Drug dealers, child pornographers, terrorists and criminal hackers, are often sharing the same Internet privacy tools as law enforcement, domestic violence victims and citizens of oppressive governments who most likely use a “darknet” which is an anonymous secret internet designed to cover their tracks and protect them from internet surveillance. The “darknet” is used by both good and bad people with various intentions.
These internet security tools are designed to work like a private tunnel through the internet.
And then there’s the government funded “Tor” project. The Boston Globe reports “Tor stands for ‘the onion routing’ project, initiated by the US Naval Research Laboratory in the 1990s to camouflage government communications by sending messages through a system of computers. The project was expanded in 2001 by two Massachusetts Institute of Technology students who made the technology more accessible to civilians.”
Government officials say they support the project because it provides potentially life-saving online safety and privacy for the people who need it most. “Tor is a publicly available tool. It is used by activists and bloggers, by average US citizens protecting against identity theft, and by military and law enforcement officers conducting investigations and intelligence gathering,’’ a State Department spokesman said.
Just because internet privacy tools can be used for bad reasons by bad people doesn’t mean they are bad. A baseball bat can be used for bad reasons too.
For someone who is a victim of a stalker or domestic violence, a privacy tool like this can be a lifesaver.