Risky Business: Tor Project Reorganizes After Sexual Misconduct Scandal

The Tor Project has completely restructured following a sexual abuse scandal that caused one of its top developers to resign.

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Risky Business: Tor Project Reorganizes After Sexual Misconduct Scandal

The Tor Project has completely restructured following a sexual abuse scandal that caused one of its top developers to resign.

The incident revolved around Jacob Appelbaum, a developer for Tor who was also involved with Wikileaks and Edward Snowden. Appelbaum was accused of aggressive behavior towards several employees, including of a sexual nature.

While Appelbaum remained mostly silent and eventually denied all allegations, he resigned from the Tor Project in May.

In addition to implementing a structure for reporting and dealing with future incidents of sexual abuse, the Tor Project has undergone a complete restructuring. The entire board of directors for the project has been replaced.

Allegations against Jacob Appelbaum of harassment and intimidation

The Tor Project launched an investigation into allegations of abusive behavior by Appelbaum after several anonymous victims came forward. Then, the accusations became more public as former colleagues detailed abusive and bullying behavior perpetrated by Appelbaum.

Two accusers, Alison Macrina and Isis Agora Lovecruft, came forward as revealing themselves to have been some of the anonymous posters.

Not all in the community initially rose on the side of Appelbaum’s accusers. In a signed statement, 12 women who knew Appelbaum declared their support for him and attested to his personal character, as well as raised concerns as to the nature in which the accountability process was carried out.

However, in the end, the investigation launched by the Tor Project vindicated the victims, and Appelbaum left the project.

Working with Tor already a risky business

Even without the specter of workplace misconduct, professional involvement in the Tor campaign is not without its own complications.

Isis Agora Lovecruft, one of the women who came forward in the Appelbaum abuse case, received pressure from the FBI to testify in an unspecified case, declining to meet with her with her attorney present.

This prompted Lovecruft to flee the United States to Germany.

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