Tor’s Co-Creator: Your Medical Records Have Bullseyes On Them

Paul Syverson, Co-creator of the Tor web browser met with journalists and tech professionals Thursday saying, “I invented the dark web.”  This meeting was part of the “Inside the Dark Web” conference. The topics of anonymized onion routing, and cybercrime on the internet.

“Medical identity theft is poised to take over as the primary form of identity theft,” Syverson noted.

With over 155 million Americans medical data has been exposed in the last six years alone, according to the Brookings Institution. Mostly being blamed on hospitals and other organizations arent doing anything to protect and secure patient information. This would mean that they are responsible in part for making sure connections are secure.

Tor has been recommended as a remedy to help secure the aforementioned problems. Syverson mainly talked about the technology that makes Tor work, but touched on identity theft to help draw a picture about why Tor is more relevant than ever to anyone online. Comparing Tor and encryption was the focus of some of Syverson’s lecture. He mentioned that 15 years ago, before cyberattacks and the massive data dumps of today, people tended to be sketchy towards the idea of encrypting they’re online information. The same can be said for today, as feelings haven’t changed much regarding the use of Tor today, Syverson had also mentioned.

“Back then, if you were encrypting your website, people were like, ‘Oh, what do you have to hide?’ And now it’s recognized as a fundamental enabler of e Commerce,” he also added.

A main reference in his speakings were from a health care NGO that is developing a new site within the dark web for anonymous online drug tests, anonymous online health services, anonymous online chats, and anonymous research questionnaires for health related issues. This mentioned project went unnamed due to it still being developed, but his message was still crystal clear.

“In the era of mass online communication, anonymous browsing can be responsible browsing. You obviously wouldn’t want a hacker to access your medical records, after all,” Syverson added.

“These are bad guys that use this, too, just like there are bad guys that use cell phones, hammers and lots of other things,” he also said.

When the Huffington Post asked whether or not Tor and the Dark Net should be easier to access for the average person he shrugged, saying, “It’s not hard at all. Its a drag and drop, click ‘download’, and it runs on your computer.”

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