On August 25, 2015, Agora announced that it would go offline as the result of “suspicious activity,” which it believed to be attempts at breaking through their security protections. The online drug market uses the anonymous communication software, Tor, to protect its servers and customers from third-party, and more specifically, government snooping. Tor works through a decentralized network of volunteer computers that encrypts user’s data and IP’s with an extensive series of relays.
According to Agora administrators, the marketplace needs this hiatus so the team has a chance to implement software updates to better protect the site. And at this point, Agora does not have solutions ready, making it unsafe for its users to continue operations. The question remains for why the administrators now believe that current threats are legitimate enough to break through the protections that Tor offers. After all, Tor is renowned and currently unchallenged in terms of the success it has had in protecting people’s internet privacy.