For the most of us on the best of days data is beyond dull, but with new focus on data visualization technology the world of data is getting much cooler.
For free software that is totally meant to enable anonymous online communication across the globe, Tor is apparently- and surprisingly so- very visible. This is obviously the world’s most commonly used tool for concealing the user’s location and network provider from any kind of spy, surveillance or network and traffic analysis. Rightly so, Tor has grown from strength to strength to become a powerful network that has spread all over the world.
With its every aspect based on enhancing privacy and anonymity to volunteer proxy computers, it is quite surprising that a data visualization company has now explicitly and beautifully assembled, and for that matter, unearthed Tor data flow maps. This is probably to show areas around the world where Tor is highly used to avoid network surveillance and spying.
Known as TorFlow, this ultimate project is a creation of data visualization software company; Uncharted. It clearly maps Tor’s nodes and data movements solely based on IP addresses and bandwidth of the proxy computers that are used to prevent users from being monitored or censored. Tor data flows around the world are shown in a fully interactive graphic by a website hosted by Uncharted.
A major point to be taken from this incredible TorFlow project is how privacy-loving Europe is the main core of Tor’s data bandwidth, even though the project has its main roots in the U.S where it was founded. According to TorFlow interactive graphic map, Tor’s main hub is in Germany, the Netherlands, England and France. While there are also significant Tor nodes in the United States, the most surprising Tor nodes shown in the map are in unlikely places such as Liberia and Libya where there are high chances that Tor is used rather than being hosted.
Another critical take away from the TorFlow revelation is Tor’s immense growth in the past eight years; a growth that has seen it spread to countries such as Japan, Israel, Indonesia, and Turkey, as well as in Egypt, especially during the Arab Spring protests and the political coup in 2011 and 2013 respectively. That said, it is clear that TorFlow not only shows Tor’s map of online anonymities across the world, but also shows such anonymities across time.