Why does the Tor Network get funds from sources like US Government?
Tor or Onion Router is a major source of crime on the internet through The Dark Web. Tor is not dark web, but it enables users to use it. Without Tor, many users would not have safe anonymous access to hidden networks and this would reduce crime on the web. So the question is why does US Government, Google, National Science Foundation and Reddit like organisations fund Tor?
If you like to see a list of sponsors visit https://www.torproject.org/about/sponsors.html.en
News, press and Reddit respect freedom of speech, and might fund tor to keep their searches and users anonymous, some stuff posted and shared on news sites need to protect their sources and want no one to track them. The sources will feel safe being anonymous, this will get these networks more sources that voluntarily give out sensitive information.
Tor Network makes it difficult to track users, even for the government, even for world’s best hackers, who would otherwise just track you within a few minutes. Dark web has a lot of communities to protest against issues, hack or attack a website to take down networks, talk about stuff that otherwise is not permitted in public and share information that you cannot share in public. An excellent example of this was wikileaks.
Security & Privacy
Tor network is secure, while visiting a trusted website on Tor, since you are protected by a Tors awesome routing and encryption protocols, you are secure.
It is possible that Google funds Tor to have a secure network to work with and to learn from the network. Google is actually able to detect many proxies used by Tor, and might track down entry and exit nodes to get back to the user, so google is never recommended on a tor network, it might compromise anonymity. Whenever you use Google or other similar websites, they gain some knowledge about the Tor network.
One could have just used Tor network to cheat Adsense and earn a lot of money if Google was not able to detect those proxy chains, but doing this will absolutely get you banned. Not just google, but even much smaller websites have the ability to detect Tor proxies and unusual activities through Tor network.
Tor was most probably created for spying on other countries by the US government. It might be just a way for the US government to develop a cheap open source project that can help to make their activity faster and better, as open source projects are usually cheaper and better if there are a significant number of contributors. For the government or an organisation this big, it might not be too difficult to find out user identity, they would just track each node separately and keep track of user activities.
Also, it can be used by anyone across the world, so it might be possible that the government allows users to conduct minor illegal activities such as drug trafficking and trading guns and arms, and just track major threats to the country and terrorist activities.
Tor is funded not just by US government but a lot of crowd sources, these are believed to be just a lot of government entities of different countries. Tor might not be as safe, but using it along with a few external proxies, building an untraceable source is not that difficult. Since many new proxies are constantly added, adding a few extra layers of anonymous proxies will make it too difficult to trace.
All countries are at constant war with each other, trying to gain as much power as possible, countries might recruit spies and fund terrorist organizations to fight their war without being in the limelight and offending everyone publically. There is much evidence for it and you can find them on the internet. This is especially true for terrorist countries in the middle east and Asia.
Funding Tor network might just be a way for the government to keep people away from the idea of building a truly anonymous network that even the government has no access to. There are many proposed ways to do it. A true open source network with unlimited individual proxies might just become the future of crime and terrorism but not Tor network.
The reason why does different people fund Tor is absolutely unknown, this article is just based on different theories popular over the internet.