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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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    That’s one well-rounded and completely unconvincing dementi.

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      Flagged as off-topic. Is Tor drama, etc.

      That all said–his suggestion that this is all “vague rumors” seems a bit inaccurate: the stories reported are rather detailed. Unfortunately, they’re also rather extreme and thus hard to believe–but then again, a lot of things in life follow that pattern.

      The problem is that we’ll likely never have concrete evidence on this one way or the other, and so people who claim his innocence will point at an orchestrated smear campaign (which this is, justice notwithstanding) and people who claim his guilt will point at a bunch of semi-anonymous accounts (none of whom have documented proof).

      I rather suspect, given the volume and variety of claims, that there is some truth to the matter. Then again, I’ve also seen smear campaigns waged against other people for a variety of reasons with volume but without cause. It’s just difficult to tell.

      I guess the only real takeaway is that, if somebody like this directly assaults you, you need to report it to the authorities as soon as possible or at least try to get some hard time-stamped evidence. It’s much harder to dismiss documented claims over the span of months or years than it is to look at a dump of confessions and claim they’re part of a smear campaign.