Tor configuration. The developers plan to add options that let users choose exit node geolocations.

Private Tabs with Tor uses the DuckDuckGo search engine by default but users may switch to other search engines easily.

You can read Brave's announcement here.

Brave announced that it contributes back to the Tor network by running Tor relays

Closing Words

Brave is always good for a surprise and the integration of Tor should increase the browser's attractiveness further. The company started opt-in ad trials recently.

Brave browser gets private tab with Tor option
Article Name
Brave browser gets private tab with Tor option
The makers of the Brave web browser announced a new feature today that introduces an option to open private browsing tabs with Tor for that added bit of privacy.
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  1. chill said on July 4, 2018 at 11:52 am

    >But alas I guess you and thewalrus don’t know, and then some.

    Take a chill pill. Seriously. This isn’t the man hater blog.

  2. yip said on July 2, 2018 at 8:42 am


    “then I guess you missed the point of my question.”

    you mean your rhetorical one?

    1. Shannana said on July 3, 2018 at 1:05 am


      Rhetorical? Nope, just a legit question, as I had that concern, based on what little I knew of Brave.

      But alas I guess you and thewalrus don’t know, and then some.

      But I guess my concern is moot now, as I see we are better off using the Tor Browser, as Martin has since pointed out.

  3. thewalrus said on July 1, 2018 at 11:19 am

    @ Shannana:

    “So Brave is running Tor relays. I trust they will keep any entry and exit nodes private and secure?”

    That’s not the way Tor works. Entry[1], relay and exit nodes are always public.

    [1] unless you are connecting to private (unpublished) bridges, rather than the bridges which can be “known” by hitting

    1. Shannana said on July 1, 2018 at 8:33 pm


      “That’s not the way Tor works.” ?

      Unless are you saying there are no privacy threats via the monitoring of entry and exit nodes controlled by the same conspirators, then I guess you missed the point of my question.

  4. dan said on June 30, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    I would like to know about actual performance of Brave on Windows. How good and fast it is compared to Firefox and Chrome?

    1. Sebas said on July 2, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      On my computer with Windows 7 startup is quite slow. Using it is fast enough with few glitches.Tracking protection is not that good. It won’t block Facebook widgets for example.

      Sometimes Brave will still run one process after having been closed.

      I don’t use Firefox but Waterfox is faster and much better in ad and tracking blocking with appropriate extensions. Chrome is the fastest of them all.

      1. Hy said on July 2, 2018 at 9:19 pm

        Sebas said: “Sometimes Brave will still run one process after having been closed.”

        I haven’t seen this with Brave on my Win 7 but interesting you should mention this because yesterday after briefly running and closing Brave I saw several hours later a running process I’ve never seen before: tor.exe. I’ve never had Tor on this computer and am thinking that it must be from this latest Brave iteration…

        I’d love to know why the tor.exe process keeps running for hours after Brave is closed, and what exactly it’s doing…

  5. Shannana said on June 30, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    So Brave is running Tor relays. I trust they will keep any entry and exit nodes private and secure?

    Regardless, good for them in this next step. I hope they gain much success that we can all benefit from.

    That said, I’m still a pessimist, ha.

  6. Ray Mann said on June 30, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks again Martin. Although I’m not a big fan of Brave, it’s interesting to see it evolve, perhaps into something I might use more. As with Tor, I guess if I needed that I would just use the Tor Browser, as I find more trust with EFF and company.

    As for this talk here of trust, for me it’s not just about who or what I trust, but rather what I’m willing to risk. Personally, I don’t trust anything on the web, especially that which involves commerce, and thus I limit my risks the best I can, still within the realm of convenience. Part of that includes me being able to discern what I actually need, which is far less than what some folks would have me think, be it from advertisers or privacy fanatics.

    That said, make no mistake, for right or wrong, Brave is in-part an advertising agency. And if you never considered that, then I guess their strategy worked, ha.

  7. klaas said on June 30, 2018 at 10:04 am

    1. Tor Project’s government ties: its secrecy is illusory.
    Tor is almost 100% funded by three U.S. national security agencies: the Navy, the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

    2. The search engine Brave links to the Tor tab is Duck Duck Go. This search engine is always quoted and used enthusiastically as THE privacy search engine. I have seen comments suggesting that even DDG presents search results lower down the list if it concerns a politically “incorrect” topic.

    StartPage is Google in disguise, i.e. same kind of negative ranking. And there are a few other alternatives. seems to be an interesting one that Cyberfox gives as one of the privacy-focused alternatives.

    To quote from Unbubble’s site: “Unbubble does not collect, use or transmit any personal information. In particular, no user data will be combined into profiles or shared with third parties. ”

    Like Tom Hawack states above, we’ll have to trust them, to which Martin answered “you always have to trust companies in regards to the promises they make.”

    1. Clairvaux said on July 1, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      @ klaas

      I love it when people on a tech blog link to a rabidly politically-slanted site, then go on saying “leaving politics aside”, as soon as someone remarks that it’s an “anti-imperialist” site by its own admission, and not a technology site. And when they end their comment with a rabidly slanted political rant.

      But let’s address the technical side of security, which obviously you’re not familiar with. My arguments do not contradict in the least. You completely ignore one of the most important factors in computer and online security : who your adversary is. What you are trying to protect from, and what entities are your potential enemies.

      In the GPS example you use, the party trying to protect itself is a whole country, the adversary is another country, and the aim of the adversary is war.

      That’s not your case. That’s not the case of anyone reading this blog. Tor is not meant to protect a country in a war. And I doubt you have the necessary qualifications discussing cyber-war, anyway.

      Tor is very effective if your adversaries are Web companies trying to collect data on you in order to aim personalised ads at you. In fact, in that case, it’s probably overkill.

      Tor is very effective if you’re a spy in a hostile country, and you need to navigate the Internet without being traced to an IP that might reveal your location, or even your identity.

      It’s very effective if you’re a police officer investigating the criminal cyber-world and real world, for the same reason. Ditto if you’re a lawyer, investigating on behalf of its clients. Or a business, doing market research about your competitors, while needing to hide from them that you are looking into their activities. Or an investigative journalist. Or a security specialist, hounding cyber-criminals to protect its clients.

      It’s especially effective, and it’s one of its main reasons of existence, for individuals trying to exercise their right to free speech, making political statements that might bring them to court, have them thrown in jail, or worse. And this is needed even in supposedly democratic countries, which do not always live up to their promises of freedom of expression.

      It may also be effective for criminals, trying to evade detection from law enforcement. However, in this case, your adversary is your country’s police force, and possibly even other countries’ police forces. This means your adversary is the state. Depending on the importance of your criminal projects, you’d better be careful.

      If you’re just trying to buy a few grams of weed, well, you’re probably not a very interesting customer. If you’re running a worldwide drug ring, killing scores of people to make your business run smoothly, then it will be worth for your state’s police, and probably others’ too, to put a lot of time and effort trying to circumvent Tor, and exploit to the full mistakes you might have made in using it.

      If your aim is to blow buildings up to make the caliphate (or communist paradise) happen, then you don’t only have elite police forces as your adversary, with a very big motive to bust you, but also the military, that is your contry’s intelligence service, which has vastly more technical and legal leeway than the ordinary police.

      If you’re really serious about it, you have probably, as your adversary, the best intelligence services in the world combined, including, but not limited to, the formidable NSA you’re referring to.

      You see how senseless it is to spread fear with indiscriminate “Big brother” conspiracy theories, trying to look clever.

      You talk aimlessly about the NSA-this and the NSA-that, but you don’t mention any specific way they might try and attack Tor. One of them is the possibility of setting up a rogue node. Anyone can setup a Tor node, so most intelligence agencies worth their salt in the world have probably already done that. Including the Russian FSB, SVR and GRU, which, strangely enough, you don’t mention. While linking to a Russian disinformation front.

      This is a well-known potential issue with Tor, however it’s not enough to set a node to be able to decode traffic. That’s the whole point of Tor. You can try and catch people who make mistakes, and you can try (if you’re an intelligence agency) to set up a time-based attack, which takes considerable means.

      However, Tor is constantly trying to take down suspected rogue nodes. The problem with rants such as yours is that you’re talking at random. Have there been criminals cought by the police despite using Tor ? Yes, there have been a few, and the way they have been busted is often known. Have their been legitimate free speech activists busted by their government, despite using Tor ?

      Bringing up such examples might prop up your argument, but you don’t. If Tor is so full of holes, well, surely there must have been scores, nay, hundreds of political opponents arrested by undemocratic governments, despite using it ?

      Well, I can point you to one. He is Russian. He was arrested by the Russian police for running a Tor node. He is a mathematician. He’s not even an opposition activist. But he set up a Tor node because Russia is an unfree country, where scores of people have been sentenced to two years in jail, just for “liking” an inocuous post on a social network. So he wanted to help. His crime was that someone wrote something unpleasant for the government, going through his Tor node.

      Actually, what you failed to mention is that Russians are among the top Tor users in the world. And for good reason. Because there’s no freedom of speech in Russia. Because the Internet is heavily censored. It does not begin to compare with the American situation.

      So you’re pointing us to an obvious Russian disinformation site, featuring a so-called “journalist”, who happens to be Russian, and who says : don’t use Tor, it’s full of holes and you’ll be busted by the NSA. Whereas the Russian government would love to break Tor, so that its citizens cannot use it to speak freely. Can’t you connect the dots ?

      And can you provide us with an instance where an American citizen, using Tor to say unpleasant things about president Trump, has been busted by the NSA and dragged in court ?

      As for Facebook and al., yes, they are heavily banning users for political reasons, and the motives fall mainly under two categories : incitement to islamic terrorism (and its a good thing that those are banned), and right-wing activists exercising peacefully their right to free speech. The so-called “moderation” rules on Facebook, Twitter and Google are heavily slanted to support left-wing views. No one has ever been fired in the Silicon Valley for promoting the Left’s worldview.

      From the top of my head, I can mention two major cases which made headlines, of people being fired by the tech industry for expressing right-wing opinions : Mozilla’s CEO, no less, who committed the crime of giving a paltry 2 500 $ (I think) to support a state vote against homosexual marriage ; and James Damore, a rank-and-file Google engineer who wrote an internal memo explaining why it is normal that women are scarce in the tech industry. Google’s CEO aborted his holidays to fire him personally, so heinous was his mind-crime.

      1. klaas said on July 1, 2018 at 2:05 pm

        @Clairvaux: hey baby, your 1st rant obviously was not enough to make your point, was it, so you feel you need to surpass yourself to show your expert knowledge in all and sundry.

        That is fine by me, and if Tor works for you, then by all means go ahead and use it, it’s a free world, for now anyway, so take advantage of that.

        I will not address your pathetic political discourse about the evil Russkies, the Google, Facebook “moderation” rules in favour of “leftists”, or those irrelevant firings of a couple of rightists, as this is not a forum for that.

        Like with your take on Tor, your take on politics is yours, and at the end of the day your take on either of them does not interest me in the least.

      2. Clairvaux said on July 2, 2018 at 6:06 pm

        @ Klaas

        Let me summarise that : you have no clue about technology, and you have no clue about politics either. The best argument you can provide about them, in support of your views, is to address people who call your bluff as “baby”. Thanks for proving my point.

        @ Tom Hawack

        My level of discourse usually adjusts according to the way people air their views. Obviously, my remark was true.

        I certainly agree that we should focus on content first, and source second. However, focusing on content should bring one to exclude some sources on principle. Audit the content of, and it becomes obvious that this is a propaganda and disinformation outlet.

        If you want to know how Russian disinformation works, if you want to know how Russia tries to subvert the West, then by all means study That’s what I do.

        What’s a dead end is mixing trustworthy, ethical, truth-seeking sources with propaganda and disinformation media, and thinking that the truth will be something near the middle ground. It won’t. That’s what the Russian propaganda machine would like you to think, but it’s wrong.

      3. klaas said on July 2, 2018 at 6:42 pm

        @Clairvaux: I never pretended to be knowlegeable about technology, it does not interest me enough to change that state of affairs. I try to acquire enough knowledge to allow me to use my computer in a pleasant enough way as a tool, which is all it is. Technology for me is not an end in itself, and I certainly don’t have a misplaced pride about my skills.

        Nevertheless, if I come across a piece of information that goes against the trend of what most people think, I perk up because I hate a herd mentality. In any case my intent is not to start a political argument because this is not the platform for it, therefore a discussion about whether I am a leftist and you an Islamphobic fascist/imperialist, or whatever else your creative mind can think off, is off topic. Your taking offence at a so-called “politically-slanted site” is your choice, and your choice only; I did not ask you for your opinion nor for a comment, that was also your choice. And obviously imposing your political views on others is important to you, if not an obsession, because you also berate Tom for his mentioning a site that does not conform to your criteria considering that huge chip you have on your shoulder about Russia.

        I understand that you need a ‘feel good’ argument, which in this case is based on trumpeting your apparent superior technlogical knowledge combined with ad hominem attacks and disparaging remarks about what you perceive as political views. I could not care less.

        Like I said, your take on Tor, your take on politics, and your take on my inferior technological knowledge is your personal take, but at the end of the day your take on any of this interests me in the least.

      4. Tom Hawack said on July 2, 2018 at 6:18 pm

        @Clairvaux, Your arrogance is that of an upstart. Please calm down. Mentioning a site is one thing, arguing of a user’s political inclinations and knowledge is another. You are not entitled — unless to consider yourself as Ubu King — to declare who is what and what is right.

      5. Shannana said on July 3, 2018 at 5:33 pm

        @Tom Hawack

        After reading your conversation with Clairvaux and klaas, I could be wrong, but I’m inclined to think that you have little moral concern with klaas’s words, if any. No?

        I do see how you’re willing to point out Clairvaux’s questionable misgivings, which I understand. Yet I don’t see such criticism with klaas’s words, which I find rather unbalanced on your part. Hmm.

        Perhaps you just didn’t get around to addressing klaas’s similar rhetoric, or you were just blind to it, and/or you are just biased, or..?

        Note that this started with klaas’s claims about Tor and such. Then Clairvaux came in with those counter claims and such.

        Then what ensued was a bombastic conflict of opinions and half-truths, involving “demagogy and certitudes” from both Clairvaux and klaas. As such, I found it all rather silly with little value.

        Furthmore, what I found most interesting is when klaas told you:

        “You are a wise man, and many on this forum, myself included, could learn a lot from you. Thanks for sharing this piece of wisdom with us for starters.”

        Yet from what I see, klaas continued without heeding your wisdom (said on July 1, 2018 at 11:56 am
        ). Your words such as:

        “I’ve always believed that ideas progress in a more profitable way for everyone when shared and debated free of demagogy and certitudes.”

        As such I found klaas’s compliment to you rather empty and perhaps more of an ingratiating tactic.

        That is all, and thanks for your wise words, although I’m still profoundly more knowledgeable, smarter and wiser than you, being that I’m an omnipotent megalomaniac and you’re just a hypocritical French human, ha.

        @Clairvaux @klaas

        Please resist talking to me without meaningful consideration, as we wouldn’t want to upset poor Tom again, ha.

      6. Tom Hawack said on July 3, 2018 at 6:11 pm

        @Shannana, klaas mentioned first his opinion about Tor together with other concerns; I replied to those latter concerns, bypassing any comment about Tor.

        With Clairvaux we were facing no plain opinion, or counter-argument relative to Tor, but the statement about a site, then another. Fine. But Clairvaux seems to have a problem with focusing on arguments unless to consider that picking on someone with whom we disagree is an argument. Well, that was between Clairvaux and klass. I interfered then to say that, if Clairvaux as he had wrote it, was to stay on the technological side of things then, yes, I had to agree that Tor was valuable : at this point I was in opposition to klaas’ first comment (that I had previously eluded).

        But, when Clairvaux carries on with the tone of a teacher telling us what is right and who is wrong, then I get exasperated. Especially that I had mentioned websites and the fact all information was interesting, far from a propaganda for those sites.

        The problem is that you still have mentalities which just cannot remain concerned by arguments, facts and ideas, thoughts … but have to bring value to their beliefs by discrediting not the others’ arguments but their very person. This is a barbarian attitude : 1+1=2 whoever says it. Period.

      7. Shannana said on July 4, 2018 at 12:18 am

        So you say “klaas mentioned first his opinion about Tor together with other concerns”.

        Hmm, from what I see on “klaas said on June 30, 2018 at 10:04 am” it was more than just opinions and concerns, as there were things stated as fact.

        As such, Clairvaux disputed such, not very well I may add, but * think the questioning of that site was at least legit, saying he didn’t trust it, and I can at accept that opinion.

        At that point, if I was klaas I likely would have provided more information about such claims, or simply ended the conversation. But alas, klaas chose to join in a fight of empty words, like barking dogs those two, ha. And now I guess klaas is barking at the wind, as I imagine Clairvaux has left to go beat some baby seals.

        And I do now see where you expressed opposition to klaas. I’m sorry I missed that. Perhaps I’m not omnipotent after-all? OMG no! Wait, perhaps someone changed that text after I read it?! Ah ha, it’s a left-wing conspiracy!

        But seriously, your exasperation is forgivable as we all have our limits, and I guess Clairvaux wasn’t showing the love as much as klaas, ha.

        Still seems to me you were playing favorites just a little there? If so I understand, as I despise most everyone, except for my crazy pet crow.

        BTW, according to The Crow, the application of 1+1=2 is a flawed, being that nothing is equal, and there’s only 1 one, being everything.

        That said, as my fellow citizens and I are going to celebrate our independence from the UK tomorrow, I likewise extend my gratitude for France’s contributions to the freedom and liberty we continue to strive for and share.éclaration_des_droits_de_l%27homme_et_du_citoyen_de_1789#/media/File:Le_Barbier_Dichiarazione_dei_diritti_dell%27uomo.jpg

      8. Tom Hawack said on July 4, 2018 at 12:08 pm

        @Shannana, my exasperation is forgivable even if I was playing favorites, your latter remark being a question.

        Being forgiven (thank you, padre!) I’d have to live with partiality on my consciousnesss. No favouritism I was aware of, not even a privileged relationship to a klaas I know nothing of which would feed the argument suggesting that “the heart has its reasons that the reason ignores”.

        This little off-topic sub-debate between klaas, Clairvaux and myself is a non-event but being myself interested by the way conversations deploy, perceiving a smile in your quest of understanding as well as an effort to impartiality (yours, this time), I’ll bring my dose of lightning in this storm all in a glass of water (to be or not to be, lyrical!)

        If there was favoritism it is not for a person but for that person’s behavior. I try to remain objective and kind in the sense of understanding, understanding being one thing and forgiving another even if “Understanding everything would be forgiving everything” according to Saint-Augustin : my limited understanding forces my consciousness to avoid judging people, hence to have to face a forgiveness. That is, I judge not be it to accuse or to forgive, hence no favoritism for anyone, klaas included.

        The Crow, upstart or not, may consider and perhaps agree that truth and mistake are independent of who proclaims them. “Nothing is equal, and there’s only 1 one, being everything” is true or not independently of whom asserts is, right? Nowadays, in this era of “just do it!” I perceive many of us granting force the evidence of truth, the smartest speaker (when not the loudest) the one who must, who is right. Even within a calm rhetoric violence of sneaky arguments fed of underlying dishonesty may mislead a brilliant but ignorant mind to confusion. This is why I try to remain on the facts, what does he/she actually say/write and not what I may interpret.

        Unity and independence. We’ve faced that in France with Bretagne, Pays Basque and presently Corsica remains luck-warm. Independence and unity depend perhaps of determination on both sides. As our Charles de Gaulle had said “People fighting for their independence have their right to independence”. That concerned Algeria which is far from being part of our country’s millennial history. We had colonized the country but does a country colonize itself? I wouldn’t argue on independence being the condition of freedom when unity respects regional specifics. Complex, wide topic.

        Well, Shannana, your investigation will at least have allowed me to legitimate my everlasting interest for digressions. All the best to all of us.

      9. Shannana said on July 4, 2018 at 7:31 pm

        Yup. Furthermore, I tend to not trust any pseudonymous actors on the web. For example, when I see talk such as what Clairvaux displayed, I often dismiss it as trolling. AFAIK he’s a Russian agent, ha. I might ask questions to help me discern my suspicions, but that’s often a fool’s game. Even in real life, I find all too many people hide their true nature, which is sadly often vampiric.

        As for independence, such as with USA from UK, I learned that things were not as I was taught in school. In short, after understanding that history, I think if I lived back then in those colonies, I likely would have been loyal to crown. If not, it would likely be because I was more concerned with expanding my wealth, than with so called freedom and liberty. Likewise, I’m sure similar considerations are/were at play with other revolutions and such, involving hidden agendas, religion, wealth & resources, and political manipulations (e.g. Ireland, Tibet, Panama, Hong Kong, long list).

        “We had colonized the country but does a country colonize itself?”

        As per the definition of “colonize”, nope. Yet as we know, to ‘colonize’ can amount to no less than theft, albeit that some land has been violently disputed between the conflicting indigenous/local peoples. Yes, complex, wide topic.

        As for The Crow and his counter claim, he was speaking on a larger philosophical level of what is and isn’t, in opposition to the popular notion that 1+1=2 is real. At least that’s his story now. Hmm. As I said, The Crow is crazy, ha. Also, he sucks at math, so I suspect he has a bias to dismiss it.

        Seriously though, I do have a friendly acquaintance with this wild crow, not actually a pet. Last year while gardening, he landed on my back to say hello. We hang out and play. I have learned much from The Crow.. I bet my neighbors think I’m a sorcerer, ha.

        As for your digressions, I wouldn’t worry about having to legitimize such behavior, unless you think it may be related to some sort of OCD.

      10. Tom Hawack said on July 1, 2018 at 1:46 pm

        “But let’s address the technical side of security”

        @Clairvaux, @klaas, indeed technology can be considered independently of political links. I must say that I read Clairvaux’ last comment above with agreement, even if I’d avoid personal references such as “you know nothing” etc… which is secondary.

        I remember having read (for what it’s worth) the NSA’s deep concern for Tor and Linux users which would mean that there are grounds of communications which may not be those of an intelligence agency, at least not obviously. Why would we have strong debates in many countries (UK, France, USA) about laws relating peoples’ rights to agencies’ demands?

        The problem of course is to know if intelligence agencies are a state in the state or if they remain under the control of their governments. Conspiracy theories love to imagine UFOs and a planetary spy-driven world, among many other phantasms. Yet I have no conviction regarding the answer. But, for the time being, I do conceive Tor as an independent technological network even if the more you have to hide the more you’ll have to be skilled, on Tor included, simply because agencies dig and hunt for the bones, which does mean that Tor buries them.

        That’s how I figure out this Tor topic, here and now.

    2. Clairvaux said on July 1, 2018 at 10:58 am

      @ Richard Allen

      You’re most welcome.

      @ Tom Hawack

      Yes, is another front for Russian and Iranian disinformation. It used to be run by Thierry Meyssan, a Frenchman who is an Iranian and Russian spy by his own admission. Let’s be clear : he did not say “I’m an Iranian spy”. He only said : I escaped from France to avoid being killed by my governement, I took refuge in Damas (capital of the nazi-like regime of Bachar el-Assad, propped up by Russia), then relocated to Beyrouth. Where I work for the Hezbollah televison and Iranian television. Which is tantamount to an admission of being an Iranian spy (and a Russian one, given the site’s contents, and the way Iranian propaganda outlets aimed at the West are used as a conduit for Russian disinformation).

      No sane French citizen “takes refuge” in Damas. Usually, it’s the other way round, and Syrians risk their lives to take refuge in France. Thierry Meyssan is also the author of one of the books which launched the “9/11 never happened” hoax, which history will certainly reveal, a few years from now, that it was a spectacularly successful Russian operation of “active measures”. The same way the so-called “controversies” about John Kennedy’s assassination have been proved to be a Russian disinformation operation.

      So yes, and that Greanvillepost apparently new outfit are “so far from traditional medias”. The distance there is between truth and propaganda.

      1. Tom Hawack said on July 1, 2018 at 11:56 am

        @Clairvaux, I rather consider information for its content than for its signatures or label. I don’t read exclusively according to my beliefs which are always dynamic, I don’t believe in ideology nor in conspiracy theories (fed by either ideology or imagination) but I neither consider the politically correct news sources as the haven of truth (all the truth, nothing but the truth). I’ve always believed that ideas progress in a more profitable way for everyone when shared and debated free of demagogy and certitudes. From there on we all have of course, if not certitudes at least inclinations which filter what appears to us as incompatible with them.

        I know nothing, I prefer to learn than to know, to discover than to entertain my little thoughts. I can debate as well with extremists from one far end to the other, and read medias the same.

        Interesting in my view means new, different but never true as such. Cross-referencing various sources as well as debates and opinions feeds one personal information database but more importantly his very freedom of mind : more you learn, in whatever domain, more you realize the complexity of our world, of societies, of individuals and the amount of our own ignorance, all this leading to increasing doubt and caution about our own “convictions”.

        I have a dedicated news favorites sub-folder I name ‘News – debates’ which includes places considered by some as subversive as well as less hot but as pertinent less traditional medias.

        Alternet, FARK, Indecline, Medium, PolitiFact, Portside, Réseau Voltaire, The Conversation, The Greanville Post, The Intercept, VOX, Which(.co .uk)

        I like giving my attention to the undergrounds as well as to the roofs. They all participate, in their raw content as well as in their analysis, to the planetary sources of information.

        Last but not least, there is a beautiful trend (compared to say, 20 years ago) to differentiate nations’ people and administrations, which leans that criticizing the latter is more and more aware of avoiding to include the former. I like that. This means as well that being opposed to a given administration, to a given country’s leader/government is less and less corollary of a rigid demagogy which would include a nation’s very culture but truly focused on its leadership : many citizens criticize their own country far more than foreigners would, and often for reasons touching their very lives more than ideology.

        What remains universal IMO is that individuals have more in common than leaderships.

      2. klaas said on July 1, 2018 at 12:29 pm

        @Tom: very well put. You are a wise man, and many on this forum, myself included, could learn a lot from you. Thanks for sharing this piece of wisdom with us for starters.

    3. Clairvaux said on June 30, 2018 at 3:41 pm


      Your objections to Tor are illusory, and old-hat. First of all, I would not trust anything posted on an “anti-imperialist” site. This is leftist, politically-motivated, anti-american drivel.

      Second, everybody knows that Tor has originated within the American Navy. That’s no secret. The Internet, by the way, has originated within DARPA, a branch of the American military. The Kremlin’s propaganda uses this to disparage anything it does not like on the Internet — while weaponising the Internet heavily to subvert the United States, and the West in general.

      Third, saying Tor has been receiving funding from the Pentagon, therefore it’s not safe to use, shows you don’t understand either how technology works, or how spying works.

      The GPS satellite positioning system has been devised for military means by the American government, however it’s used by civilian entities, businesses and individuals all over the world, to their great advantage. The only problem using GPS would be in case you were at war with the United States, at which point, it might (might !…) be used against you. That’s why Russia and the European Union have thought about developing their own system.

      However, unless you’re a non-american general planning for war, that should not concern you.

      Regarding Tor, of course it’s used by American spies. It’s also used by spies, police forces and free speach advocates all over the world, because what it provides Americans, it also provides everybody else. You can’t backdoor mathematics. The same goes for encryption.

      Tor is open source, and is under constant scrutiny by security researchers all over the world. It does have some weaknesses, as all security software has, and they are heavily documented.

      Finallly, the NSA itself has been ranting against Tor, because it prevents very effectively some of its spying efforts. Weapons and anti-weapons are used by all sides. An American gun can kill Americans in a swift manner. So please stop spreading disinformation.

      By the way, your site is obviously a Russian disinformation cover, as is obvious when reading it’s “Russia Desk” section, which is chock-full of fake news and pro-russian propaganda :

      Do try and get your technical information from technical sites, written by genuine security-knowledgeable technical writers, not from politically-motivated, dishonest, shady propaganda sites.

      1. klaas said on July 1, 2018 at 9:08 am

        @ Clairvaux: leaving politics aside, it is remarkable that in your apparent refutation as to why the US government cannot/would not control or have access to Tor you also contradict yourself and effectively debunk your own arguments.

        Take your example of GPS. You state yourself, “the EU and Russia have thought about developing their own system” precisely because there is the distinct possibility the US “might (might !…) use it against them in case of war”. In fact, the EU and Russia already have their own systems: Galileo and Glonass respectively. If a vassal, as obedient to the US as the EU is, has developed its own system it means it has not been done just in case it *might* be used against them.

        The Tor browser is open source, great. Then there is the Tor Network that is made up of a series of trusted routers. “Trusted” routers sounds ambivalent to me. Has it ever occurred to you that the NSA’s rant against Tor is just a façade to keep people using it so the NSA can keep tabs on who does what and communicates with whom? Do you really think the NSA would admit having surveillance access to Tor? If they did people would immediately abandon Tor in droves and someone would come up with another system. That is why the NSA were furious about Apple refusing to open a backdoor to its phone encryption system that was neither developed nor financed by the US government.

        The US government now even has Google, Facebook, Twitter deciding for people what is fake news and what is real. Politically ‘incorrect’ topics or sources are relegated to page 10,000 in relevance. Big Brother decides for the dumb populace. Of course it is done for our own good, we need BB to decide what could be harmful to us.

        As for your standard anti-Russia/anti-Kremlin, leftist/anti-imperialist, dishonesty/shady rant, I won’t bother to address this nonsense (a euphemism). Do try to pull your head out of the sand and face reality like a grown-up, and do try to form your own opinion about issues instead of relying on BB, and becoming a loyal government parrot regurgitating alternative facts.

      2. Tom Hawack said on June 30, 2018 at 10:53 pm

        I discovered this Greanville Post, interesting. Another surprising place is the Voltaire Network at
        Both so far from traditional medias.

      3. klaas said on July 1, 2018 at 9:15 am

        And it is the non-traditional media that are targeted by the likes of Google, Facebook, et al on behalf of the US government. E.g. Google search queries now relegate those non-traditional sites to page 10,000 suggesting they are not relevant. From the government’s point of view they are not relevant indeed because they ask the right questions, dig deeper, expose facts, give real analyses.

        Facebook will close accounts with politically ‘incorrect’ ideas, even if those ideas only concern exposing Israeli cruelties inflicted on Palestinians.

        The list goes on and on.

      4. Richard Allen said on June 30, 2018 at 10:14 pm

        Appreciate your insight. I learn something every… once in a while. ;)

    4. Tom Hawack said on June 30, 2018 at 2:12 pm

      Trust is the word, indeed (
      Should we trust deliberately all sites proclaiming they “do not collect, use or transmit any personal information. In particular, no user data will be combined into profiles or shared with third parties” (always turns around those schemes) then we’d trust 90% of the Web. Yet, even cautiously, we happen to trust but on other grounds than declarations, depending on what each of us considers as relevant of probity.

      I know i.e. that a website checked by ‘uBlock origin’ as establishing a myriad of 3rd-party connections (far ahead of basic CDNs, with the lot of more ads than one can swallow and more trackers than one can endure — that is more than one), a thick cookie (or more) including IDs… I feel uncomfortable to share whatever private data.

      Concerning browsers it’s more those I have the less lack of confidence than those I trust. I am tired of always reading that telemetry is not to be mistaken with tracking : why should I believe that? No telemetry, healthy or not. Even healthy, I’m not a guinea pig, I know everyone’s in a hurry so users become testers to save time (in the best telemetry scheme).

      So when a browser appears with the intention of reconciliation between users and advertisement I change sidewalks. The ad problematic is that of advertisers not that of users. If I try to seduce a lovely lady and get a clear refusal, is it the lady’s fault? Advertisers see it that way with users : it’s their fault (in fact the consumer is considered as the enemy in the ad business, this is a well-known characteristic). Are women our enemies, to follow my analogy? Shouldn’t we, men, rather ask ourselves what we have done wrong? It appears that the ad business behaves exactly as a boor (oaf, lout adds the dictionary). Essentially rude.

      1. Anonymous said on July 1, 2018 at 2:47 am

        uBlock doesn’t even list them all or blocks them all. I’m not sure how some get through unlisted but they can be seen in the site’s scripts using web developer tools or a packet sniffer like Wireshark.

      2. klaas said on June 30, 2018 at 5:32 pm

        Hey Tom, I agree with what you said, esp. about that lovely lady ;-)
        We have to accept nothing is perfect, neither the internet nor those active on it, incl. you and me.

        Going from there I look at it as an issue of trying to assess, given the info available, as to what the risk, i.e. chance is, that an app, a website, a person, etc. is up to something nefarious. Thus we can try to combine our cyber interfaces to the outside world such that the expected risk is at the likely lowest level.

        For example I try to use Google services as little as possible: I have an gmail account but hardly use it anymore; I use alternative search engines (e.g. Qwant :-), Unbubble, …), but for many things Google search will give most/best results, and if I need to use it I make sure I am behind a VPN although that ideally requires a different VPN (= diff. IP address); I never sign into YouTube. Nevertheless, I know Google already has data about me, which I have to accept.

        So I combine a “neutral” browser (Waterfox thanks to you) in combination with various privace settings in about:config, and privacy/security oriented add-ons, and open source apps as much as poss. Beyond that, I give up.

      3. Tom Hawack said on June 30, 2018 at 6:20 pm

        @klaas, “[…]Beyond that, I give up.”. So does anyone. It’s less surrendering than accepting what on which we have no further control, less blind trust than wise survival. After all, like I hear here and there, if you want 100% Web security you disconnect, if you’re searching for total security in life you stay home (hoping no plane crashes on your roof). I agree. Maybe is there as well a dimension of dignity and that feeling we’ve kept it once we’ve done all we possibly could to lower the damages.

        “We have to accept nothing is perfect, neither the internet nor those active on it, incl. you and me.”. I’d be careful when reading those words. If I understand them as realism versus quest of perfection (and its lot of intolerance) then count me in. On the other hand I wish not to conceive your statement as the acceptation of fatality, which is maybe how many users nowadays apprehend privacy issues.

        We do the best, you, many of us here and elsewhere when concerned by data which originally has no vocation to be publicized and less even to be robbed. After that, Inch’Allah.

      4. klaas said on June 30, 2018 at 7:01 pm

        @Tom: here too I agree with you.
        Furthermore, I do not subscribe to the “I have nothing to hide so therefore I don’t mind about Google/Facebook et compagnie collecting data about me” attitude.

        If someone says that to me I reply: when you go to the toilet you have nothing to hide either, yet you close the door and lock it. And that is my attitude towards internet privacy. My data is mine and I wish to decide who gets to see it & what it can be used for. Again, that is the perfect, ultimately unattainable situation, but I do strive for it, knowing that I can only get as far as is practically doable.

  8. Clairvaux said on June 30, 2018 at 3:30 am

    I am curious to know if this is as securely torified as withTor itself.

    I have read that Firefox is about to do the same. Very interesting developments, to be sure, especially if they contribute to extend the network of Tor servers. However, I am a little nervous, right now, using anything else than Tor itself.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 30, 2018 at 7:42 am

      The Brave developers suggest to use Tor Browser for critical tasks as Tor Browser includes additional protections.

      1. Clairvaux said on June 30, 2018 at 3:00 pm

        Thanks, Martin. At least they are being open about it.

  9. maxa said on June 30, 2018 at 3:28 am

    Interesting idea , but Tom above right – strange paradox )))

  10. Adam said on June 30, 2018 at 12:36 am

    Quite deceiving review I must say. It’s a bloat-ware that hopefully brings you some revenue which is good cause you need it. Still I would like to trust your reviews instead of being hooked to some click bite. Good luck Martin!

    1. noe said on June 30, 2018 at 12:40 pm

      @adam .. you’re right and nobody needs (a really ugly) browser from an ultra-profit-oriented homophobic-paleoconservate like brendan eich (not to mention his cancerous javascript – tumor & prä-quantum netscape/mozilla mess) . and take a look at the blog : . to 80% its all about money. dont make a pact with a “devil”.

      1. Rastica said on June 30, 2018 at 5:04 pm

        @noe Awe poor heterophobic misandrous commie. Need a tissue for those feels?

        @Adam Bloat-ware? You must not have ever used Brave. Let me guess, you’re a Palemoon user right?

      2. noe said on July 1, 2018 at 12:30 pm

        to call someone “homophobic” is a “heterophobic” commie? crude logic. you know about eich, proposition 8 and and his paleoconservative connections? you know about the consequences for eich @mozilla? do you understand the consequences of toc, mining, et cetera for a free, idealistic, non-profit-oriented web how I got to know and used it in the 90’s? do you know about livescript and and in consequence cancerous/dangerous javascript? do you know about the pre-quantum era & what a mess it was. eich is bad person, hyper-profit-oriented (blog) & a threat to the infrastructure of the internet ; like he always was.

        ps: if one can not afford a webpage or whatever with the money you deserve “out there in the world”, then you have to give up the internet-project. take a look ad gorhills philosophy (ublock origin, umatrix). its so simple. the internet should not be used to earn money, otherwise it should go to hell.

      3. Frank said on July 2, 2018 at 12:45 pm

        The “consequences for Eich” are, notwithstanding my own views of gay marriage, one reason I started to turn away from Mozilla.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on June 30, 2018 at 7:46 am

      Adam, I don’t know whether Brave will bring in revenue or not. For now, it is mostly a browser with ad-blocking that prevents revenue generation here on this site. Brave users will have the option to cash out the money they earn and it remains to be seen how many will do that and not distribute the earned revenue to sites they visit.

  11. r00ster said on June 30, 2018 at 12:16 am

    Please see this thread (and not only the first post in it):

    = [tbb-dev] Why Tor Browser and not Tor + $browser

  12. Tom Hawack said on June 29, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    1- “[…]viewing privacy-focused advertisement ”
    2- “The integration of native Tor functionality[…]

    I’m trying to find the equation to solve what I always considered as incompatible : privacy and advertisement. Ads respecting privacy, tracking-free, ads as they should be, informative and non-harassing, non-inquisitive, no 3rd-party cookie, no tracking? Paradise, a consensual Nirvana. Youpi.

    1. supermike. said on February 5, 2020 at 5:06 am

      I am seriously looking for edge global warming is way to slow

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on June 30, 2018 at 7:44 am

      Tom, it is rather simple: instead of connecting to third-parties on page load, Brave includes a set of ads that it updates regularly and displays to you, so no third-party connections for these ads. It is similar to sites running native ads instead of making third-party connections.

      1. StreamMeadow said on April 14, 2022 at 7:29 am

        Exactly. Its as simple as an online billboard so to speak. Granted, this form of advertising is not “targeted” so it will not have as good an effect as the advertisers would like, but it solves the root problem of how to advertise online while respecting privacy. The world does it all the time with TV, radio and print ads. There’s no reason why it cant be done online again; as it once was.

      2. Anders said on June 30, 2018 at 11:05 am

        You are deluded.

      3. Tom Hawack said on June 30, 2018 at 8:15 am

        OK, Martin, I’m starting to understand… “It is similar to sites running native ads instead of making third-party connections.” which are the toughest to avoid, by the way :=)

        I get the idea. In other words ads — their source and their return from the user’s activity regarding them — are all within Brave’s servers. In fact Brave becomes an advertiser claiming privacy. we’ll have to take their word I guess. At least, doubt; at most: suspicion here. No certitudes, no paranoia. But the Web, as hell, is filled with noble declarations as we know (at least within the Web, not sure about hell!).

      4. Martin Brinkmann said on June 30, 2018 at 8:53 am

        Sure, you always have to trust companies in regards to the promises they make. I’m not saying that the proposed system is perfect but it sure is better than what we got right now with connections to god knows where when you connect to most Internet sites.

      5. Tom Hawack said on June 30, 2018 at 9:04 am

        “Sure, you always have to trust companies in regards to the promises they make.”

        I hesitate to understand this statement as a sarcasm. Wide topic.

      6. Anonymous said on July 1, 2018 at 9:13 pm

        It’s not sarcasm. It’s simple, trust the company or not.
        Can you trust VPN companies that tell they won’t record your data? They might be recording your data but you don’t know, how can you be sure they’re not recording? There’s no way to find out.
        The same with mail companies that said they won’t analyze your data.

        In the end it’s about trust as you can’t be sure what’s going on behind the scene.

      7. Peterc said on May 7, 2019 at 9:44 pm


        I sometimes joke that you can trust a VPN provider to the extent you can trust its lowest-paid, most cash-strapped employee who has effective access to your browsing data. And of course, there’s always XKCD’s $5 wrench vulnerability ( Basically, if an alphabet agency *really* wants your VPN browsing data, they can probably get it one way or another. Tor, I’m less certain about. We’d have to check EFF developers for mysteriously paid-off student loans and bruises from $5 wrenches…

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