Tor users will now have to enter their phone number in order to make a new account on Twitter.
Last week, Twitter announced its plans to start tracking bothersome users through their mobile numbers. To implement these changes, the social networking website is pushing Tor users, an anonymous web browser, to provide their phone number if they want to open a new account on Twitter.
However, the company maintains that it hasn’t made any specific modifications in its registration process for Tor browser users.
Apparently, Twitter never forces or blocks users to get their phone number verified for getting registered. Usually, logins and signups are asked to be verified to avoid spams. This policy is applicable on all IPs not specifically for Tor IPs.
But after repeated attempts of signing-up from various users (a dozen to be specific), it was revealed that every time Twitter asked for a phone number.
Though, browsers like Mozilla were exempted from this verification requirement. This means, Tor connections are being flagged as potentially spammed accounts and therefore, phone verification has become mandatory.
Thus, the new security policy of Twitter will require a mobile number—it is no longer optional. The U.S based company will use short-term suspensions for acquiring the serial trolls digits.
The purpose here is to get something identifiable, which can later be used for tracing the user. Those who need to open new Twitter accounts via Tor browser, will have their phone number added to the website’s database automatically due to this new change in their signing-up procedure.
It cannot be verified though if Twitter is purposefully clamping down in Tor users because it considers the browser as a great opportunity for trolls since it can store unique IP addresses of users.
Or may be Twitter is just testing the new policy on Tor users and it will eventually apply it on all new sign-ups.
However, regardless of the reputation, Tor isn’t the breeding ground for illegal activities. Just like other browsers, Tor’s security is also dependent upon legitimate circles like those working as security activists and human rights activists.
Asking for phone number from all new users will be a bad move as it will be troublesome for those who need to keep a low profile.
The obscurity is not the only issue here, Tor is an important PoA (point of access) for regular users of the Internet in situations when social networking websites like Twitter have been blocked in their region such as last year it was not available in Turkey.