The Tor Project, Inc

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This article is about the organization. For the organisation's software, see Tor (anonymity network)
The Tor Project, Inc
Tor-logo-2011-flat.svg
Formation December 2006
Founders Roger Dingledine
Nick Mathewson
Type 501(c)(3)
20-8096820
Headquarters Massachusetts
Products

Tor (Browser, Messenger)
Orbot

Tor Browser Messenger
Executive Director
Shari Steele[1]
Revenue (2013)
$2,872,929[2]
Expenses (2013) $2,431,941[2]
Mission To advance human rights and freedoms by creating and deploying free and open anonymity and privacy technologies, supporting their unrestricted availability and use, and furthering their scientific and popular understanding.[3]
Website www.torproject.org

The Tor Project, Inc is a Massachusetts-based 501(c)(3) research-education nonprofit organization founded by computer scientists Roger Dingledine, Nick Mathewson and five others. The Tor Project is primarily responsible for maintaining software for the Tor anonymity network.[4]

History[edit]

The Tor Project was founded by computer scientists Roger Dingledine, Nick Mathewson and five others in December 2006. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) acted as The Tor Project's fiscal sponsor in its early years, and early financial supporters of The Tor Project included the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Internews, Human Rights Watch, the University of Cambridge, Google, and Netherlands-based Stichting.net.[5][6][7][8][9]

As of 2012, 80% of The Tor Project's $2 million annual budget came from the United States government, with the U.S. State Department, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and the National Science Foundation as major contributors,[10] "to aid democracy advocates in authoritarian states".[11] The Swedish government and other organizations provided the other 20%, including NGOs and thousands of individual sponsors.[8][12] Dingledine said that the United States Department of Defense funds are more similar to a research grant than a procurement contract. Tor executive director Andrew Lewman said that even though it accepts funds from the U.S. federal government, the Tor service did not collaborate with the NSA to reveal identities of users.[13]

In October 2014 The Tor Project hired the public relations firm Thomson Communications in order to improve its public image (particularly regarding the terms "Dark Net" and "hidden services," which are widely viewed as being problematic) and to educate journalists about the technical aspects of Tor.[14]

In May 2015, The Tor Project ended the Tor Cloud Service.[15][16]

In December 2015, The Tor Project announced that it had hired Shari Steele, former executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as its new executive director. Roger Dingledine, who had been acting as interim executive director since May 2015, remained at The Tor Project as a director and board member.[17][18][19] Later that month, The Tor Project announced that the Open Technology Fund will be sponsoring a bug bounty program that will be coordinated by HackerOne.[20][21] The program will initially be invite-only and will focus on finding vulnerabilities that are specific to The Tor Project's applications.[20]

On May 25, 2016 core developer and the public face of the Tor Project, Jacob Appelbaum, stepped down from his position;[22][23][24] this was announced on June 2 in a two-line statement by Tor.[25] Over the following days, allegations of sexual mistreatment were made public by several people.[24] On June 4, Shari Steele, the Executive Director of the Tor project, published a statement saying that the recent allegations of sexual mistreatment regarding Appelbaum were consistent with "rumors some of us had been hearing for some time," but she asserted that "...the most recent allegations are much more serious and concrete than anything we had heard previously."[26][27] Appelbaum has denounced the allegations as part of a concerted strategy to damage his reputation.[28]

On July 13, 2016, the complete board of the Tor Project--Meredith Hoban Dunn, Ian Goldberg, Julius Mittenzwei, Rabbi Rob Thomas, Wendy Seltzer, Roger Dingledine and Nick Mathewson--was replaced with Matt Blaze, Cindy Cohn, Gabriella Coleman, Linus Nordberg, Megan Price and Bruce Schneier.[29][30][31][32]

In July 2016 the Tor Project announced the results of a seven-week investigation lead by a private investigator. The allegations against Jacob Appelbaum were determined to be accurate, and Shari Steele noted that while they “did everything in our power” to treat Mr. Appelbaum fairly, “we determined that the allegations against him appear to be true.” The investigation concluded that "many people inside and outside the Tor Project have reported incidents of being humiliated, intimidated, bullied, and frightened" by Jacob Appelbaum, and that "several experienced unwanted sexually aggressive behavior from him." Two other, unnamed individuals involved in inappropriate behavior are themselves no longer part of the project. [33] Institutionally, despite not being a top-down management organization, and working as it does with volunteers and employees from other organizations, a new anti-harassment policy has approved by the new board, as well as a conflicts of interest policy, procedures for submitting complaints, and an internal complaint review process. [34][35] Initially the affair had caused a split in the wider but still close-knit privacy community, with some coming to Appelbaum's defense and others presenting even more allegations.[36] The affair continues to be controversial, with considerable dissent within the Tor community. [37]

Recognition[edit]

In March 2011, The Tor Project received the Free Software Foundation's 2010 Award for Projects of Social Benefit. The citation read, "Using free software, Tor has enabled roughly 36 million people around the world to experience freedom of access and expression on the Internet while keeping them in control of their privacy and anonymity. Its network has proved pivotal in dissident movements in both Iran and more recently Egypt."[38]

In September 2012, The Tor Project received the 2012 EFF Pioneer Award, along with Jérémie Zimmermann and Andrew Huang.[39]

In November 2012, Foreign Policy magazine named Dingledine, Mathewson, and Syverson among its Top 100 Global Thinkers "for making the web safe for whistleblowers".[40]

In 2014, Roger Dingledine, Nick Mathewson and Paul Syverson received the USENIX Test of Time Award for their paper titled "Tor: The Second-Generation Onion Router", which was published in the Proceedings of the 13th USENIX Security Symposium, August 2004.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zetter, Kim (11 December 2015). "Tor Hires a New Leader to Help It Combat the War on Privacy". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Tor Project Form 990 2013" (PDF). Tor Project. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  3. ^ Tor Project (24 August 2015). "Tor Project Mission Statement". Twitter. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "Tor Project: Core People". Tor Project. Retrieved 17 July 2008. 
  5. ^ "Tor Project Form 990 2008" (PDF). Tor Project. Tor Project. 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "Tor Project Form 990 2007" (PDF). Tor Project. Tor Project. 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "Tor Project Form 990 2009" (PDF). Tor Project. Tor Project. 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Tor: Sponsors". Tor Project. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  9. ^ Krebs, Brian (8 August 2007). "Attacks Prompt Update for 'Tor' Anonymity Network". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 October 2007. 
  10. ^ McKim, Jenifer B. (8 March 2012). "Privacy software, criminal use". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. 
  11. ^ J. Appelbaum, A. Gibson, J. Goetz, V. Kabisch, L. Kampf, L. Ryge (3 July 2014). "NSA targets the privacy-conscious". Panorama. Norddeutscher Rundfunk. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  12. ^ Fowler, Geoffrey A. (17 December 2012). "Tor: an anonymous, and controversial, way to web-surf". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  13. ^ Fung, Brian (6 September 2013). "The feds pay for 60 percent of Tor's development. Can users trust it?". The Switch. Washington Post. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  14. ^ "Can Tor solve its PR problem?". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  15. ^ "Tor Cloud"
  16. ^ karsten (May 8, 2015). "Tor Cloud Service Ending; Many Ways Remain to Help Users Access an Uncensored Internet". 
  17. ^ "Tor Hires a New Leader to Help It Combat the War on Privacy". WIRED. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  18. ^ "Shari Steele named executive director of the Tor Project". SC Magazine. 2015-12-11. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  19. ^ "Roger Dingledine Becomes Interim Executive Director of the Tor Project | The Tor Blog". blog.torproject.org. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  20. ^ a b Cox, Joseph (29 December 2015). "The Tor Project Is Starting a Bug Bounty Program". Motherboard. Vice Media LLC. Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  21. ^ Conditt, Jessica (31 December 2015). "Tor plans to launch a bug bounty program". Engadget. AOL Inc. Retrieved 14 February 2016. 
  22. ^ "Jacob Appelbaum leaves the Tor Project". The Tor Project, Inc. 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-06-04. 
  23. ^ Smith, Jack, IV (2016-06-04). "Jacob Appelbaum, Digital Rights Activist, Leaves Tor Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations". Tech.Mic. Retrieved 2016-06-05. 
  24. ^ a b Steele, Shari (2016-06-04). "Statement". The Tor Project, Inc. Retrieved 2016-06-05. 
  25. ^ Cimpanu, Catalin (2016-06-06). "Jacob Appelbaum Leaves Tor Project amid Multiple "Sexual Misconduct" Accusations: Tor Project leadership distances itself from Applebaum as the "sexual misconduct" accusations gain more ground". Softpedia. Retrieved 2016-06-05. 
  26. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (June 5, 2016). "Tor developer Jacob Appelbaum quits after "sexual mistreatment" allegations". Ars Technica. Conde Nast. Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  27. ^ Beuth, Patrick (June 5, 2016). "Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen Jacob Appelbaum" [Abuse allegations against Jacob Appelbaum]. Die Zeit (in German). Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  28. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (6 June 2016). "Breaking silence, ex-Tor developer decries "vicious and spurious allegations"". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved 15 June 2016. 
  29. ^ Perlroth, Nicole (13 July 2016). "Tor Project, a Digital Privacy Group, Reboots With New Board". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  30. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (13 July 2016). "In wake of Appelbaum fiasco, Tor Project shakes up board of directors". arstechnica.com. Ars Technica. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  31. ^ "Tor Project installs new board of directors after Jacob Appelbaum controversy", Colin Lecher, July 13, 2016, The Verge
  32. ^ "The Tor Project Elects New Board of Directors", July 13th, 2016, Tor.org
  33. ^ PERLROTH, NICOLE (2016-07-27). "Tor Project Confirms Sexual Misconduct Claims Against Employee". NYT. Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  34. ^ Stelle, Shari (2016-07-27). "Statement". The Tor Project, Inc. Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  35. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (2016-07-27). "Tor inquiry: "Many people" reported being "humiliated" by Appelbaum: Going forward, group will now have a new anti-harassment policy, among other changes.". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  36. ^ Peterson, Andrea (2016-07-28). "Jacob Appelbaum was an online privacy hero. Then a sex misconduct scandal exploded.". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  37. ^ Bernstein, Joseph (2016-08-23). "video Tech Dissent And Distrust In Tor Community Following Jacob Appelbaum's Ouster: In the aftermath of the explosive allegations against its most famous advocate, and under new leadership, the Tor Project struggles to move on.". BuzzFeedNews. Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  38. ^ "2010 Free Software Awards announced". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  39. ^ "EFF Pioneer Awards 2012". Electronic Frontier Foundation. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  40. ^ Wittmeyer, Alicia P.Q. (26 November 2012). "The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 28 November 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  41. ^ "USENIX Test of Time Awards". USENIX. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 

External links[edit]