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IntroductionEdit

Limitations of anonymous browsing include the ability to track online activity by government officials and private entities. Though many techniques for anonymous browsing exist, many techniques for limiting the ability to browse anonymously exist as well.

Government TrackingEdit

Today many governments are investing a lot of money into limiting the privacy of its citizens. Recently the U.S. has had information leaks pointing to the surveillance of it's populous by government agencies including the NSA. Many believe this to be unconstitutional.

Outside of the United States many countries continue to invade the privacy of its citizens. Of the many avenues of surveillance the most watched now seems to be the internet. Many countries like China and North Korea have limited internet access. This internet limiting seems to be an attempt to limit the ability of a population to receive information.

For this reason, governments have a lot to gain from personally unencrypting web traffic coming from anyone deemed to be a threat.

Company TrackingEdit

Many people out there want to track users of the internet to gain information about their location, age, gender, wants and needs. This is valuable information for advertisers and the like who use this information to maximize their own gains. While these companies might not have a lot to gain from personally unencrypting one persons internet queries, it could happen

Individual TrackingEdit

Individuals who have the resources to track others may do so for a variety of reasons. Some might be malicious, while others may not be. However individuals, just like governments and companies can unencrypt anonymous browsers and proxy servers in order to find out your personal information.

Limitations of Anonymous BrowsingEdit

In order to get around government and individual tracking, blocking, and surveillance many individuals choose to use web browsers like TOR, proxy servers, and the like. However what many fail to realize is that even these seemingly untraceable possibilities can be cracked.

TOR is a web browser, thought by many to be extremely untraceable. However if needed internet traffic can be tracked using a variety of techniques. On a base level TOR uses a network of computers to send a query to a server that is encrypted. Until it gets to the last computer, where the query is unecrypted. This means any person with the capability to track that last query and interpret the data can find where the original query came from, and then use that to find your information. The same goes for dedicated proxy servers.1

While normally a tracking bot that mines data for advertisers would not be able to trace a TOR browser or proxy server, and many individuals do not have the knowledge needed to track such complicated encrypting, if needed there are ways to trace internet traffic sent through these services. This means that even with this coat of armor there are still ways to get the information many people are trying to protect.

ReferencesEdit

1. Htg explains: Is tor really anonymous and secure?. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.howtogeek.com/142380/htg-explains-is-tor-really-anonymous-and-secure/

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