Are you up to the Tor challenge?
You may remember that back in March at the LibrePlanet 2011 conference, we presented the 2010 Award for Projects of Social Benefit to the Tor Project -- by using free software, Tor has enabled roughly 36 million people around the world to experience freedom of access and expression on the Internet while keeping them in control of their privacy and anonymity.
Tor is a system intended to enable online anonymity. Anyone can use the Tor software to route their Internet traffic through a worldwide volunteer network of servers in order to conceal their location or usage from someone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. As we've seen in recent months, entire countries can have their internet access switched off or heavily restricted and the Tor network has proved pivotal in dissident movements in places like Libya, Iran and Egypt.
In acknowledgment of the tremendous importance in using free software to secure free, anonymous expression for people around the world, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is encouraging people to run Tor nodes:
Activists worldwide use Tor to protect their anonymity online and to circumvent Internet censorship. But they all rely on a limited number of user-provided "relays" to protect themselves and communicate with others. Internet users worldwide need your help to make the Tor network stronger and faster, so take the Tor Challenge today!
The goal is already close, 395 of the 400 new Tor nodes needed to help keep up with the increasing number of people who rely on Tor to access websites and email without surveillance.
The FSF is already running a Tor node (since September 2008). We're sure a few of you reading this can take the challenge and push them over the goal!