While the NSA leaks are ramping up the usage of the Tor anonymity network, the Pentagon has started working on new anonymity tools that could replace Tor.
DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) is putting money into a program called Safer Warfighter Communications which includes anonymity projects that thwart blacklisting.
One such project is called SONATA (Service-Oriented Netcoded Architecture for Tactical Anonymity). By some sources it is being heralded about the next-gen competitor to Tor as it relies on a distributed network run by volunteers, similar to Tor. What differentiates SONATA from Tor however is that “traffic is mixed at each relay in the network by randomly multiplying traditional packets by a constant and adding them together, which also switch up secondary markers that would identify traffic.”
A project that DARPA is also working on is a system called Curveball, a “decoy routing” system. It lets users trick those watching their online activities into thinking that they’re connecting to innocent websites when they’re actually connecting to sensitive websides like the Pentagon.
It’s worth noting that Tor was orginally started as a project by the US Navy before being maintained by the non-profit Tor Project.