[Tails-ux] Give Tails users an alternative to Tor network

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Author: alienpup
To: tails-ux
Subject: [Tails-ux] Give Tails users an alternative to Tor network

Life's never been easy for the Tor Project, and it seems that both political pressure and uninformed bias against the project continues to increase. One result of this is that Tails users often encounter sites and services that refuse connections from Tor exit nodes. This problem has impacted me to the point that I've had to abandon TailOS as my default daily OS.

I suggest then that future Tails releases offer users the option of connecting via something other than Tor. I'm not informed as what these options could be, but one comes to mind: a trusted and vetted VPN service. One such service immediately comes to mind, Riseup's new Riseup-VPN. The Tails and Riseup projects are closely aligned and already enjoy a close working relationship, so perhaps Riseup's VPN service is a natural fit.

Tails users must of course be informed as the the relative strengths and weakness of the Tor network versus the offered alternative. This has precedent in that Tails has long offered access to it's "unsafe browser". But as the "unsafe browser" is not the Tor Browser, users opting to use it lose two levels of security, protection and privacy. IMHO, unsafe browser should not be included in TailsOS. What should be included is the option of using Tails Browser via a trusted VPN.

So two approaches to this issue come to mind. Either require the Tails user to choose between the Tor network and a trusted VPN at the Tails Greeter, or provide the user access after login to Tor Browser connected either via Tor network and Tor Browser connected via a trusted VPN. The "unsafe browser" is no longer an option.