The use of a decentralized network like Tor has been causing a lot of controversy since its inception. Network advocates talk about protecting online privacy and circumventing censorship in countries where human rights violations occur. The criticism is that the network helps criminals hide information…



Based on the results of recent research, there is an attempt to verify the potential harm and benefits of the Tor network. Thus, globally, almost 7% of those who actively use Tor services work with services that usually provide illegal content or services. The most interesting thing is that the connection to such services was recorded much higher in those countries that were rated as “free” in comparison with “partially free” and “non-free”.


Those Tor users who access hidden sites – 6.7%, which is relatively small; however, there is an extreme uneven distribution in geographical terms. That is, in” non – free “countries, the number of them is 4.8%, in “free” countries-7.8%…

The researchers say that tools like Tor present a clear public policy problem. If the network is not controlled, it will lead to damage as a result of its criminal use. A closure Tor may harm the users in the less politically free regimes.


The results of the study show that Tor operates on approximately 6-6. 5 thousand nodes, most of which are probably located in free countries. And the Tor project itself, which manages the code, is a non-profit organization in the United States.


Isabela Bagueros, Executive Director of the Tor project, said in response that the authors simply decided to classify all Tor network sites and all traffic as “illegal”, and all traffic on the main network as”legal”. However, she said many popular websites, tools, and services use the service to offer their users privacy and circumvention benefits. Among them are Facebook, the New York Times, the BBC, Deutsche Welle, Mada Masr and Buzzfeed.


However, breach reporting platforms, file sharing tools, messaging apps, VPNs, browsers, email services, and free software projects also use onion services to protect the privacy of their users, including Riseup, OnionShare, SecureDrop, GlobaLeaks, ProtonMail, Debian, Mullvad VPN, Ricochet Refresh, Briar, and Qubes OS.


Baguio said that the cancellation of this traffic as “illegal”, “demonize” individuals and organizations who choose the technology protect privacy and bypass censorship.

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