“Transparency is secretive business. WikiLeaks, the swashbuckling new-media organization whose motto is “We open governments,” relies on a technology of extreme reticence called Tor Hidden Services — a part of the Tor Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated not to light and clarity but to shadows and opacity, to the increasingly difficult art of keeping secrets online.
A deliberately byzantine system of virtual tunnels that conceal the origins and destinations of data, and thus the identity of clients, Tor has been around since 2001, when programmers from M.I.T. and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory introduced it at a California security conference. In the past year, supported by grants from the U.S. government and other funders, the Tor Project has prolifically expanded its networks. The software has been downloaded more than 36 million times this year, and thousands of nameless volunteers — many of them Tor clients — now help to relay mind-bogglingly diverse Tor data in nearly every country on earth.”
From The New York Times