CIA sets up shop on the anonymous, encrypted Tor network


With our personal data under siege by countless actors from Facebook to Russia to Aibo the robot dog -an increasing number of organizations are taking refuge on the anonymous, encrypted Tor network. That now includes the , which on Tuesday announced a new “onion” version of its website for the network.

Tor, short for “The Onion Router,” anonymizes Internet traffic by routing it through an international network of relays that mask a user’s location and usage. This makes it more difficult for individuals, and governments to track an individual’s activity online. But accessing the Tor network requires tools that aren’t as user-friendly as mainstream browsers like , Firefox and Safari.


According to the company’s press release, the CIA’s mission requires that “individuals can access us securely from anywhere. Creating an onion site is just one of many ways we’re going where people are.” The onion site (Tor address) features links for reporting information and applying for a job, and will mirror all of the content currently available at

The Equifax data breach in 2017 Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018 showed just how low are the standards for conventional user data protection. But some of the very companies accused of stepping over the line when it comes to tracking online have promised to bring out their own privacy-enabling tools. Google is expected to announce later today that users of its Chrome browser will soon get greater insight into and control over websites that use cookies to track them.
Brave browser's lion logo

In addition to Tor, which was developed by the US government, there are also mainstream browsers and tools to help keep your web traffic private. Brave, co-founded by former Firefox leader and Chief Executive Brendan Eich, has developed a browser that blocks ads and trackers by default. (Brave has incorporated some components of the Tor Project’s network identity-hiding technology into its browser.) Firefox is testing a new version of its browser that will give users the option to cut off tracking technology. And Cloudflare has announced a new VPN that hides web traffic on smartphones.

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