After Jacob Appelbaum resigned following allegations of sexual abuse against him, the Tor Project recently announced its new board of directors.
The non-profit digital privacy group formed a new board and before stepping down and handing over the baton, the existing board members said that it was their responsibility to ensure that a competent leadership was at the helm of affairs as the Project moved into its second decade of existence.
The outgoing board members also said that they were sure the new board has the potential to remain committed and contribute to the advancement of the Tor Project.
The Project promotes the use of Tor anonymity software to help Internet users hide their identities and location when browsing the internet.
Nearly 20 years ago, the Naval Research Laboratory in the United States of America developed this anonymity software.
Some members of the new board are those whose names have been heard before such as Cindy Cohn, Executive Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); Gabriella Coleman, an anthropologist at McGill University and a sociologist; Megan Price, Executive Director, Human Rights Data Analysis Group; Matt Blaze, University of Pennsylvania associate professor and cryptographer; Bruce Schneier, security expert and author; and Linus Nordberg, Tor programmer.
Keeping in mind the history of the relationship between Tor and EFF, ensuring the best interest of the Project should not be an issue at all.
This is because the EFF and the Project share a working relationship. The remaining seat in the board is yet to be filled.
The outgoing directors are Ian Goldberg, Julius Mittenzwei, Meredith Hoban Dunn, Wendy Seltzer, Rabbi Rob Thomas and two co-founders of Tor, Nick Mathewson, and Roger Dingledine.
However, Dingledine and Mathewson would continue in the Project as the leaders of the technical research and development department.
Rest of the new board members will strive to support the other goals of the Tor Project in addition to serving the management, community and the Project as a whole.
Shari Steele, Tor executive director, said in a statement that the board’s decision to reconstitute it once again was not only an extremely brave, but also a totally selfless move.
By this, they have made it clear to all concerned that their only goal is to make the organization better.
After assuming responsibility as the Project’s executive director, Steele has replaced the administration and human resources directors, moved the base operations from Cambridge to Seattle, identified additional as well as alternative sources of funding, and has now recruited a new set of directors.
The constitution of the new board is seen as Steele’s broader restructuring drive to improve the Project’s legitimacy.
In addition to dealing with allegations against Appelbaum, the organization has also been struggling to do away with its image as a tool widely used by pedophiles and drug dealers operating on the dark web.
Incorrectly citing a statistic, a Justice Department official said recently that 80 percent of the Tor network traffic involved child exploitation.
The statistic comes from a study related to Tor hidden services. They account for not even for 2 percent of the total Tor traffic.
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