Anonymous Tor browser Snowden Tribute released

Snowden Tribute is a stand alone browser inside a bootable Linux USB thumbdrive designed for anonymous Internet browsing. Inside the distribution you will not any find any text editor, picture viewer, video player or tools that come with desktop operating systems. Snowden Tribute concocts a simple Internet browser with Tor and Vidalia, it can only be used from a USB thumbdrive and not as a live CD.

To burn the .img¬†file to a bootable USB thumbdrive in Windows you will need to download Win32DiskImager, there are clear instructions in Snowden’s Tribute homepage about how to do this, it is not difficult, it took me a minute to do it.

To launch the browser you will need to instruct the BIOS or UEFI to boot from a USB, menu boot up is accessed in my computer clicking F11, it is not the same for everybody, enter into your own BIOS or UEFI to learn how to do this. Furthermore, Windows 8 computers will need to disable UEFI Secure Boot to be able to boot Linux from a USB.

After booting Snowden Tribute you will be presented with a network configuration screen that auto detects wired and wireless routers, you have to enter the password for the wireless network and you will see Tor establishing a connection and Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release) will take the full screen in Kiosk mode, you can then start browsing the Internet anonymously with Tor.

Anonymous Internet browsing Snowden Tribute

Anonymous Internet browsing Snowden Tribute

Digging into the browser configuration options it shows that it has NoScript enabled, blocking browser plugins like Flash and third parties cookies, with Startpage set as the default search engine. The browser has also been set up to run in Private browsing mode to avoid leaving history and cache in the thumbdrive, with HTTPS Everywhere forcing pages to serve you an HTTPS version of the website where it exists.

Clicking on the Escape key will take you to Vidalia where Tor configurations can be tweaked and information about consumed bandwidth, logs and Tor nodes can be seen, just like anybody else who has Vidalia installed.

This is not a very sophisticated distribution, it can all be summed up with having the Tor browser bundle running from inside a USB thumbdrive, I found it unnecessary when you have distributions like Tails that can do the same thing and have a community supporting the project.

I hold issue with Snowden Tribute for riding on the back of Snowden’s name, I did not think it was right as it might look as if he endorses the project which he obviously doesn’t. I also have a problem with the browser running on a thumbdrive, even in Privacy mode, I am not convinced that your Tor browsing session held in RAM could not be dumped to the thumbdrive ¬†memory in case of a computer crash.

Best to avoid this distribution and stick to Tails, Parrot OS or iPredia. I would only consider Snowden Tribute as an alternative if it could be booted from a live CD, the uncertainty of data leaking out to the thumbdrive is too high for me to trust it.

Visit Snowden Tribute homepage

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