A group has called for a full-day shutdown of the Tor network as a mark of protest against two issues: handling of sexual misconduct accusations against Jacob Appelbaum and rumor that project might employ former government agents.
The call for shutdown referred to as #torstrike was uploaded on the website GhostBin. In the message, the protesters have requested that users refrain from using the hidden service for 24 hours on September 1, 2016, and Tor workers shut down nodes and not do any work on the software.
Protesters have also requested other Tor-related projects such as the Library Freedom Project and the Tails OS to join the 24-hour shutdown.
The rationale provided by the group for mobilizing #torstrike blames the Tor leadership for the current state of affairs at the Project.
The group has said that it is not possible to trust the Project any longer because of the #jakegate/#torgate and plans to hire former CIA agents.
According to the group, people are put at risk because of the Project’s sinking credibility and mass action is required to regain trust.
The group has also noted that even though a shutdown would hurt the Project in the short-term, it would be helpful in the long-term. A shutdown would also ensure that the dissenting voices are heard.
Further, the protesters have come up with 16 demands in total. Out of the 16, ten pertain to investigation and ruling in Appelbaum’s case and six pertain to government agents infiltrating Tor’s ranks.
Demands Pertaining to Appelbaum investigation include the following:
- Resignation of Shari Steele and appointment of a new Executive Director for the Project
- Resignation of Tor Project President and co-founder Roger Dingledine
- Resignation of new Board Members who had any connection/part to play with the Appelbaum investigation
- Publicizing the details related to Appelbaum’s investigation and punishment, and resignation of all Tor employees who were part of the investigation
- Publicizing the identity of those behind JacobAppelbaum.net, Twitter accounts @JakeMustDie and @VictimsOfJake
- Resignation of cyber-bullies
- Clarification from Appelbaum and the accusers
- Explanation from Tor Project as to an exclusive report about Jacob Appelbaum was given in the New York Times (The group calls it an embarrassment and highly unusual)
The group’s contention is that one of the persons who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Appelbaum was part of the investigation team.
Last week, Stephan Seitz, operator of a Tor node, had announced closing down of his node for the same reason.
Citing ethics, another operator of a core Tor node had left the project in July.
Prior to leaving the Project, Setiz had pointed out to Marie Gutbub’s blogpost. Marie, yet another member to leave the Project had said in the blogpost that she had never heard of an accuser being made part of the jury.
Demands pertaining to Tor Project infiltration include the following:
In its six demands pertaining to infiltration, the group has asked the Tor Project and the members to oust those that have ties with the government, intelligence, or military agencies. The group wants these people to either resign or be sent out.
Another demand put forward by the group is that the Project must publish a report annually, giving details about the backgrounds of active volunteers and the staff members who are currently on roll.
According to the group, the Tor Project staff were aware of a CIA hire as evident from IRC logs.
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