A lot has been said about Tor these days but not many know about what it is actually and how does it work. There are lots of confusion about Tor and its use and about the daunting question – is Tor illegal?
Tor is one of the easiest ways to surf the web anonymously, without letting anyone know what you were browsing through or, doing over the vast world of the internet. It is basically, the short form for The Onion Router, which was initially a worldwide network of servers developed for the US Navy to enable people to browse the internet being anonymous.
Online Privacy Tool
Now, the Tor network is used as an online privacy tool that lets you remain disguised while you browse the World Wide Web. The Tor network moves your traffic across different Tor servers because of which, it gets almost impossible to track you back. Anyone who would try to track you will find the traffic coming from random Tor servers rather than your computer and therefore, will not be able to identify you. But is Tor illegal or legal is a big question for many.
Get the Tor browser
In order to use Tor, you need to download the Tor browser and then use it to browse the World Wide Web going through the Tor network. Since the data goes through a lot of layers for anonymity, the search/browsing process gets slow. You should be prepared for dealing with quite a slow internet. Be patient.
Is Tor illegal?
Most people use Tor to browse through the deep web, a portion of which is the dark web (the web is known for bad stuff like drugs, porn, hacking, etc.). Perhaps the answer to is Tor illegally depends on your usage of the Tor browser.
Tor is Good
For example, the Tor browser is no less than a blessing for journalists, who need to remain hidden for their safety, as well as for a hacker on an important mission, or someone from the defense industry, who needs to look for some data anonymously. In all such situations, Tor will easily help these people anonymize their traffic and browse the internet in disguise. In this case, there is no reason for the answer to ‘is Tor illegal’ question be ‘yes’.
Other than this, the Tor browser is also a quite helpful tool for anyone, who wants to keep their internet activities private from advertisers and other such websites.
But it is not all about browsing
So, were you thinking that the Tor browser is only about enabling users to browse anonymously over the World Wide Web and the parts of the deep web that cannot be accessed through usual browsers and search engines? Well, you were wrong. Tor is not just about browsing anonymously.
It is also capable of hosting websites through its hidden services. These websites hosted by Tor can only be accessed by other Tor users. And the fact is that these sites could be about anything. And as any sensible, smart person can make out; these websites hosted and run on the deep web and the dark web are not so good. In fact, these are mostly about stuff that is illegal. This makes us think again about – is Tor illegal, because it does promote and ease the process of letting illegal stuff take place.
4 Amazing Facts you need to know about Tor
- Tor is used to protect the identity of the users. With the help of “Hopping”, it hides the user’s identity across devices Worldwide. It will also encrypt your data within its network.
- The 2nd interesting fact about Tor is that if you need to browse a particular site or info through Tor then you must know the address of the Onion services.
- About 55% content or information on the dark web is legal. In other words, you can say that less than half (45%) of the content is illegal on the dark web.
- You can also volunteer their computer system to be a part of the Tor or Dark Web Network. This network can run on almost all operating systems but works best on Linux Operating System.
Legitimate Reasons People Use Tor
- It is the safest place for the Journalists and they can communicate with whistleblowers safely.
- There are so many NGO workers who are working in abroad. They can easily access their home websites by using Tor.
- It is one of the best places for discussions of abuse survivors and rape victims who seek anonymous forums.
The Bad side of Tor
But like everything else in this world Tor also has a bad side. It takes you to the deep web and the dark web, which have huge illegal content. As you now know that Tor can also be used to host websites, let us tell you that this network already hosts a variety of websites, many of which are full of illegal content such and promotes illegal affairs such as drugs trafficking, child pornography and even things like arms trading too.
There have been police reports which are an evidence of Tor network’s capabilities of encouraging these illegal affairs in the society. This makes us think – is Tor illegal because it can act as a channel for several illegal affairs that are actually big crimes.
So, basically, the answer to your question – ‘is Tor illegal’ is that no, Tor is legal in India. The main purpose of the Tor browser is anonymity, which is not illegal in any single country. However, if you use Tor to browse illegal content such as drugs, child pornography, or use any of bad things from the dark web, it can put you into deep trouble. The deep web contains plenty of illegal content, browsing through which is at all times, illegal and can land you into trouble. So, stay cautious while you use Tor. Do not misuse it for participating in illegal affairs.