Tor is a decentralized network of computers on the Internet that increases privacy in Web browsing, instant messaging, and other applications. We estimate there are some 50,000 Tor users currently, routing their traffic through about 250 volunteer Tor servers on six continents. However, Tor's current user interface approach — running as a service in the background — does a poor job of communicating network status and security levels to the user.
The Tor project, affiliated with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is running a UI competition to develop a vision of how Tor can work in a user's everyday anonymous browsing experience. Some of the challenges include how to make alerts and error conditions visible on screen; how to let the user configure Tor to use or avoid certain routes or nodes; how to learn about the current state of a Tor connection, including which servers it uses; and how to find out whether (and which) applications are using Tor safely.