Thanks to the Silk Road’s notoriety, Tor has quite the sinister reputation. The online black market is famous for facilitating the sale of anything from illegal drugs to murderers for hire. But there’s much more to Tor than just a black market: The real purpose of the Tor network is to keep your browsing habits anonymous and protect your privacy. By passing web traffic through a series volunteer relays, and encrypting the information at each stop, Tor keeps the origin of internet traffic much more difficult to trace (though not impossible, as the Silk Road’s founders have discovered). The Tor network is used by all kinds of people around the world; anyone with a need or desire to protect their online privacy. Regular Internet users who want to keep their emails private or protect their children from online predators use Tor to retain their anonymity. Citizens of countries who censor the Internet use Tor to access blocked news or social media sites, or research sensitive information on topics like AIDs or birth control that may not be available elsewhere. Journalists, bloggers, and human rights activists use Tor to protect themselves from retaliation from governments or employers. And whistleblowers use Tor to keep safe when reporting corruption.