Onion Routing Not Tor Is a Lie
28 May 2011
Contrary to claims of some Tor Project developers, Tor -- the software itself -- was indeed actively developed by the US Navy.
Check for yourself from a Linux command-line:
$ git clone git://git.torproject.org/tor.git
$ cd tor
$ git log | grep navy.mil | uniq -c
46 Author: Paul Syverson
15 Author: Bruce Montrose
Forty-six revisions to the software were made by Paul Syverson while he was working for the Navy, fifteen revisions were by Bruce Montrose, also working for the Navy at the same lab.
Another tidbit: Matthew J. Edman also was once a Tor developer. He worked for the Navy too, as a graduate student under supervision of Syverson. He went on to work for NSA, among others.
Roger Dingledine (the lead Tor developer) also once worked for NSA.
The idea that onion routing [US Patent No. 6266704] as a concept is somehow independent from Tor is a lie. The two are one and the same and were developed in harmony. As of 2009, Tor is the predominant technology that employs onion routing.
Tor can also provide anonymity to servers in the form of location-hidden services, which are Tor clients or relays running specially configured server software. Rather than revealing the server's IP address (and therefore its network location), hidden services are accessed through Tor-specific .onion pseudo top-level domain (TLD), or pseudomain. The Tor network understands this TLD and routes data anonymously both to and from the hidden service. Due to this lack of reliance on a public address, hidden services may be hosted behind firewalls or network address translators (NAT). A Tor client is necessary in order to access a hidden service.