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Suspicious rise in # of Tor users

Directly connecting Tor users went from 2.5 million to 4 million in 3 months, and no one has mentioned it yet over at the Tor Project?

https://metrics.torproject.org/userstats-relay-country.html?start=2017-01-01&end=2018-01-03&country=all&events=off

Most of it comes from Germany:

https://metrics.torproject.org/userstats-relay-country.html?start=2017-01-01&end=2018-01-03&country=de&events=off

And France:

https://metrics.torproject.org/userstats-relay-country.html?start=2017-01-01&end=2018-01-03&country=fr&events=off

And the Netherlands:

https://metrics.torproject.org/userstats-relay-country.html?start=2017-01-01&end=2018-01-03&country=nl&events=off

And Indonesia:

https://metrics.torproject.org/userstats-relay-country.html?start=2017-01-01&end=2018-01-03&country=id&events=off

(There are probably more outside the Top 10 relay users by country, but you get the idea where the bulk of the growth comes from)

This just doesn’t happen under normal circumstances - except directly after the Snowden disclosures - and there isn’t any particular reason why Germany, France, Netherlands, Indonesia etc should have this abnormal growth in such a short period, and in unison.

This definitely suggests some sort of collusion by these nation states. If it’s a natural event, then I’ll install Windows 10 with full telemetry, use Google as my home page, open a Facebook account with 100 personal photos, and prefer Skype for intimate conversations. :smirk:

Highly suspect and I wonder whether this is some new form of attack to try and exhaust network resources or similar? The Tor network runs at about half its advertised bandwidth right now, so I guess that goal is feasible for advanced adversaries.

This is screaming out for the Tor Blog to discuss it…

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This may be related to @entr0py’s post about the ongoing DDos attacks on the Tor network which may have directly/indirectly caused a decrease in number of entry guard relays. This in turn is causing a spike in performance degradation as I have had lately (among other issues).

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At last. humanity is noticing the value of privacy and mass adopting Tor. Year of the Tor network - 2018 … huh what? I’m awake now :slight_smile:

Even this wasn’t natural but because some botnet operator moved their CnC behind Tor.

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