Use A Mask, Use Tor: Resist the Surveillance Pandemic

by alsmith | October 21, 2020

*Note: The Tor Project's postal address has changed since this post was published. Find the most current address in our FAQ.

Update October 27: Limited-edition Tor masks are now available. Make a donation of $50 between now and December 31, 2020, and get yours.


As many friends and followers of Tor know by now, we spend the final weeks of each year asking for your help as part of our year-end fundraising campaign. This year hasn't been a normal year at all, not for Tor and not for the rest of the world. 

In many ways, 2020 has put the dangers of a centralized, surveillance-driven internet into even clearer focus. The pandemic has changed most of our lives dramatically. Many of us have shifted more of our work, socialization, shopping, medical care, and schooling online. We’ve seen governments and corporations roll out new surveillance technology, like tools to watch students while they take tests, tech to spy on workers, and contact tracing mechanisms that will change our world long after the pandemic is over.

In the face of this widespread hardship, people all around the world have also demonstrated enormous gestures of solidarity and mutual-aid, and millions of people have risen in defense of Black lives in the U.S. and around the world.

For our 2020 campaign, we wanted a theme that conveys a positive message and speaks to the power of this kind of community action. That’s why we decided on the theme Use a Mask, Use Tor. There is a lot of meaning and intention behind this slogan. Use a mask, use Tor promotes the positive steps we can all take to combat the virus by using masks. Wearing a mask protects others. Wearing a mask is about caring about each other, our community.

In the same way, when using Tor, you are not only protecting your identity and privacy online, but you are also helping to hide others who are using Tor. After all, anonymity loves company.  

To put it simply, using a mask keeps yourself and your communities safe in person. Using Tor keeps yourself and your communities safe online. Both tools help to conceal your identity, can break systems of surveillance, and their widespread use can promote the health of communities while undermining the power of systems bent on dividing us. Using a mask and using Tor helps us stand in solidarity with one another.


Now is the time we ask you to stand with Tor. We believe it IS possible to resist the surveillance pandemic. Your support makes this mission a reality. In 2021, we are taking some big steps, including: 

  • Improving speed and user-perceptible performance on the Tor network, particularly for people who are connecting on mobile devices with slow connections and limited data. 
  • Providing more support to the relay operator community.
  • Bringing more censorship circumvention tools to mobile devices and making this experience more seamless for users.
  • Making it easier for any developer to embed Tor in their mobile app.
  • Continue our work in UX research, metrics, network health, onion services, and Tor Browser for desktop. 

The Tor Project is a 501(3) nonprofit, and your support at this time is critical for our success in the coming year. Use a mask, Use Tor. Donate today and fight the surveillance pandemic.


Every donation made from now through the end of 2020 will count towards our year-end campaign. Be on the lookout for events, giveaways, and new merch available from now until December 31. And don’t forget: use a mask, use Tor.


Please note that the comment area below has been archived.

The mask of which you speak celebrates I trust V-for-Vendetta?

For the guilt-stricken tech mogul donating $5000 or more, how about a nice watch with the inscription "They are Watching"?

(With apologies to

October 24, 2020


> we are taking some big steps

Wow, progress towards any of all of those will be great achievements!

I will be contributing. Damn I want that hoodie!

October 24, 2020


If Tim Cook donates to Tor Project more than one million dollars, you should definitely gather all your best recipes using ramen noodles and have them privately printed under the title "The Tor-Cook Book".

(Because all coders consume ramen, plus it is not, you know, the Anarchist's Cookbook.)

You should do it. People love offbeat cookbooks (to judge from's regular cooking features). Plus, it would be a good way to decompress after (dare one hope) nothing terribly awful happens in the weeks after the upcoming US General Election. Please consider contacting about a human interest story if you do follow through.

October 25, 2020


- Please complete the XMR address in the empty field. ;-) OK, we Monero users can also use

- I am curious what is meant by 'more support to the relay operator community'. Hopefully not just IPv6 autodetect. A new TorTip or OnionTip fundraising page would be nice. For verified relay owners. So that we can deliver more bandwidth and outperform the 'bad relays'.

XMR: We're changing the way we accept some cryptocurrencies and had to take this offline for a bit -- but it will be back soon. Please keep checking and thanks for your support.

Relay operator community support: Yes, the idea is to support the community / improve how we can verify relay operators and do just what you're saying. I don't know about TorTip or OnionTip but do agree that a way to help relay operators in their fundraising would be great.

Some types of Captchas work more often than other types. For ones that don't, try clicking the padlock or (i) in the address bar and then "New Circuit for this Site", or start a New Identity. Most Captchas including Google's do work eventually. Sometimes it still doesn't work until I try again after about 30 minutes.

October 28, 2020


last night i sent 50$. is there a way to see if i clicked the get mask button. after i sent the money they sent a email but nothing confirming that i cliked the mask.