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An overview of anonymity technology usage

NCJ Number
Bingdong Li ; Esra Erdin ; Mehmet Hadi Gunes ; George Bebis ; Todd Shipley
Date Published
15 pages

This project provides a tutorial survey and a measurement study to examine the anonymity technology usage (providing anonymity) for users on the Internet from multiple perspectives and platforms.


Anonymity technologies enable Internet users to maintain a level of privacy that prevents the collection of identifying information such as the IP address. Understanding the deployment of anonymity technologies on the Internet is important to analyze the current and future trends. First, the authors review currently utilized anonymity technologies and assess their usage levels. For this, they cover deployed contemporary anonymity technologies, including proxy servers, remailers, JAP, I2P, and Tor with the geo-location of deployed servers. Among these systems, proxy servers, Tor and I2P are actively used, while remailers and JAP have minimal usage. Then, the authors analyze application-level protocol usage and anonymity technology usage with different applications. For this, they perform a measurement study by collecting data from a Tor exit node, a P2P client, a large campus network, a departmental email server, and publicly available data on spam sources to assess the utilization of anonymizer technologies from various perspectives. The results confirm previous findings regarding application usage and server geo-location, where certain countries utilize anonymity networks significantly more than others. Moreover, the application analysis reveals that Tor and proxy servers are used more than other anonymity techniques. (Published abstract provided)