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[liberationtech] Torservers awarded $250,000 by Digital Defenders

Christian christian at
Thu Dec 12 16:57:17 PST 2013

Hej! has been awarded $250,000 over two years by the Digital
Defenders Partnership to strengthen and improve the Tor network, the
anonymity system crucial to journalists and human rights defenders using
the Internet.


Tor is free software and an open network that helps internet users to
defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that
threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities
and relationships, and state security. It is used by hundreds of
thousands of daily users worldwide to secure their online communication,
avoid tracking, and circumvent censorship.

Tor protects users by bouncing communications around a distributed
network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents
somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you
visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical
location. provides high bandwidth infrastructure for the Tor
network since 2010. We have grown to 10 volunteer-run organizations in 8
countries. distributes donations and grants across
independent organizations of IT security professionals, and helps build
a sustainable network by teaching others how to run stable Tor

The Digital Defenders Partnership was established in 2012 to provide
rapid response to threats to internet freedom. The Partnership aims at
keeping the internet open and free from emerging threats, specifically
in internet repressive and transitional environments. It also wants to
increase and better coordinate emergency support for the internet’s
critical users, such as bloggers, cyber activists, journalists and human
rights defenders, whenever and wherever they are under threat.

Thanks to the newly awarded grant of $250,000 over two years,
participating Torservers organizations will be able to sustain at least
3 Gbit/s of exit traffic, and 2000 fast and up to date bridges. Tor
bridges are required in many countries with state-level censorship. 3
Gbit/s are 949 terabytes, almost a petabyte of user data, every single
month, per direction.

Call for organizations
To strengthen the Tor network and prevent attackers, it is crucial to
spread operation across as many groups as possible. Thanks to the
Digital Defenders, can now extend its work and help less
technical organizations with the setup and maintenance of Tor services.
The Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) is the first civil
society organization to join the Torservers program with its Cyber Arabs
group. This collaboration allows Cyber Arabs to give stable and working
Tor access to activists and journalists in the Arab world. If you are
part of an organization interested in supporting Tor, please contact They have various options available, and are happy to
teach tech staff and journalists.

“Since we started a few years ago, Tor finally became
fast enough to be used for all Internet communications” comments Moritz
Bartl, co-founder of “New people also join the Tor
network every day. With the help of the Digital Defenders, we have the
chance to make the network bigger, safer and more resilient to the
benefit of everyone with the desires to protect their online activities
from surveillance.”

Juris Vetra
Zwiebelfreude e.V.
c/o DID Dresdner Institut für Datenschutz
Palaisplatz 3
D-01097 Dresden

Fax: +49-(0)911-30 844 667 48
Phone: +49-(0)351-212 960 19
press at

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