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Onion forum site redirects to clearnet

Seo links cannot point to clearnet.

https://www.whonix.org/w/index.php?title=Documentation&curid=24&diff=57905&oldid=57837

Generally, please don’t add onion links to any websites anywhere on whonix.org. There can be exceptions when sensible. (Such as if we were to link to a website that is exclusively available over onion.) In case of Whonix wiki it’s still just 1 wiki database which is “in synchronization” [1] between clearnet domain and onion domain. By adding an onion link [when editing Whonix wiki over onion] that edit will also apply to the clearnet version of Whonix wiki.

(There are some unfixeable caching issues but a manual or perhaps later automated cache clear could fix that.)

I didn’t make any manual changes to the images on any of those pages (nor those today).

It appears whatever website changes you’ve made very recently to enforce onion connections (and stop fallback to clearnet even momentarily) has had the unintended side effect of causing any edited page to immediately appear with the .onion image in the Editing Pane view in that section. It didn’t happen a week ago.

Test it for yourself and see. I must admit it is a weird side effect.

PS hiding “Recent Changes” from people not logged in is annoying for editors. Although I gather it probably has various protective benefits re: unfriendly network observers.

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Definitely some problem with the editing pane. Every single instance of https://whonix.org is replaced with the Whonix v3 onion equivalent automatically, without any interaction from the editor.

Even if you try to change it back to https://whonix.org, when you preview the change it is still the .onion equivalent. Weird. For example, see the Forums page where I inserted one line only - a thumbnail image of the Whonix forums.

In the same edit, the editing pane automatically changes around 4-5 links to the v3 onion, without interaction…

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Good to know.

Indeed. I disabled the auto replacement of clearnet links to onion for now. Unfortunately that went both ways, inside the html (GET) and inside the user submissions (wiki edit, POST).

Until I find a fix for that might have less perfect onion support now (more links to clearnet such as top bar HOME link to clearnet rather than onion) but major functions (editing over onion without redirect to clearnet) should still working. Please try.

Homepage images on onion are now broken but I will fix that shortly.

Does not happen for me in a fresh Tor Browser. And probably doesn’t happen for you in a fresh Tor Browser too. It would however happen in a browser where one has set.

Being purely technical here, ignoring usability issues: I did no such thing. The only thing I did is implement the HTTP header feature which support for was added in Tor Browser 9.5 Onion-Location.

Some technical details:

  • server provides a pure informational offer: Onion-Location can be found at [...].onion.
  • server does not detect who visits from Tor network and who does not
  • server does not force redirect clearnet connections to onion in any case
  • What the browser does when it sees the Onion-Location HTTP header (laymen: “an offer”)

Try Onion Services

There’s a more private and secure version of this site available over the Tor network via onion services. Onion services help website publishers and their visitors defeat surveillance and censorship.

Learn more…

Not Now | Always Prioritize Onions

If you want to upgrade only one time, click “Not Now”, then press again on the “Onion Available” button. However, if you choose Always Prioritize Onions then the browser will force the user each time a clearnet server shows the Onion-Location offer to use the onion instead. It’s a browser feature.

In browser URL bar go to about:preferences#privacy
switch from

Onion Services

Prioritize .onion sites when known. Learn more…

[x] Always
[ ] Ask every time

to [x] Ask every time.

Btw since this is a server side feature, https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Forcing_.onion_on_Whonix.org does still make sense since onion location is better enforced client side.

Quote https://gitweb.torproject.org/tor-browser-spec.git/tree/proposals/100-onion-location-header.txt

No security/performance benefits

Could you document that please?

Reason: Server is getting hammered by 100’s of crawling and vulnerability scanning bots causing an guesstimate of 30-60% of traffic. Most probably non-targeted attacks. These download every revision of every page and compare every revision with revert revision, maximum out all permutations which are virtually endless.

Non-reason: hiding history from public.

Reference to see how many bots are out there:

Potential improvement:
What I could do instead is using HTTP basic authentication. Would look similar like this screenshot:
https://cdn.wp.nginx.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/auth_required.png

Then the login prompt could tell everyone “username is same as password which is ‘whonix’ (without the quotes)”. Space for instructions and skinning is very limited in that prompt. A more pretty prompt might be developed later perhaps in two weeks from now.

Advantages: more anonymous since any member of public visitor could use the “login” (which is just a cheap, easy trick to get rid of 99% of bots which are non-targeted bots). Also more easy to type. No need to remember/type/copy/paste username / password.

Would that help?

Btw whonix.org is now redirected to www.whonix.org. No “plain”, non-subdomain.
Same for onion. www only. No non-subdomain onion.
(That was implemented to prevent duplicate crawling of both non-subdomain and www.)
(And all clearnet is always redirected to TLS.)

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Great thanks - yes, working fine now.

Good to know - yes, documented that in an edit.

Good to know and better for whonix.org long term server responsiveness, so that is definitely an improvement then.

Yes it would - please implement when you have some available time since it still effectively deals with the bots issue also.

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