More than 1,600 relays were run as part of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF's) second Tor Challenge, an initiative designed to “improve the Tor network,” according to the privacy group.
The EFF, in a Friday blog, said the number of relays exceeded its estimates three times over. The group held its first Tor Challenge in 2011 during the Arab Spring as a “small way that technologists could lend support to democratic activists who relied on Tor to organize and reach the larger Web.” The relays, which EFF calls “the backbone of the Tor network…the machines that actually forward and anonymize” communications and which consist of Exit and Middle relays as well as Bridges, topped out at 549 that year.
Tor has recently been under attack and its user anonymity threatened. The Challenge is a way to offer techies “a concrete, somewhat measurable way of promoting freedom and privacy online.”