Tor: Anonymous Communications for the Dept. of Defense... and You

What do the Department of Defense and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have in common? They have both funded the development of Tor (, a free-software anonymizing network that helps people around the world use the Internet in safety. Tor's 1500 volunteer servers carry traffic for several hundred thousand users including ordinary citizens who want protection from identity theft and prying corporations, corporations who want to look at a competitor's website in private, and soldiers and aid workers in the Middle East who need to contact their home servers without fear of physical harm.

I'll give an overview of the Tor architecture, and talk about why you'd want to use it, what security it provides, and policy and legal issues. Then we can open it up for discussion about open research questions, wider social implications, and other topics the audience wants to consider.

Headshot Photo: 
Jacob Appelbaum

Jacob Appelbaum is a resident of San Francisco, California, and both a photographer and independent computer security hacker. He currently is employed by the Tor project.

He is ambassador for the art group monochrom and known for his research on the cold boot attack amongst other things. [1][2]

Jacob is the executive director and a founder of the hackerspace Noisebridge, located in San Francisco.