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[liberationtech] Assange's claim about Tor losing US government support due to WikiLeaks

Evgeny Morozov evgeny.morozov at
Sun Feb 19 10:41:38 PST 2012

Those of you who've read Assange's recent interview with The Rolling
have noticed this claim (in response to a question about forms of
pressure that US government exerted on WikiLeaks and their supporters):

The Tor Project, which protects people around the world from being spied on
> or censored, lost some $600,000 to the U.S. government, as a result of one
> of their people, Jacob Appelbaum, having filled in for me once at a
> conference in New York. This type of indirect pressure has been applied to
> a great many people.

I was a bit puzzled by it. So were people at
who asked Tor about it. Here is what Andrew Lewman (who's on this list)
wrote to them:

I read this statement as well. It is news to me that we were penalized
for Jacob. Maybe wikileaks has unreleased information from one of our
USG funders. If so, they should publish it for all to review.

Now, Andrew's statement is carefully worded, i.e. it does allow for the
possibility that Tor lost the USG money but they think it was not

So it would be good to know whether a) Tor did lose some or all of USG
support between late 2010 and early 2012? and b) there is any evidence to
link this to WL, as Assange did?

Whatever the motivation, USG cutting support to circumvention tools is a
big news item all in itself, regardless of the link to Assange. I wonder
why it wasn't more widely reported, if true - perhaps, by Tor project
itself?-  because ultimately this would all be visible on Tor's financial

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