If you want to use the internet and you don’t want the National Security Agency to see what you’re doing, you basically only need one tool: Tor, a network that anonymizes web traffic by bouncing it between servers. The NSA has been working on ways to get around “the Tor problem” for years without much success. “It should hardly be surprising that our intelligence agencies seek ways to counteract targets’ use of technologies to hide their communications,” the agency told BusinessWeek. The original funding for this thorn in the NSA’s side actually came from the US Department of Defense; the Naval Research Laboratory originally funded the project to protect Navy employees abroad. The NSA says Tor is now used by “terrorists, cybercriminals, [and] human traffickers,” so you’d think the Pentagon might consider that investment a mistake. Not so.
Read the full story at The Verge, and read about the inside story of Tor at BusinessWeek.