The Onion Router—a software bundle that enables users to communicate with the internet anonymously. Tor traffics encrypted communications through an overlay network consisting of thousands of relays, or nodes, and bounces information between these multiple relays from the user’s computer to the internet and vice versa. Tor thus conceals a user’s identity by wrapping traffic in encrypted layers, much like an onion. However, ISPs can tell when a user is using Tor. Tor was first proposed in 1995 by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and later supported by DARPA in 1997. The Tor Project was founded in September 2004.

Back to glossary

Get the latest news and insights delivered to your inbox.

Interested to see top news from Flashpoint hit your inbox directly? Subscribe to our newsletter to receive curated content on a regular basis.