The Tor Project last week claimed the FBI paid Carnegie Mellon University $1 million to crack the anonymity of Tor users.
Tor’s claim appears to have been triggered by a report last week in Motherboard that said the FBI’s arrest of an alleged member of the Silk Road 2.0 drug ring was based on “information obtained by a ‘university-based research institute’ that operated its own computers on the anonymous network used by Silk Road 2.0.”
That network was Tor, and the research institute was Carnegie Mellon, Tor said.
Lance Cottrell suggests that Tor’s trust model could lead to future problems with the network. “They’ve worked hard with the technology to prevent this, but the reality is there’s effectively no vetting of new Tor nodes,” he told TechNewsWorld.
“You sort of know a fraction of the network is absolutely untrustworthy to begin with, and you’re hoping that it’s a low enough fraction to keep you safe,” added Cottrell. “That’s the assumption that seems to be breaking down.”