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Anonymity Network

Definition - What does Anonymity Network mean?

An anonymity network enables users to access the Web while blocking any tracking or tracing of their identity on the Internet. This type of online anonymity moves Internet traffic through a worldwide network of volunteer servers. Anonymity networks prevent traffic analysis and network surveillance - or at least make it more difficult.

Techopedia explains Anonymity Network

One open-source anonymity software free to public use is known as Tor. Tor software conceals the user's location and/or usage. Another anonymity network is Freenet, which enables users to anonymously publish "freesites" as well as share files and chat on forums. Still another anonymity network is I2P. I2P identity-sensitive networks are at once distributed and dynamic in nature and they route traffic through other peers.

In order to use Tor, users must run onion routing. This technology encrypts and then rebounds communications onto a network of relays run by volunteers throughout the world. Users who want their Internet searches to remain private use anonymity networking. Within the Tor network, Internet traffic is sent to various routers, one at a time. The Tor node, or exit relay, shows up as the actual communication originator rather than the sender.

Even though Tor prevents traffic analysis, it does not guard against traffic confirmation, or end-to-end correlation and tests. At the 2005 IEEE Symposium, Steven Murdoch and George Danezis presented an article on security as it relates to traffic-analysis techniques. In their article, they demonstrated that anonymity networks permit partial network views, thereby making it possible to infer which nodes are being used for anonymous stream relays.

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