TOR Anonymity Network. Sofya Rozenblat 11/26/2012 CS 105. Overview. A brief introduction What is TOR? History of TOR’s development Why is TOR useful? How does it work? Some drawbacks The importance of TOR around the world How you can get involved. A Brief Introduction. What is TOR?.
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TOR Anonymity Network Sofya Rozenblat11/26/2012CS 105
Overview • A brief introduction • What is TOR? • History of TOR’s development • Why is TOR useful? • How does it work? • Some drawbacks • The importance of TOR around the world • How you can get involved
What is TOR? • TOR=The Onion Router • Refers to layered encryption and re-encryption • Free, open source software for Windows, Mac, Linux/Unix, and Android (cross-platform) • Used with web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote login • Written in C • ~146,000 lines of source code
Development of TOR • Formed in 2011 by 2 MIT students in conjunction with a US Navy Laboratory • Currently developed by the Tor Project • Research-education nonprofit organization • Based in Walpole, MA
Why is TOR Useful? • Your online activity can be traced to your IP address even if you visit encrypted websites • Networks see websites you visit and these websites know your IP address • Requires no complex configuration to run and is free! • TOR is one solution to the lack of privacy and anonymity • Countries where censorship is widespread • Spreading political activism and political/social reform without fear of censorship
How Does it Work? • Internet traffic routed through random relays (volunteers) until it arrives at the destination • Indirect route from source to destination • Prevents service provider from monitoring visited websites • IP address remains anonymous • Incremental encrypted circuit
Same circuit used for connections within 10 minute intervals only. Provides an added layer of security
Some Drawbacks • Because of multiple relays, browsing is significantly slower through Tor than a normal browser • Downloading large files is a time consuming process • Still possible for the internet to remain censored if government blocks relays and bridges
TOR Around The World • Currently used by: journalists, law enforcement officials, activists, the military • Surveilling the web without leaving government IP addresses in logs • Allows civil liberties groups and whistleblowers to communicate with journalists • Those living in repressive regimes fraught with censorship can access the web • Used by WikiLeaks • Allowed Egyptians to access internet at the height of violence and civil unrest in 2011
How to Get Involved With the TOR Project • Donate bandwith • Spin a bridge • Run a relay • Be an exit relay • Visit www.torproject.org for more information