TOR: An Anonymizer For Online Activists, and More

Featured, Privacy Issues

TOR: An Anonymizer For Online ActivistsSo you are an online activist? Or you just don’t want to be tracked when doing your things on the internet. Let’s consider one publicly available solution that most activists are already using so as to override some internet censorship. Tor: an anonymizer for online activists.

Note: This post isn’t about inviting you to do censored things on the internet. It is about an open source, though publicly available, a solution that is used by most citizen media activists around the world.

TOR is not illegal

The very nature of this post is to open readers’eye to an existing technology geared toward people who desperately look for a way to anonymize their online activity, to work around some local internet censorship that they may have. By the way, at this time of writing, and according to TOR’s FAQTor is not illegal anywhere in the world, so using Tor by itself is fine.”

What is TOR?

So what is TOR: in fact, it’s a kind of “peer-to-peer” concept but used for security purposes. It actually is a distributed network and anonymous network. It is particularly helpful to people who don’t want their internet traffic to be tracked since the packets are distributed over the whole TOR network. To quote TOR’s website “The idea is similar to using a twisty, hard-to-follow route in order to throw off somebody who is tailing you — and then periodically erasing your footprints.”

What can you do with TOR?

So instead of rewriting a summary of what can be done with TOR service, I’d rather link you to the necessary materials, then you take whatever fits your needs.

So let’s say that you want to organize an anonymous online meeting so secure that even the participants can’t even be tracked. You may want to consider establishing a “Rendez-Vous” point within the TOR network via their hidden services.

Be careful though, as it is the case with other security packages, there are some warnings you need to be aware of. Check them here.

The good thing about joining the TOR network is that it is available for multiple platforms (Linux, Mac, Windows, …), if you want to give it a try, you may want to check the installation guides.

To sum up

This blog is about “online anonymity guide”, and I thought TOR actually is in line with what we’re trying to show our users here. Indeed, TOR is an excellent anonymizer for online activists. We’d love to hear from you how you’d use TOR services for anonymizing your internet activity.

Share your views in the comment section.

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1 comment… add one
  • Jerry Whiting Apr 13, 2012

    Even if you don’t use Tor yourself, please consider volunteering to run a Tor bridge or relay with that spare machine you have laying around.

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