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[liberationtech] Jacob Appelbaum on Ultrasurf

Catherine Fitzpatrick catfitz at
Thu Apr 26 11:35:27 PDT 2012


I'm aware that there are Roger Dingledine, Nick Mathewson and Paul Syverson are the founders of Tor. I take your point that Appelbaum isn't "the main founder". But he is a leader of Tor widely publicized, speaking and blogging publicly everywhere representing Tor. He likely has more name recognition than they at this point.

Tor has been dining out on the fact that the Navy founded it ever since its inception, and raising the State Department's grants lately in particular, as you do, expecting this fact to endlessly give it a pass, and endlessly deflect any criticism or scrutiny. Why? If anyone complains about the radical views of Appelbaum and his open and defiant support of WikiLeaks, which incited theft and publication of classified government documents, we're supposed to wave away any concerns by being deflected back again to this magical Navy past and this perceived State Department blessing. Why? It's merely "innocence by association". (And what is the continued relationship of the Navy, if any? Is the Navy at all upset at the blowback from their love child? And is the State Department really so happy about all this? We don't know because their evaluations are secret. Guess they were never WikiLeaked.)

I'm not making an "insinuation"; I'm reporting *the fact* of Appelbaum's investigation by a grand jury in the WikiLeaks case as *legitimately* raising the questions of what that means for the future of this project. That's ok to do.

I haven't "fudged any facts". The information you cite is widely available and anyone can look it up. I simply mistook the wide association Appelbaum *has himself made* with Tor as indication of some kind of "founder" status. It isn't. But "leadership" status isn't something you cannot question. Wikipedia calls Appelbaum a "core member" of Tor. Tor is a collective. Perhaps you'll say there aren't any leaders? Oh, well. We get it, anyway.

As for the State Department's continued support of Tor and Appelbaum, we can only raise an eyebrow. The over-confidence is disturbing. There is war in cyberspace. There is war in the US Government between the State Department and other departments, too. You are participants in this war.

Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
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