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04 May 2011, 16:46

The Tor Project plans a Firefox fork

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The Tor project has announced that it is to launch its own fork of Firefox that will include Tor integration. At present, users who want to use the decentralised Tor network to browse the internet anonymously install the Firefox extension Torbutton and additional Tor software. As developer Mike Perry has written on the project blog, the need to install additional software creates an unnecessary and complicating hurdle for many users. They also often find the toggle system for turning anonymity on and off confusing. Users would also often not remember in which mode certain tabs were opened, thereby putting anonymity and privacy at risk.

It has also proved difficult to maintain Torbutton as new features are introduced and bugs are fixed in Firefox, disrupting the functioning of Torbutton; avoiding this was not usually a high priority for the Firefox developers. For these reasons, the project has decided to maintain its own Firefox fork which will be developed under the name of the Tor Browser. In addition, the project also intends to remove the Torbutton Firefox extension from Mozilla's add-on repository ( and only offer it for experienced users from the Tor project site; maintenance will be discontinued. The developers are currently discussing details on the mailing list.


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