A couple of years ago, Google announced it would be building its own version of its Tor project.
A few months later, it quietly closed down the project and released a statement saying that the effort had failed.
This is the same company that was once the leading provider of the Tor anonymizing network, and which has now been forced to abandon its project.
“Google is now building its very own, highly proprietary, and completely open-source alternative Tor network to the Tor project,” a Google spokesperson told Ars Technica in a statement.
“We’re very disappointed in the decision.
It’s time for a new, faster, and more secure way to encrypt and secure websites.”
The announcement came a week after the FBI arrested five Tor developers, accusing them of plotting to break into the Tor network.
The FBI claimed the five developers were trying to develop software to break Tor, and the developers denied any involvement.
Google’s move is a clear signal to the rest of the world that it’s no longer interested in keeping Tor’s software around.
Google has not issued a statement about the shutdown, and neither has the FBI.
Ars reached out to Google for comment, and will update this article if we hear back.
In a blog post about the arrest, Google said it was not the company that planned to “break Tor,” but instead had used Tor to develop its own network.
“In fact, the company was working on a new open source Tor project when it was targeted by the FBI in early 2013,” the company wrote.
“As part of this effort, we decided to take the next logical step and start using Google’s Tor service.”
The FBI claims the Tor team was attempting to build an operating system that would be faster, more secure, and faster than Google’s own version, which it claims was more difficult to implement.
“The FBI’s claims that Google’s network was not safe are simply false,” said Andrew Crocker, a lawyer for the FBI who filed the complaint against the Tor developers.
“For over two years, the FBI has been using the Tor Project to obtain information on the Tor users and businesses they have targeted.
The investigation has continued and we are continuing to seek the defendants’ cooperation in an investigation of this scale.”
“We are confident in our ability to successfully prosecute the defendants for this conduct,” the FBI wrote.