A modified version of Firefox is offering its users anonymity on the web. Now, I’m very sceptical because I don’t believe that anything is completely anonymous online, but this sounds like it could come close – if you can put your trust in the creators.
They’re a bunch of hackers (in the good sense) called Hacktivismo, which is an international coalition of hackers, human rights workers, lawyers and artists, and they’re using technology backed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation digital rights group.
Torpark uses a set of its own network routers – or proxies – to effectively mask the original user’s Internet activity so that other machines and users can’t easily find out who they are. It works by encrypting data sent between the user’s computer and the EFF network, and then it randomises the net address that a user appears to be browsing from, making it harder to work out an individual’s surfing habits.
The software can be installed on USB memory sticks and so used on the move.
Possible downsides to this solution are a reduced browsing speed as data is encrypted, and that some sites might view each change of net address as a new user, leading to repeated requests for passwords.
It could be a useful solution for a relatively good degree of individual protection online, though hopefully no-one falls for it as a way to be totally untraceable online, because I don’t believe that state exists.
It’s a free download available for Windows PC. It’s not quite point and click installation, with the instructions calling for downloading compilers and such like.