With all the worries that big brother is looking at your online activity something like Tor may just be the answer to online anonymity. The announcement that Verizon is planning to have a perma-cookie tracking ID placed on your phone – even when in private browsing mode – is pretty disconcerting in my opinion and clearly shows big companies are moving in the direction of eliminating anonymity. Tor is 100% open source and works on pretty much all operating systems. Facebook recently announced support for the dark network (link). Tor must be raising eye-brows because even the TSA is interested in this technology.
TOR’s privacy enabling software is designed to mask the source and destination of internet traffic. Originally funded by the US Navy as “The Onion Routing protocol” to help government operatives and employees working in potentially hostile areas, it has come to be used by a wide range of activists, dissidents and journalists around the world. – link
I am not sure I will be installing Tor yet but I plan on following this project on its site and in the news. There are also many articles exposing Tor as a trojan horse actually funded and created by the government to spy on anonymous users of the internet, check out this article where Michael Reed claims Tor was created by the US government (link).
In that same article it also states the TorFAQ explains how “exit nodes” can in fact eavesdrop on activity – all be it encrypted:
The TorFAQ clearly states that exit nodes can eavesdrop. “Yes, the guy running the exit node can read the bytes that come in and out there. Tor anonymizes the origin of your traffic, and it makes sure to encrypt everything inside the Tor network, but it does not magically encrypt all traffic throughout the internet.” – link
Another really good article posted on pando.com really highlights the origins of Tor and complexity around why the technology is good or bad for the average person. It also explains what Onion Routing is and why and whom funded the original project (and apparently still does).
Onion routing was like a hustler playing the three-card monte with your traffic: the guy trying to spy on you could watch it going under one card, but he never knew where it would come out. – link