The goal was for agents and field reporters alike to communicate and share information without being caught, and spied on. Over the years Onion routing has evolved with many networks based on themselves off that methodology.
The Tor hidden service is a services designed to only be accessible via tor networks (i.e. The Dark Net or Darknet) with the purpose of being anonymous. Hidden services (sites) have .onion addresses associated with them. Only people using and inside the tor network are able to access them.
For the record Tor isn’t the only onion routed network in existence today. Although now somewhat popular there are other networks which are completely private and those networks are hard if not next to impossible to get into unless you are privately invited to them.
Using the hidden services of the onion routing network you can host resources you would like to share without it having to be on the top layers (internet, we all know… same internet that got you here to jermsmit.com.) Services such as web sites, file sharing methods such a ftp, sftp, ftps, ssh and the list goes on.
Your .onion address is created from a combination of a public key signed by a private key uniquely generated by the tor software which services the one of the tor primary goals of being decentralized, secure.
I have experimented with setting this up and hosting a site for some to test. Glad to say my test were all successful.
More to come soon…