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Using Tor, on the same session, I decided to check on several IP address lookup websites to see what's up.

The IP address they detected was consistent, but the geolocation data differed greatly. Some said Germany, the U.S, etc.

Although I guess this is a good thing for Tor's purposes, I find it odd that several lookups return different locations for the very same IP address/session. Does Tor perhaps tamper with geolocation data in some way?

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It is not possible for Tor to "tamper" with geolocation data any more than it would be possible for a phone subscriber to "tamper" with the phone book.

Geolocation is nothing more than looking up the given IP address in a big table of address/location pairs. The people who produce geolocation databases have to work to keep them up to date, and if a block of addresses is reassigned from say, Germany to the US, then they would have to update the database to keep it accurate. If one geolocation provider has done that but another hasn't, then you could get conflicting results.

  • Some services also draw on data from cellphone and WiFi geolocation systems. So clueless Tor users may be reporting actual locations. Also, some geolocation services allow users to manually correct "errors". – mirimir Jul 2 '14 at 7:35

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