Tor Technology

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By Valeria Mancuso

Virtual Safety: What is tor technology?

The Tor project is a non-profit organization that conducts research and development into online privacy and anonymity. It was designed to keep people from learning or tracking your browsing information online. The technology bounces internet users and websites traffic through relays run by thousands of people around the world, making it very difficult to identify the source of information or the location of the internet user. Some disadvantages do go along with it including slower internet because of those relays. Also, YouTube does not play unless you use the opt-in trial of YouTube’s HTML5 site to bring it back.

Who created tor technology?

The original technology was developed by the United States Navy. It received about 60% of its funding from the State Department and Department of defense. Other funding came from Electronic Frontier Foundation, Knight Founda- tion, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. It was launched in 2004 to protect internet user’s privacy from corporations.

Who uses Tor?

The project team says the technologies users fall into four main groups including, normal people who want to keep their internet activities private from websites and advertisers, those concerned about cyber spying, users evading censorship in certain parts of the world and military professionals. Bloggers, business executives, IT professionals and law enforcement officers are key users. For more mainstream users, it could mean running Tor so that your children’s location can’t be identified when they are online, or could mean a political activist in China, Russia or Syria could protect their identity. There are over 4 million users of Tor Technology.