Barton Gellman, Craig Timberg and Steven Rich report:
On Nov. 1, 2007, the National Security Agency hosted a talk by Roger Dingledine, principal designer of one of the world’s leading Internet privacy tools. It was a wary encounter, akin to mutual intelligence gathering, between a spy agency and a man who built tools to ward off electronic surveillance.
According to a top secret NSA summary of the meeting, Dingledine told the assembled NSA staff that his service, called Tor, offered anonymity to people who needed it badly – to keep business secrets, to protect their identities from oppressive political regimes, or to conduct research without revealing themselves. To the NSA, Tor was offering protection to terrorists and other intelligence targets.
The Snowden documents, including a detailed PowerPoint presentation, suggest that the NSA cannot see directly inside Tor’s anonymous network, but it has repeatedly uncloaked users by circumventing Tor’s protections. The documents raise doubts about the reliability of Tor to protect human rights workers, dissidents and journalists who rely on anonymity to avoid threats to their safety and freedom in countries like Libya and Syria.
Read more on Washington Post.