Recently The Tor Project changed their mission statement and social contract, including language about explicitly supporting human rights. Virgil Griffith argues that this is dangerous for exactly those users whose human rights are threatened: “the ‘Human Rights Watch for Nerds’ branding gives decidedly-unfriendly-and-opportunistic-authorities full license to do as they please with Tor operators or anyone who uses Tor.” [more inside]
On June 4th it was announced that Jacob Appelbaum(previously) has stepped down from his role as an employee of the TOR foundation while they investigate charges of inappropriate behavior. The TOR project (previously) anonymizes Internet traffic and is seen as a key tool for dissidents and others who wish to avoid surveillance while using the Internet. Appelbaum has been a key contributor and passionate public advocate for TOR. It is not clear what impact his departure will have on the future of the project.
First Library to Support Anonymous Internet Browsing Effort Stops After DHS Email
In July, the Kilton Public Library in Lebanon, New Hampshire, was the first library in the country to become part of the anonymous Web surfing service Tor. The library allowed Tor users around the world to bounce their Internet traffic through the library, thus masking users’ locations. ... After a meeting at which local police and city officials discussed how Tor could be exploited by criminals, the library pulled the plug on the project.[more inside]
Deep Lab is "a congress of cyberfeminist researchers, organized by STUDIO Fellow Addie Wagenknecht to examine how the themes of privacy, security, surveillance, anonymity, and large-scale data aggregation are problematized in the arts, culture and society."
During their Freedom Hosting investigation and malware attack last year, the FBI unintentionally obtained the entire e-mail database of popular anonymous webmail service Tor Mail. And now, they've used it in an unrelated investigation to bust a Florida man accused of stealing credit card numbers. [more inside]
In a crackdown that FBI claims to be about hunting down pedophiles, half of the onion sites in the TOR network has been compromised, including the e-mail counterpart of TOR deep web, TORmail. FreedomWeb, an Irish company known for providing hosting for Tor "hidden services" -- services reached over the Tor anonymized/encrypted network -- has shut down after its owner, Eric Eoin Marques, was arrested over allegations that he had facilitated the spread of child pornography. [more inside]
"If the government is able to learn what we speak about, and know who we're talking to, and know what it is that we're planning, it makes any kind of activism extremely difficult, because secrecy and privacy are prerequisites to effective activism. "Glenn Greenwald on challenging the surveillance state: (1 - 2 - 3 - 4).
This is an ironic tale of the consequences of inept application of cryptographic tools. Or is it? Dan Egerstad, a Swedish hacker, gained access to hundreds of computer network accounts around the world, belonging to various embassies, corporations and other organizations. How did he do it? Very easily: by sniffing exit traffic on his Tor nodes. [more inside]