Stories

CIA's Latest Layer: An Onion Site

May 7, 2019

Secure, anonymous, untraceable—traits ever-present in CIA’s intelligence collection mission—and the same is true for our onion site, which is now available over the Tor network at:

ciadotgov4sjwlzihbbgxnqg3xiyrg7so2r2o3lt5wz5ypk4sxyjstad.onion

“Our global mission demands that individuals can access us securely from anywhere. Creating an onion site is just one of many ways we’re going where people are,” said Brittany Bramell, CIA’s Director of Public Affairs.

Everything on CIA.gov, from The World Factbook to reporting information to applying for a job, is available on our onion site.

How does it work?

Tor, which stands for “the onion router,” is a program anyone can download and use to help strengthen user security online. The Tor network is a series of computers that bounces encrypted internet traffic through several chains of computers before the data arrives at its final destination. Since the data stays within the protected multi-hop Tor network, no one knows the origin and final destination of the data. So, the sender remains anonymous.

To access our onion site, you’ll need the Tor browser and our exact address:

ciadotgov4sjwlzihbbgxnqg3xiyrg7so2r2o3lt5wz5ypk4sxyjstad.onion

Downloading the TOR Browser

First, go to https://www.torproject.org and follow the instructions to download and install the Tor browser on your computer. Be sure to verify the package’s digital signature before installing.

Then, from the Tor browser, navigate to CIA’s onion site by pasting our Tor address in the browser. You’re now browsing our onion site anonymously!

Things to Consider

Make sure you use our onion address, not www.cia.gov, on the Tor browser.

When contacting us via our onion site over the Tor network, this contact is truly anonymous. So, be sure to provide accurate contact information if you want a response.

The best method to access our website varies from person to person. Any online communication poses some risk, but using a virtual private network and/or a device not registered to you can reduce some risk.

Our onion site is one of several ways individuals can contact CIA. For more details, refer to the Report Information tab on either our website or onion site.

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