PirateBrowser sails around ISP’s barricades, but is it actually safe?

The Pirate Bay ship has decided it will not be sunk by any of the legal battles it’s found itself in, and instead is continuing their illicit activities from the comfort of the Spanish and Norway seas (or skies as the cloud-based service may be.)

Whilst (currently) out of reach by the courts, it hasn’t stopped legislation such as that implemented in the UK which requires ISPs to block access to the file-sharing website.

As always with the pirates, they’ve found a way to step ahead – this time with an app called “PirateBrowser”

This web browser circumvents the blocks in place; allowing users access to the site once more. It is a re-tooled version of Firefox, with a Tor client and proxy tools bundled in. The Windows-only release comes on the 10th anniversary of the infamous site.

Through containing a Tor client, many users have been fooled into believing the browser is anonymous and secure from external monitoring. This isn’t the case, as many Twitter users have taken to the micro-blogging network to voice their criticisms...

The Spy Blog, whose focus is on security, privacy and surveillance issues, tweeted:

    #PirateBay #ThePirateBay don't touch #PirateBrowser ! Crippled Tor Browser Bundle: no Tor Button, no NoScript, no package Digital Signature

    — Spy Blog (@spyblog) August 11, 2013

Whilst a spokesman for the Tor Project, tweeted:

    Piratebrowser seems like they didn't read the Tor Browser Design documents. It seems unsafe.

    — Jacob Appelbaum (@ioerror) August 11, 2013

Even though the internet is erupting in criticism of the new browser, it only claims to offer a way to get around ISP’s censorship – using the UK and other countries which have issued court orders blocking access to torrent search sites, to compare with strict nations such as Iran and North Korea.

In light of this, it helps the owners appear the “white knight” against internet dictatorship.

Directly from The Pirate Bay’s description of PirateBrowser:

“PirateBrowser is a bundle package of the Tor client (Vidalia), FireFox Portable browser (with foxyproxy addon) and some custom configs that allows you to circumvent censorship that certain countries such as Iran, North Korea, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Italy and Ireland impose onto their citizens.”

What do you think about the situation with Pirate Bay and their new ‘PirateBrowser’ software?

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