Jacob Appelbaum has exited the Tor Project. This move came after a number of people have publicly accused the famous developer of “sexual mistreatment”. In a statement, Shari Steele, the executive director of Tor, has said that the organization was deeply troubled by such accounts and it mentioned that they had the opportunity to talk to a few people who have made such allegations. The statement provided in the beginning, was terse and revealed only basic information concerning Appelbaum’s exit.
Appelbaum and Tor
Jacob Appelbaum is a known cyber security expert. He and Julian Assange of WikiLeaks’ fame co-authored a book in 2012 named “Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet”. In the Tor blog post, nothing was described except it was mentioned that the authorities at Tor are undertaking a number of steps to find out all the facts. It reminded readers that it is not well suited to investigate, and it is not comfortable when making judgments concerning private behavior of people. The blog mentioned that Appelbaum stepped down on May 25 after a thorough internal discussion and due deliberation.
The blog also reads that Tor Project is working with a certain legal firm which specializes in a number of employment issues. The list includes sexual misconduct. The agency has advised Tor on how to manage this and it is the intention of the organization to follow what the agency says. This may include investigating a few particular allegations wherever possible. It is not possible to know where the investigations will end or if any other person linked to the project will be implicated. The Tor Project will act as fast as possible to determine the facts. However, the blog post warned that the results will not be made public due to the respect of all the individuals involved.
It is surprising that Tor has admitted that allegations against Appelbaum are to be expected. According to Shari Steele, the executive director of the Tor Project, many in the organization were aware of it. The organization also said that the allegations were consistent with the rumors many have been hearing. It remains unclear how long the senior members of the organization knew about Appelbaum’s activities, of if any kind of action has been taken prior to these public allegations.
Tor has made it clear that it would welcome anyone who has complaints regarding Appelbaum and it had thus hired a law firm which covers sexual misconduct as a case for due advice.