Tor, trust and the NSA

Tor is an anonymizing network that’s designed to protect you by “bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.”

That’s cool, but does Tor really guarantee you what you think or assume it does? I can’t say for sure, but when facing a state-sponsored entity with time and resources on its side, you cannot be too careful. At least if pays to know what other people think about Tor, especially when what they have to say runs counter to what you know, or what you think you know.

That’s why I chose to link to an article published by Bill Blunden at Counterpunch. The gist of the article is that Tor may not be as save as you think.

Here’s an excerpt:

Tor proponents often make a big deal of the fact that the NSA admits in its own internal documents that “Tor Stinks,” as it makes surveillance more work-intensive[ii]. What these proponents fail to acknowledge is that the spies at the NSA also worry that Internet users will abandon Tor: “[A] Critical mass of targets use Tor. Scaring them away from Tor might be counterproductive”

Go back and re-read that last sentence. Tor is a signal to spies, a big waving flag that gets their attention and literally draws them to your network traffic[iii]. Certain aspects of Tor might “stink” but ultimately the NSA wants people to keep using Tor. This highlights the fact that security services, like the FBI[iv], have developed sophisticated tools to remove the veil of anonymity that Tor aims to provide.

Tor logo

Interesting stuff. You may read the complete article here.

Related Posts

NSA PRISM program a traffic boost for DuckDuckGo The NSA PRISM program's revelation, thanks to Edward Snowden, like everything else, has its good and bad side. The good part is, we now know that the ...
World’s smallest 4 megapixel USB3 vision camera and Tux, the Linux mascot Ximea just announced the world's smallest 4 megapixel USB3 vision industrial high-speed camera. Measuring just 26.4 x 26.4 x 21.6-mm, it is the latest...
Google Reader axed. Is FeedBurner next? Google has announced that the Google Reader service will not be available after July 1 of this year (2013). The service, which provided a "cloud" port...
Dissecting the Android KorBanker malware KorBanker is a malware currently making the rounds on Android devices. It's only targeting banking customers in South Korea, especially customers ...
“No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA” is as annoying as reCAPTCHA if… When completing an online form, proving that you're not a robot can be very annoying. Sometimes even frustrating, especially if the website uses reCAP...
What is the best blogging platform built atop Node.js? After about six years of using WordPress as the blogging  platform for this website, I have come to the stage where I want to try something else. Some...

We Recommend These Vendors

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*