Jihadists are seeking out more secure methods of online communications, including an avenue created by the U.S. government and financed by American taxpayers, in the wake of revelations about the U.S. monitoring of online messages.

The Tor network has become a go-to means for jihadists and criminals to communicate, raise money, and buy and sell illicit goods and services without fear of being identified or traced by intelligence or law enforcement officials.

The network uses technology called “onion routing” (Tor is an acronym for The Onion Router), which refers to layers of encryption that prevent governments or other users from obtaining information about users or websites hosted on the network.

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