gAtO hEaR _UPDATE-
Sudden rise in direct Tor users
On Tuesday 27th, Roger Dingledine drew attention to the huge increase of Tor clients running . It seems that their number has doubled since August 19th according to the count of directly connecting users . According to Roger this is not just a fluke in the metrics data. The extra load on the directory authorities is clearly visible , but it does not look that the overall network performance are affected so far . The cause is still unknown, but there are already speculations about the Pirate Browser  or the new “anti-piracy” law in Russia which is in force since August, 1st . As Roger pointed out, ?some good solid facts would sure be useful.?
Ever since the the NSA Prism program came out something else is going on in Tor. People want privacy and they will use anything they can to get it. Tor is one solution that a lot of people know about but there are other factors about the increase.
Piratebay.sx and it’s users are doing a lot more stuff with the new browser – There has not been a sustained increase in search traffic for the Pirate Browser on Google. Tor and “Tor browser” haven’t shown a spike in search, either. Could it be from users in Syria? Also note that the Google Play Store has been unblocked in Iran, allowing distribution of Orbot/Orweb in that country to phones with the Play Store app installed (partial bootstrapping problem).
Syria had a spike from 1000 to 4000 but that’s a tiny fraction of the recent increase. Iran doubled from 4000 to 8000 which is also only a part of the increase. Is there a page listing each graph by country or overlapping them all?
The Tor Project also pushed out Orbot v12 to Google Play in the last few weeks – 2 separate updates. That would not account for all of the increase, but it could have prodded enough existing users who had not used Orbot in awhile to start the app up again. We have also seen about 75,000 new installs over the last 3 months.
So we have a lot of factors as the Tor network grows larger everyday– gATo oUt