NSA Continues Targeting Tor, Snooping on Users Seeking Additional Anonymity

/ 4 years ago

The NSA continues to target the Tor Web anonymizing service, leaving Internet users with a smaller number of ways to browse anonymously.  Recently, German broadcast company ARD said it believes the NSA is monitoring two Tor servers within German borders, tracking what users are tracking.

Recently released source code of the NSA’s XKeyscore, a high-level surveillance program, sends an alert when a user downloads Tor or the TAILS operating system – but only if they live overseas.  Tor bridge information transferred by email also is tracked, and the NSA can track offending IP address numbers later.

Here is what a spokesperson from the NSA told Ars Technica:

“XKeyscore is an analytic tool that is used as part of NSA’s lawful foreign signals intelligence collection system.  Such tools have stringent oversight and compliance mechanisms built in at several levels. All of NSA’s operations are conducted in strict accordance with the rule of law.”

The NSA – and other U.S. federal government branches – can more easily spy on international users legally, citing data that is bouncing around on foreign-based servers. However, German lawmakers are still upset that the government spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other prominent politicians.

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Prior to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealing NSA and GCHQ spying, many Web users relied on Tor for a more anonymous level of browsing.

Thank you to BBC for providing us with this information

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