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[liberationtech] Anonymity Smackdown: NSA vs. Tor

Bill Woodcock woody at
Wed Aug 7 00:26:08 PDT 2013

On Aug 7, 2013, at 12:05 AM, Roger Dingledine <arma at> wrote:
> Consider two scenarios. In scenario one, NSA doesn't run any Tor
> relays, but they have done deals with AT&T and other networks to be
> able to passively monitor those networks -- including the (honest,
> well-intentioned) Tor relays that run on those networks. They're able to
> monitor some fraction of the Tor network capacity -- whether that's 1%
> or 10% or 30% is a fine question, and depends on both Internet topology
> and also what deals they've done.
> In scenario two, they do that plus also run some relays. They have to
> deal with all the red tape of deploying and operating real-world things
> on the Internet, and the risk that they'll do it wrong, somebody will
> notice, etc. And the benefit is maybe a few percent increase in what
> they can watch.
> Why would they choose scenario two? 

Geographic reach.  In order to observe exit and entry nodes that are not within the coverage footprints of the telcos with whom they have special relationships.


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