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[liberationtech] Jacob Appelbaum on Ultrasurf

Greg Norcie greg at
Thu Apr 26 11:56:43 PDT 2012


Let's forget the issue of "founder" vs "core member". It's mostly an
issue of semantics.

The real issue I had was your claim that Jacob Appelbaum being a
founder/core member/leader/(insert adjective of your choice here)
somehow makes the Tor project unsafe. I presented some facts that
support my assertion that your views might be wrong.

Your reply continues to insinuate that the Tor Project is "endangered".
I fail to see how you could logically reach that conclusion, given Tor's
continued government funding.

Furthermore, I find it odd that you feel that you, an internet
commenter, know more than the internal security staff of the State
Department about this issue.

What exactly are your qualifications that make you better equipped to
perform a risk assessment than the government employees tasked with such
decisions, employees who are privy to nonpublic information?

Can you clarify how, even if Jacob Appelbaum was arrested, how that
would impact Tor beyond the impact on productivity that the loss of any
other developer would entail?
Greg Norcie (greg at
GPG key: 0x1B873635

On 4/26/12 2:35 PM, Catherine Fitzpatrick wrote:
> Greg,
> 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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