With the birth of the modern network and the standardization of a set of Internet protocols, it became more difficult for attackers to cover their tracks and hide illegal data on the web.
Before the advent of the darknet, the output was the so-called “data haven” (data haven). These are informational analogues of tax offshore companies for information. In such shelters, everything could be placed — from documentation on gambling operations to illegal pornography.
1990s — development of Onion routing
As strange as it may sound, the American government also had a hand in creating the darknet.
In the mid-90s, the US federal government developed the so-called Onion routing. The technology provides anonymous communication through a computer network.
In 1998, the US Navy patented Onion, but later released the project code with a free distribution license. Now everyone can check Onion for vulnerabilities.
Onion routing provided secure communication between scouts while maintaining their anonymity. In addition, it served to protect the freedom of speech of citizens and journalists who lived in repressive states. Onion routing has such a goal to this day.
2002-2006 — The birth of The Tor Project
After patenting Onion Routing, other specialists joined the original development team. Together they created the well—known The Tor Project (Tor – The Onion Router).
Tor is an open source software that helps users maintain anonymity on the web.
Tor receives funding from the U.S. government, including the Department of Defense, as well as from human rights organizations and authorities in other highly developed countries. Why are they investing in the project? The sponsors believe that Tor helps to defend the rights of supporters of democracy in authoritarian states. At the same time, Tor developers claim that they have never given out personal data to federal authorities.
The headquarters of Tor is now located in Seattle, USA. The project positions itself as a non-profit.