The Tor Project: Protecting Online Anonimity

Jacob Appelbaum introduces the Tor Project and the Tor Network – an anonymity network used to protect individual’s identities online. Tor is free software for enabling anonymous online communication. The name TOR is an acronym derived from the original software project name The Onion Router. Tor is intended to protect the personal privacy of users, as well as their freedom and ability to conduct confidential communication, by keeping their Internet activities from being monitored. The core principle of of the Tor Project, called “onion routing”, was developed in the mid-1990s by United States Naval Research Laboratory employees, mathematician Paul Syverson and computer scientists Michael G. Reed and David Goldschlag, with the purpose of protecting U.S. intelligence communications online. Tor directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer network consisting of more than six thousand relays to conceal a user’s location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. Using Tor makes it more difficult for Internet activity to be traced back to the user: this includes visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages, and other communication forms. It is legally used by millions worldwide to circumvent censorship and to stay safe from online snooping.


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