The Tor Project has released details about the projects it is working on with the financial support of, among others, the US government. The organization sees this government support decrease by 15 percent compared to the previous year.
Out a blog post The Tor Project shows that in the fiscal year, which ran from July 2020 to July 2021, the US government is still the largest lender with 38.17 percent of incoming funds. The US Department of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, part of the US Department of State, gave the Tor Project $1,532,843 last year. That amount was used to provide people in the southern hemisphere with options to circumvent censorship, according to the nonprofit. A second project aimed to make the Tor network faster and more reliable for users in places where internet access is rather limited. The US Department is by far the largest funder of the Tor Project.
The National Science Foundation and Georgetown University have donated $224,617 to the organization. That money was used to conduct research into new networks such as Tor’s using a simulator. The US Institute of Museum and Library Science and New York University have donated $96,569. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Georgetown University have donated $570,497. That amount was used to find out how to disguise communication when a hostile actor controls an entire internet network. Finally, the University of Pittsburg, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, gave $20,421 to develop several webinars on health and privacy.
About 36 percent of Tor’s operating resources in 2020-2021 came through individual donors. They have collectively deposited $2,684,390. About 16 percent, or 1,196,763 of the funds came from foundations or other nonprofit organizations. 3 percent of donations came from private companies. Together they have transferred $ 213,950.
The organization behind the Tor Project has wanted to become less dependent on American government subsidies for years. In 2015, it therefore made a first active call for donations. According to the organization, crowdfunding should become the future of the service. Earlier this year, the makers behind the anonymization browser launched another crowdfunding campaign to raise money. Tor can redirect internet traffic, allowing a user to surf the internet almost completely anonymously.