With the development of the Internet and the increase in the number of users, the methods of encrypting messages in it have also developed. However, the most breakthrough technology was onion routing, after the creation of which it became possible to create a public secure network.
Onion routing was developed in the mid-1990s at the US Naval Research Laboratory to protect US intelligence messages on the Internet. Oddly enough, the same DARPA that originally created ARPANet was engaged in the development of technology.
Onion routing works as follows: messages are “wrapped” in several layers of encryption (from multilayer encryption, like onion layers, the name of the technology came) and are transmitted not directly from the sender to the recipient, but through a sequence of proxies (“onion routers”) that redirect the message in an unpredictable direction.
Each router in the chain removes only one of the encryption levels and receives instructions for further routing and an encrypted message. The last router removes the last layer of encryption and sends a message to the recipient.
The entire data transmission path of the original message remains hidden, since it is transmitted from one node to another in encrypted form, and no intermediary knows either the source, the message or the final destination of the data, which allows the sender to remain anonymous.
The source code of onion routing was released under a free license, and in the early 2000s the project was named
The Onion Routing (Tor). In 2006, a non—profit organization Tor Project was created in the USA to develop the Tor network, and already in 2008 the Tor browser appeared – the most popular tool for logging into the darknet.
It is worth noting that according to some data, more than 60% of the cost of Tor development is still paid by US federal agencies, such as the Department of Defense, the State Department and the National Science Foundation.
There is nothing strange in this, because the military and intelligence still use a secure communication channel, which they once developed. And the more proxy servers are on the Tor network, the safer the whole network is.