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Re: [tor-talk] Many more Tor users in the past week?

On 09/04/2013 06:06 AM, Asa Rossoff wrote:


> Reviewing known Syrian political and war events occurring, as well as the
> Muslim and Syrian holiday and festival calendars, as well as reviewing Tor
> usage data worldwide, and a sampling of major news stories related to
> privacy and encryption, I came up with something of a timeline, although I
> draw no conclusions from it.
> Timeline through August 31
> ==========================
> * February, a dramatic, roughly ten-fold decrease in Syrian directly
> connnecting Tor users.
> * July 9-14, spike in Syria directly connecting users from est. ~ 1,000
> users, peaking at just over 4,000 users on July 12, and returning to ~ 1,000
> users by July 15.  Approximately four-fold increase at peak on July 12.
> Syrian Usage in the near term both before and after fluctuates up to ~50%
> and 1,000 is a bit below average; it leveled off around 1,200 within a few
> days of this event, holding steady until August 6.
> * August 6, rebels in Syria had a strategic victory by capturing Menagh
> Military Airport after a one-year siege.
> * August 6-7, Tor usage increased four-fold in Syria, and has ranged between
> ~3,500 and 4,500 directly connecting users since (~4,000 on August 31).
> * August 8, Ramadan one-month fasting ended.
> * August 8, Lavabit and Silent Circle shut down.

OK, so the August 6-7 increase might reflect disruption of government
censorship. And the July 9-14 spike might reflect the same.

I don't get why fasting implies not using Tor, however.

> So the above events correlate with Syria's four-fold increase in usage,
> though usage had been extraordinarily low since a dramatic ten-fold decrease
> in February (with a brief July spike that peaked at four-fold prior usage on
> July 12), so there might be another reason.

It does seem likely that the increase reflects disruption in censorship.

Thanks again for the timeline :)


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