Tor Usage More than Doubles in August
The anonymizing Tor network has seen an unprecedented spike in traffic of late, with 100% growth in August and the highest usage on record for the project. According to the latest stats
, the Tor network saw a whopping 1,200,000 users in August, up from the previous 950,000 user peak seen back in January of 2012, and the 600,000 users seen just a week earlier.
So far there's a lot of speculation
surrounding what's contributing in the spike, ranging from bots to usage of the Pirate Bay's new anonymizing browser
. Tor Project Leader Roger Dingledine had this to say this week on the Tor Talk mailing list
“And it's not just a fluke in the metrics data—it appears that there really are twice as many Tor clients running as before...There's a slight increase (worsening) in the performance measurements, but it's hard to say if that's a real difference. So while there are a bunch of new Tor clients running, it would seem they're not doing much. Anybody know details? It's easy to speculate (Pirate Browser publicity gone overboard? People finally reading about the NSA thing? Botnet?), but some good solid facts would sure be useful."
Tor (and its associated illegal uses like Silk Road) have also seen a lot of free marketing courtesy of ample news coverage in the wake of the NSA leaks and the recent government-suspected malware attack
on the network.