TOR Project that’s been helping users get their privacy back by relaying their request from the network has seen a huge spike in its usage since August 19. And as this project is focused on anonymizing the users, the cause of this is rather unclear.The graph just passed the 1.4 million mark as of the latest data on the metrics page on Tor Project.
Here is what Tor project’s project leader Roger Dingledine had to say:
Hi folks, Check out https://metrics.torproject.org/users.html (for posterity, the longer-term link will be link ) The number of Tor clients running appears to have doubled since August 19: link And it's not just a fluke in the metrics data -- it appears that there really are twice as many Tor clients running as before: https://metrics.torproject.org/network.html#dirbytes There's a slight increase (worsening) in the performance measurements: https://metrics.torproject.org/performance.html but it's hard to say if that's a real difference. So while there are a bunch of new Tor clients running, it would seem they're not doing much. Anybody know details? It's easy to speculate (Pirate Browser publicity gone overboard? People finally reading about the NSA thing? Botnet?), but some good solid facts would sure be useful.
As Roger says this could be anything and the outcome could be beneficial or worse if the TOR network is targeted by botnets and such. But if the real users are using it then it would have something to do with people actually caring about their privacy online with alot of companies playing with user privacy these days.