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Tor, CIA and NSA
  • I discovered that Tor was not a grassroots. I was able to show that despite its indie radical cred and claims to help its users protect themselves from government surveillance online, Tor was almost 100% funded by three U.S. National Security agencies: the Navy, the State Department and the BBG. Following the money revealed that Tor was not a grassroots outfit, but a military contractor with its own government contractor number. In other words: it was a privatized extension of the very same government that it claimed to be fighting.

    The documents conclusively showed that Tor is not independent at all. The organization did not have free reign to do whatever it wanted, but was kept on a very short leash and bound by contracts with strict contractual obligations. It was also required to file detailed monthly status reports that gave the U.S. government a clear picture of what Tor employees were developing, where they went and who they saw.

    The documents showed Tor employees taking orders from their handlers in the federal government, including plans to deploy their anonymity tool in countries that the U.S. was working to destabilize: China, Iran, Vietnam, Russia. They showed strategy sessions, discussions about the need to influence news coverage, and control bad press. They featured monthly updates that described meetings and trainings with the CIA, NSA, FBI, DOJ and State Department. They revealed plans to funnel government funding to run Tor "independent" nodes. Most shockingly, the FOIA documents put under question Tor's pledge that it would never put in any backdoors that gave the government secret privileged access to Tor's network under question.

    https://surveillancevalley.com/blog/fact-checking-the-tor-projects-government-ties