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Seems to be an explanation for his departure.

See also: http://jacobappelbaum.net/


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    The link to Assange is… concerning.

    And that website… the pictures make him look like a complete sociopath. The first one even looks like Kilgrave / The Purple Man from Jessica Jones.

    Why can’t we have morally up-standing privacy and security advocates and leaders? This paints “nothing to hide” in a very bad light.

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      Mostly we do. Advocates are people. Some will be bad, but that doesn’t many or all are. But on the flip side, advocates for our causes aren’t perfect either.

      I don’t think Tor software itself actually facilitated any incidents, so the conduct of Applebaum isn’t relevant to that debate.

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        I’m substantially happier to say “it’s just bad apples”, having read the Tor project’s statement.

        It says everything I want it to: The action is based on specific information; they know enough about his character to believe it’s true; they’ll take specific steps to do better in future. Based on what they say, they really should have acted long ago, but it gives me confidence they’re no worse than the average head-in-the-sand organization.

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        I think people who have things to hide will always have a greater motivation to get involved in security, but having secure communications is also really important for domestic abuse victims, people in nations where their communications can get them killed, and muckrakers. Its hard to get the majority of people to go from apathy to supporting security because they have this “its not my problem” mentality. I do think there are many good people involved though, and I hope that with some work on diversity and outreach we can get more.

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          Yes, I realise that many people have valid reasons to hide, especially marginalised people. I think of myself and the bad things I have done solely because I was able to hide, and I can see so many others who under anonymity do such horrible things.

          Long ago I decided on my own to use my name publicly and everywhere in order to curb my bad behaviour. I’m still ashamed of the things I have done under pseudonyms and would be deeply mortified if I were exposed (it would just bring embarrassment; I have done nothing illegal). Knowing what I have done and knowing what others have done makes it increasingly difficult for me to support universal anonymity.

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            I’m sympathetic; I also have a past I’m not proud of. Know that you aren’t the only one living with that.

            I feel like the whole real names debacle on Facebook and G+ was an excellent A/B test demonstrating that many types of bad behavior still happen without anonymity. And the benefits of anonymity to those who need it are clear and immediate. There is no solution that doesn’t cause some harm; we have to choose which is more important.

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        What was the Tor projects strategy? Why the two day delay between the initial goodbye and the statement? As Meredith says, it has the appearance of kicking the can down the road. Was the full statement only made because of the Twitter uproar?

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          I don’t think that’s an unreasonable amount of time for them to get legal advice. It sounds like they also used it to gather data.

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            They had a week between the dismissal and the first announcement. That should have been enough time to prepare the statement. I can understand a terse statement on May 25, then a longer one a week later. Or simply a full statement after a week. But I think it’s odd they took a week to make a one sentence statement, but then followed up very shortly with a longer one. At that point, either just publish the whole thing or wait a day until you can.

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              Ah - I hadn’t caught that. You’re right.

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          Have any of the allegations against him been verified yet? I found the confessions link odd, a mix of rape stories and him being kind of an asshole. Then at the end was a thing about how he tries to get his name put first in papers by saying the authors should be sorted alphabetically. Ok? I that just trying to be thorough?

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            I think there’s a lot of piling on by people who happen to dislike Applebaum. The attack site is an unpleasant side show. Whatever claims were presented to the tor project were substantive enough for them to take action, but they haven’t provided details. (I wouldn’t expect them to, it’s not their story to tell.)

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              I think I should explain why I say attack site, since I recognize that a sharing site can be very supportive for victims.

              Why is each story behind a picture of Jake? Wouldn’t that be considered triggering?

              Why is the domain his name, and not something like “victims of jake” or “moving past jake” or whatever?

              Why the weird tweet button at the bottom?

              The solicitation for stories doesn’t have much focus on providing support.

              On the whole, it seems primarily designed to cause him the most embarrassment, and less to help others.

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                Agreed. Dogpiling isn’t a good thing. But being transparent about reality is. And, now is a time when many will come forward with allegations both true, untrue, substantiated, and unsubstantiatable. I - a rando online - would suggest to people feeling upset about this to try to discern between truth and lies, realizing many agendas are at play here.

                It’s best to toss bad fruit before the basket rots. I hope that the Tor basket tunes itself up and becomes safer.

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                I have heard from people in women tech circles that he was a problem, so I’m not entirely surprised this has happened. It is too bad he was able to go so long without consequences. I hope that this is taken to court so he doesn’t continue on with this behaviour.

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                  It will be difficult to bring this to court. The recent case of Jian Ghomeshi in Canada might have chilling effects on sexual assault victims coming forwards. I tend to believe the victims here, and it’s distressing to see so much disbelief of the allegations here, in HN, and in Reddit. The tech community as a whole seems to quickly side with the accused in cases of sexual assault.

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                    It isn’t just the tech community; these things very rarely wind up with any sort of justice. Here, have a powerful statement made recently as the victim’s closing argument in a rape trial, directly addressing the assailant (now convicted, but with an intentionally light sentence due to his athletic career). This letter is very triggery in all the obvious ways, so of course no obligation to read it. I feel that it sheds light on how difficult it is to prosecute in even the most clear-cut cases.

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                      it’s distressing to see so much disbelief of the allegations here, in HN, and in Reddit

                      It’s distressing that adults ask for proofs before participating to the life-long shunning of an individual?

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                        If someone says, “this person robbed me” the entire internet doesn’t jump up with pitch forks in hand demanding unrefutable evidence to substantiate the claim. People do not immediately claim there is a mass conspiracy by the government, they do not claim it is a smear campaign, they do not call the report a “vague rumor”. Instead they take appropriate actions of support to help the person and allow the proper parties to do the investigation.

                        Say someone raped you though and suddenly everyone needs to see a video tape and DNA evidence and a police report and even then you will not be believed because DNA tests can be faked, videos can be faked and women are just out to get money/attention/revenge/avoid embarrassment over sex/<insert made up excuse here>

                        The difference is in how people react to the report of one crime vs. another. So yes, instant disbelief to the point of conspiracies and character defamation of the victims is distressing.

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                          These aren’t cool, calm requests for proofs. You can’t be neutral about this, because by cooly, calmly requesting proof you are implicitly calling the accusers liars. That may further victimise them, and the frequency with which rape victims are disbelieved further exacerbates the problem of why they don’t come forward in the first place.

                          This is why my inclination is to believe a rape victim. Appelbaum is in a position of power and authority; his alleged victims are not. I am in no position of convicting Appelbaum of a crime, for I am no jury nor judge. I just think we should believe the victims.

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                            …by cooly, calmly requesting proof you are implicitly calling the accusers liars.

                            This does seem to saying, there is no way to reserve judgment – one must jump right in, on one side or the other. This is not an approach that inspires confidence.

                            Long after Jake left Noisebridge, we had a serious problem. There was someone who was making people uncomfortable – including through harassment – and about half the members were like, time for a banning. And some said, okay, what happened? He sent emails…can we see them? To my astonishment, many of the people with accounts to share and even emails to forward were leery to do so, and even refused, saying essentially that we should just believe them and that is that.

                            However, many members were traveling at the time; to ban someone, these members needed to assent. Roughly every six months or so, there was someone who was targeted for expulsion – with accusations of homophobia, harassment, “propertarianism” – and by this time the membership had grown suspicious. They wanted to see something or they were not voting.

                            About a year before, I had been marked out as a member who should not be a member – my crimes were capitalism and homophobia – and ironically found myself as the go between in this case. After collecting and appropriately redacting statements, I sent them out and the community reached the only right and reasonable conclusion.

                            All things being equal, one expects that the truth more readily finds corroboration than falsehood; looking for that support is hardly doubting it.

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                              In this case I agree, though a good part of my agreement is because there are a lot of through-the-grapevine rumors about this that have been going on for a while now, which is admittedly circumstantial evidence, but as you say I’m not a judge or jury, so using circumstantial evidence is what we tend to do when making personal decisions without bulletproof evidence. I’d be more skeptical if it were one politically disfavored person with one accusation coming from nowhere, because while fraudulent rape accusations are rare, fraudulent rape accusations directed at people security services don’t like are one of the few cases where there’s a long track record of them happening (in multiple political systems, ranging from the USSR to the USA). Though that also has to be weighed against various other circumstantial factors; for example, rape accusation frame-up jobs against political dissidents in the USA have most often targeted black men.

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                                This is highly illogical. We shouldn’t ask for proofs because the accusers might be offended by the implications?

                                Try to imagine a justice system that would work by your rules and any accusation made by somebody not in a position of power and authority would be taken for granted. Who would go to jail and who wouldn’t? Can you think of historical instances that resemble this scenario?

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                                  You shouldn’t need the same high standard of proof as a justice system; you aren’t going to deprive him of his freedom, property or life.

                                  RE shunning: Unless you already know/interact with him, you can’t shun him. That’s not how shunning works.

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                                    What do you think are the consequences of labeling somebody a “rapist”?

                                    Six months ago, Ian Murdock was labeled a “racist” for writing the word “nigger” in a tweet. All his Silicon Valley friends and acquaintances turned their backs on him, just when he was suicidal after some rude awakening at the hands of the local police. Guess how that turned out.

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                                      The consequences of being mislabelled a rapist are not worse than the consequences of being raped. It is safer to err on the side of the alleged victim.

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                                        The consequences of being mislabelled a rapist are not worse than the consequences of being raped. It is safer to err on the side of the alleged victim.

                                        Those are not your only two choices. You don’t have to err at all.

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                                        Did the Debian project issue a statement that they had gathered sufficient evidence to believe the allegations that Murdock was a racist?

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                                          We’re not talking about official statements. We’re talking about the community reacting on Reddit and Hacker News - the venues were Ian tried to vent out and get some support. I was there. I read what they wrote. I saw threads canceled and the embarrassing (once unhinged) Ian being shunned by those he considered his peers.

                                          You know what they did afterwards? They assured one another that they did nothing wrong.

                                          Oh and they stifled any further discussions with the excuse of privacy. We’re a wonderful community, aren’t we?

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                          another interesting link from Nick Farr recounting.

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                            Appelbaum has responded, and I’m copying here because it looks like a pastebin site:

                            Berlin, June 6, 2016

                            In the past few days, a calculated and targeted attack has been launched to spread vicious and spurious allegations against me. Given the way these accusations have been handled, I had little choice but to resign from my position as an advocate at the Tor Project and devote my full attention to completing my doctoral work on cryptography at the Technical University of Eindhoven.

                            Vague rumors and smear campaigns against me are nothing new. As a longtime public advocate for free speech and a secure internet, there have been plenty of attempts to undermine my work over the years.

                            Now, however, these unsubstantiated and unfounded attacks have become so aggressive that I feel it’s necessary to set the record straight. Not only have I been the target of a fake website in my name that has falsely accused me of serious crimes, but I have also received death threats (including a Twitter handle entitled ‘TimeToDieJake’).

                            I think it’s extremely damaging to the community that these character-assassination tactics are being deployed, especially given their ugly history of being used against fellow members of the LGBT community. It pains me to watch the community to which I’ve dedicated so much of my life engage in such self-destructive behavior. Nonetheless, I am prepared to use legal channels, if necessary, to defend my reputation from these libelous accusations.

                            I want to be clear: the accusations of criminal sexual misconduct against me are entirely false.

                            Inevitably, there may have been moments in my professional or private life when I may have inadvertently hurt or offended others’ feelings. Whenever I was aware of these instances, I have, and will continue to, apologize to the friends and colleagues in question and to continually learn how to be a better person. Though the damage to my reputation caused by these allegations alone is impossible to undo, I nonetheless take the concerns of the Tor community seriously. To dispel any further rumors, to the best of my knowledge, the Tor network is not ‘compromised.’

                            I’ve dedicated my life as a journalist, activist, and longtime member of the Tor Project to advocating for the transparency of public processes and to speaking out about the necessity of privacy, security, and anonymity. These are ideals that I will continue to uphold, despite the vicious campaign that is currently being waged against me.

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                              There’s a nice translation provided by Franklin Bynum.

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                                Last I checked, “spurious” means “false.” So from line one, there’s issues with those issues…

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                                  Last I checked, the first sentence is carefully crafted to look like it says that the allegations are false, see Oxford and Merriam-Webster dictionaries. See also: weasel word.

                                  Do not let that first sentence stop you from reading the rest.

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                                    Maybe you misunderstand me. I’m not trying to be sarcastic or anything here. No dogs in the game, and such. I did read the whole article, and it both starts and ends with the point that he hasn’t denied the allegations.

                                    Which, I mean, that’s an odd thing to criticise. Most of the time, in the face of potential legal action, we’re given the advice: shut up, get a lawyer.

                                    Regardless, I can’t see how “vicious and spurious allegations”, “vague rumors and smear campaigns”, and “unsubstantiated and unfounded attacks” are unclear. On the topic of weasel words, is the implication that what he’s denying isn’t the same charges that we’re talking about?

                                    Basically, where are the weasel words in “the accusations of criminal sexual misconduct against me are entirely false”?

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                                      “criminal”; that’s quite specific

                                      ETA: this, basically, sounds like “there’s nothing that can be brought to the courts to get a «guilty» verdict”

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                              This site also appeared recently, victims telling their stories.

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                                    They are now merged, don’t worry about it.