Usage of Tor Online Anonymity Tools Recently Doubled

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 29, 2013

There are a number of reasons why many people around the globe want to be able to use the web and messaging systems anonymously, despite the fact that some people want to end Internet anonymity altogether. In some areas in the world, opressive government regulations threaten free speech, and even in the U.S. there has recently been uproar over NSA snooping. Online privacy is getting to be a very big deal.

That's why it's notable that according to the latest statistics available through Tor Metrics Portal there has been a large 100 per cent increase in the number of Tor clients and as many as 1,200,000 users are now connecting to the network. Tor, from the Tor Project, is one of the most powerful and flexible open source solutions for online anonymity, and it's clearly gaining popularity. 

According to a message from Roger Dingledine, "the number of Tor clients running appears to have doubled since August 19." Parity News also notes:

"If we go into country wise stats, US witnessed a jump of over 50k users from 100,000 to 150,000; UK witnessed nearly 100 per cent jump from 175,000 to 350,000; and Germany registered a rise to 880,000 from 450,000. India and Brazil registered the steepest rise of 426 per cent and 566 per cent respectively...Exact reasons behind the rise in number of users is not evident, but chances are that recent NSA spying revelations could have forced users to go off the grid by using anonymity networks such as Tor."

Updates from the Tor Metrics Project will confirm whether the sudden rise in Tor usage is a fluke, but it could very well be a response to privacy concerns around the globe.

As we've written about before, using Tor to stay anonymous online is easy as loading up the HTPPS Everywhere Firefox extension from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The EFF recommends usage of the extension.