Saying how we live in a very strange world would be the understatement of the year. A new US Senate bill wants to ensure “bad people” can’t use solutions like Tor. Whether or not this means everyone else can keep using it, is anybody’s guess. For quite some time, everyone who used Tor was deemed to be an extremist.
Weeding Out The Bad Guys Using Tor
It becomes apparent from the outset government officials do not see eye to eye on matters regarding technology and privacy. Some people feel everyone who uses Tor is an extremist, whereas others just want to catch the bad guys using it. But US Congress has come up with a plan that should work for everyone. Or will it?
The new Senate bill making the rounds is somehow preventing bad people from using anonymity software such as Tor. The bill itself doesn’t make any specific mentions as to how this is to be achieved, making it seem like some parlor trick at best. It may be best not to let the imagination run too wild at this stage, albeit it is doubtful the technology used will respect user privacy.
It is rather interesting to see this particular bill focus its attention on Tor itself. For those who are unaware, the Tor project has been funded by the State Department. It appears as if Congress wants to tell the State Department how to spend their funding. This has not been confirmed at this time, though.
Should this Senate bill pass, however, it is possible the State Department will face a restructuring of its funds. This may very well include only receiving funding for internet freedom once they ensure it is only used by people with no illicit intentions. Evaluating the risks and benefits of these tools should be the number one priority.
In the end, this is not good news for Tor users by any means. If the bill passes, the Senate will have a direct say in the development of this software, as they control the financial strings. If it does not pass, there will be other political attacks against the Tor project in the future. Cutting the funding for the project may not be an entirely bad thing, though, as it would become a project “for the people, funded by the people’ in that case.
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