The TOR Project
The Tor Project is a nonprofit company based in the United States — though they need little introduction, as they’ve already built a reputation as a privacy tool that many love and many hate. Tor is composed of a few employees and many volunteers. The volunteers of Tor operate servers which are connected to create Tor’s browser network. Tor provides two main products: the Tor browser and Orbot. Tor has worked in partnership with other nonprofits like the EFF to provide other privacy software solutions.
The Onion Router, more commonly known as Tor, is a browser that allows users to anonymously browse the web. Tor provides this service by having a network of servers which are not connected to each other except by virtual tunnels that your signal routes through. Each of these tunnels uses a separate set of encryption keys and has an ever-changing route to avoid patterns. Routing your browsing through these tunnels as opposed to a direct link allows users to browse the web while maintaining their anonymity. Tor’s next product Orbot brings Tor functionality to Android mobile devices. This short video explains with simplicity how the Tor network functions.
It is important to note that because of Tor’s success it is a veritable hotbed for criminal activity. Many know about the Silk Road which was used to traffic illegal items like drugs, weapons, and child pornography. For those unfamiliar with the Silk Road, this comprehensive video by Wes Spencer explains the rise and fall of the Silk Road.
As a result of Tor’s criminal element, the browser is constantly under attack by hackers and government agencies trying to crack it’s method. For the average user not engaged in criminal activity this means that your privacy while on Tor is constantly under attack.You can red more about threats to Tor and, by extension, threats to your privacy from this article by Expert Reviews.
About Ryan Jeethan
Ryan is a recent graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Arts & Business program focusing on UW’s unique Speech Communication program.