Edward Snowden: Tor is a critical technology, not just in terms of privacy protection, but in defense of our publication right — our ability to route around censorship and ensure that when people speak their voices can be heard.
The design of the Tor system is structured in such a way that even if the US Government wanted to subvert it, it couldn’t because it’s a decentralized authority. It’s a volunteer based network. Nobody’s getting paid to run Tor relays — they’re volunteers worldwide. And because of this, it provides a built-in structural defense against abuses and most types of adversaries.