Now learn why Microsoft is abbreviated to M$: the hard drive is $130.00, at the lowest.
It is important to disclaim immediately that copyright infringement is an entirely different subject matter than Internet users' anonymity; this thread in no way encourages post replies with an agenda aimed at copyright infringement, stealing by or from Hollywood, or the network television/pay-cable industries.
Tor is free software for your computer, recommended bundled with its own browser rather than formatting your own, which conceals you, the user, from being monitored and physically located while using the Internet. The Tor network is a series of relays run by volunteers who distribute your communications and transactions throughout the network at random. Any person/corporation monitoring your Internet connection cannot link you to your true destination, nor follow you from site A to site B.
(See Facebook example: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2011-11-15/facebook-privacy-tracking-data/51225112/1)
"Tor (short for The onion router) is a system intended to enable [b]online anonymity[/b]. Tor client software routes Internet traffic through a worldwide volunteer network of servers in order to conceal a user's [b]location[/b] or [b]usage[/b] from anyone conducting [b]network surveillance or traffic analysis[/b]. Using Tor makes it more difficult to trace Internet activity...and is intended to protect users' personal freedom, privacy, and ability to conduct confidential business by keeping their internet activities from being monitored."
Defence against network surveillance and traffic analysis
"The idea is similar to using a twisty, hard-to-follow route in order to throw off somebody who is tailing you — and then periodically erasing your footprints. 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."
The erasing of your footprints on the windy trail you leave through Tor is accomplished by the Tor software incrementally building a circuit of encrypted connections through the relays on the Tor network. Each relay along your path through the Internet only has knowledge of which relay gave it your information, and which relay ahead of it will receive your information. No one relay ever knows the entire path you take from point A to B when accessing the Internet. Each step from relay to relay has a separate set of encryption keys. This is how even your convoluted path cannot be backtracked. Your right hand doesn't know what your left hand is doing.
Onion-like Layers: Origins
"Tor was originally designed, implemented, and deployed as a third-generation onion routing project of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. It was originally developed with the U.S. Navy in mind, for the primary purpose of protecting government communications."
Official U.S. Navy Web Site operated by the Center for High Assurance Computer Systems in the Information Technology Division of the US Naval Research Lab: http://www.onion-router.net/
The underground railroad must be silent: Privoxy
We have established the virtual tunnels and layered encryptions that are the Tor. Your location and any transactions over your network connection, determined and tracked by IP address, are convoluted and encrypted with forward secrecy (the erasing of your footprints). Your direct route from site A to B is difficult to track.
Your destination from A to B on the Internet is not always direct. Web proxies are computers that allows indirect connections to other network services.
"A common proxy application is a caching Web proxy. This provides a nearby cache of Web pages and files available on remote Web servers, allowing local network clients to access them more quickly or reliably."
A proxy is a go-between, for your computer to access information from a source more quickly, or more reliably. Proxies identify themselves as proxies, and reveal the original IP address to the sources they draw from to relay information back to your computer.
"When it receives a request for a Web resource (specified by a URL), a caching proxy looks for the resulting URL in its local cache. If found, it returns the document immediately. Otherwise it fetches it from the remote server, returns it to the requester and saves a copy in the cache."
Web proxies also filter content.
"Some censorware applications - which attempt to block offensive Web content - are implemented as Web proxies. Other web proxies reformat web pages for a specific purpose or audience; for example, Skweezer reformats web pages for cell phones"
Privoxy is a non-caching web proxy with open access to detailed configuration for the user. What you choose to filter from your received information over the web can range from ads to words to images. It is a customizable proxy that gives the user full control over her Internet experience. The name is condenced from Privacy Enhancing Proxy.
"Privoxy is a proxy that is primarily focused on privacy enhancement, ad and junk elimination and freeing the user from restrictions placed on his activities. Sitting between your browser(s) and the Internet, it is in a perfect position to [b]filter outbound personal information that your browser is leaking[/b], as well as inbound junk. It uses a variety of techniques to do this, all of which are under your complete control via the various configuration files and options. Being a proxy also makes it easier to share configurations among multiple browsers and/or users."
Changing Our Habits
Be smart and learn more. Understand what Tor does and does not offer.
Combine Privoxy (or any anonymity protecting proxy of your choice in your research) with Tor.
How do I use Privoxy together with Tor?
This has been a brief overview of the meat-and-drink of Tor as related to Internet users' security, and its sister concern, web proxies. This post has a used a broad brush to paint the subject with thin at best coverage of the computer science behind its workings.
I would like to invite any users with expertise to expand on any steps of the Tor process, proxies, Privoxy, and especially any further aspects of Internet privacy and anonymity. We have a right not to be followed or eavesdropped on for advertising or any other purpose, without consent.
- Family (business)
- Amnesty International
- Save the Children
- Development and Peace
- Public Outreach
- Hamilton Public Library
- The Dunham Group
- York UniversityB.Des. Hons., present
- St Joachim Catholic Elementary School
- Holy Name of Mary Catholic Elementary School
- St Mary's Catholic Secondary School
- Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School
- York University, Toronto
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