In May, the Electronic Frontier Foundation launched the Tor Challenge—a means of creating new Tor relays for activists in authoritarian and so-called “progressive” governments worldwide. The result? 100 new Tor relays for better anonymous communication.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced today that its Tor Challenge had resulted in the creation of 549 new Tor relays thanks to the efforts of those who took up the challenge. The total number surpasses EFF’s goal by 449 Tor relays.
Tor relays are volunteer networks of computers that allow for anonymous internet use, comprised of middle relays, exit relays and bridges. As the Tor website states, “Instead of taking a direct route from source to destination, data packets on the Tor network take a random pathway through several relays that cover your tracks so no observer at any single point can tell where the data came from or where it’s going.”
Translation: Communications and information move through various relays anonymously, allowing users to avoid censorship and surveillance.
According to EFF’s website, the Tor challenge increased the number of Tor relays by 13.4%. These relays include:
Exit relays: 123
Middle relays: 299
Current bandwidth: 326,084 kb/s
Percentage of Tor network bandwidth: 5.77%
“There is an acute need for circumvention technologies in authoritarian regimes – and even activists in many would-be progressive societies may feel safer if they can avoid the electronic gaze of authorities,” states EFF.
We couldn’t agree more.
Read my related article, “The Tor Challenge: Help Strengthen Anonymous Online Activism,” which dealt with EFF’s third Tor challenge—user-submitted instructional videos on setting up a Tor relay.