NSA targets Tor network that protects...

NSA targets Tor network that protects user anonymity

Posted in the Chicago Forum

Amel Ahmed

Tempe, AZ

#1 Oct 5, 2013
Report: NSA targets Tor network that protects user anonymity
by Amel Ahmed
October 4, 2013 | 9:19PM ET
Agency reportedly developed several failed strategies targeting Tor, a service primarily funded by US government

The National Security Agency (NSA) has made numerous attempts to attack Tor, a popular software that is designed to protect online anonymity and receives most of its funding from the U.S. government itself, the Guardian newspaper reported Friday.

Tor, short for The Onion Router, is an open-source public project that was initially developed by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory with the primary purpose of protecting government communications. It gets about 60 percent of its funding from the State Department and the Department of Defense, the NSA's parent agency.

The Guardian’s report – based on information from whistle-blower Edward Snowden, a former contractor for U.S. intelligence agencies – detailed how the NSA developed multiple strategies and expended considerable energy attacking Tor, but ultimately failed to undermine the service's ability to make users anonymous.

The report said the fundamental security of the Tor service remained intact. It cited a top-secret NSA presentation, titled "Tor Stinks," which stated: "We will never be able to de-anonymize all Tor users all the time."

The Tor project is part of the Obama administration's Internet freedom agenda, a campaign to advance human rights around the world and help citizens living under repressive regimes bypass Internet censorship.


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