An Introduction to the Tor Project

Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis. Tor protects 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. Tor works with many of your existing applications, including web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote login, and other applications based on the TCP protocol.

In other words: Tor helps to become invisible on the Net. No tracks left. No identities found.

This can be very helpful on the one hand, but it can also be very scary on the other. Tor is a very diverse network. Just imagine, you as an activist are being on the same network as government members, who are chasing you. Or you, being a mother, and tunneling a child murderer. Or the FBI and terrorists. Or or or … For me Tor is a very lively example for a network full of suspense. And there aren’t any easy answers to the question: Do we need such kind of networks?

At the Global Voices Summit I’ve had the chance to talk to Enny Clark and Karen Reilly, both Tor developer. Here is our short interview, taken in Santiago’s Public Library:

Here is a brief presentation on the Tor Project:

If you want to get deeper invoved in circumvention tools, read this:
In his article “Ten things to look for in tools that circumvent Internet censorship”Roger Dingledine lays out ten features you should consider when evaluating a circumvention tool. The goal isn’t to advocate for any specific tool, but to point out what kind of tools are useful for different situations.

More infos:
Anonymous Blogging with WordPress and Tor by Ethan Zuckerman and Sami ben Gharbia.

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