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I'm not as paranoid as it sounds - just a curious idea.

If you're being watched by a specific organisation, national security or foreign power etc, my assumption would be that they would watch your router traffic / IP traffic after identifying you and your used networks in some clandestine fashion.

At this point, how would using things like Tor (and VPNs/other methods of "hiding") help? Because all your packets are being re-assembled at your end of things, would it not be obvious what they were, irrespective of the intriguing route they took around the world to reach you? Also, wouldn't your ISP have all this info too?

Not planning any illegal activities, just getting into networking and reading about TCP/IP and having thoughts that Tor only helps you remain undetected, not un-observable.

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First, read about how Tor works. This will help you avoid a lot of misconceptions about it, and committing mistakes that would ruin your privacy.

If some organization is targeting you as a person (not your email, or your IRC handle), they will probably know where you live, and what computer you have. Probably they will implant something on it, and Tor will not save you.

The packets from/to internet will not take a intriguing route, that's not the way Tor works. They will leave your computer and go to the first Tor node, as if you accessed some random website somewhere. The first node will create an independent connection to the second node, encrypt your data, and send it along. This will work until the last node, that will send your request to the open internet. The destination site will only know some packet left a Tor exit node and reached them.

Your ISP will not know better: they will know a encrypted packet left your computer and reached a Tor node. Nothing else.

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