Privacy-minded people have long relied on Tor for anonymity online, but a new system from MIT promises better protection and faster performance.
Dubbed Riffle, the new system taps the same onion encryption technique after which Tor is named, but it adds two others as well. First is what's called a mixnet, a series of servers that each permute the order in which messages are received before passing them on to the next server.
If messages arrive at the first server in the order A, B, C, for example, that server would send them to the second server in a different order, such as C, B, A. The second server would them reshuffle things again when sending the messages on. The advantage there is that a would-be attacker who had tracked the messages’ points of origin would have no idea which was which by the time they exited the last server.