We get this question all the time. ”Is Tor safe? Can I use it with Unseen to reroute my stuff and hide it?”
Here are two recent news reports for your information. Tor was originally sponsored by the US Naval Research Laboratory. Recent reports in the Washington Post blogs indicated that a large amount of funding for Tor comes from the US Government:
But some on a Tor-related e-mail list recently pointed out that a substantial chunk of the Tor Project’s 2012 operating budget came from the Department of Defense, which houses the NSA….
Last year, DoD funding accounted for more than 40 percent of the Tor Project’s $2 million budget. Other major donors include the U.S. State Department, which has an interest in promoting Internet freedom globally, and the National Science Foundation. Add up all those sources, and the government covers 60 percent of the costs of Tor’s development.
It’s widely known that many of the nodes on the Tor system have been compromised, as well. This recent Gizmodo report that the FBI seized all the Tor email and is now using it to catch hackers should also be considered a warning to those who think Tor is safe from spying.
If you had any faith left in anonymous email services, now would be the time to let that go. New court documents show that in chasing down associates of Freedom Hosting, the FBI managed to download the entire email database of TorMail. And now it’s using that information to take on the Darknet.
Clearly, Tor isn’t what people originally thought it would be. You can’t just look at a piece of technology, you have to look at the moral character of the people involved.
What should you do? The only solution is to create technology that combines truly secure encryption (not from public opensource libraries) with a reliable network of nodes provided by people you can trust. Our encryption offers a significant upgrade to those offered by public opensource libraries, I’m not bragging when I say it’s some of the best encryption you can get at a public web site (for free, even!!). It’s safe to say our desktop clients (Windows, Mac and Ubuntu) will all have the ability in the near future to provide some level of routing functionality. After all, securely moving things to the edge of the internet is where people will need to be in the future.