Home Security Tor members want network shut down over Appelbaum affair

Tor members want network shut down over Appelbaum affair

Members of the Tor Project are calling for a 24-hour shutdown of the Tor network on 1 September to protest against the manner in which the sexual harassment against Jacob Appelbaum were dealt with and rumours that it is letting government agents into its ranks.

Appelbaum, a well-known privacy advocate and developer, left the project, a system enabling anonymous online communication, on 2 June after charges of sexual misconduct were raised against him.

Those calling for the strike want users to avoid the network, those running nodes to shut them down and are asking developers not to work on Tor software for the period of the strike.

Two Tor members, Stephan Seitz and Marie Gutbub, have already shut down the nodes they run. A third operator has said he is following suit.

The justification offered for the strike is: "Tor can no longer be trusted after #jakegate / #torgate and hire of CIA. Its sinking credibility is putting people at risk. We hope it can be healed and regain trust with mass action.

"A short blackout may hurt in the short term, but save Tor in the long term. It will also allow dissenting voices to be heard."

This group is calling for the executive director of the project, Shari Steele, to step down. It also wants president and co-founder Roger Dingledine to leave because he allegedly handled the Appelbaum affair in "a partial and unprofessional manner".

There are a total of 10 demands made regarding the Appelbaum investigation and six others for restoring trust in the project. The complete list is here.


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.