Members call for a Tor General Strike and shut down Tor for a day

Pierluigi Paganini August 22, 2016

A few members of the community are calling for a ‘Tor general strike’ to protest against some decisions taken recently by the core members.

Last month, the Tor Project announced that an internal investigation had confirmed the allegations of sexual misconduct against the notorious member Jacob Appelbaum.

The allegations divided the internet privacy community, as a result of events the entire board of directors of the project was replaced.

News of the day is that a few members of the community are calling for a ‘Tor general strike.’ They want to express their dissent on the way the investigation was handled.

A message published on Twitter invites those who run parts of the Tor network infrastructure to shut down their machines, developers to stop working on Tor, and of course, users to stop using the anonymizing network.

The members who are calling for a Tor General Strike are also opposed to the decision of the Tor Project to hire an ex-CIA official.

“Tor can no longer be trusted after #jakegate / #torgate and hire of CIA,” states the Ghostbin post  that calls for the Tor Global Strike. “Its sinking credibility is putting people at risk. We hope it can be healed and regain trust with mass action. A short blackout may hurt in the short term, but save Tor in the long term. It will also allow dissenting voices to be heard.” 

Joseph Cox from Motherboard reported a leaked chat log from an internal Tor Project IRC channel that demonstrated that part of the members of the Project did not agree on the move of hiring a supposed ex-CIA agent, “DaveC1”.

Some internal members of the Tor Project were not aware of the past of DaveC1.

Tor Global Strike

A Tor General Strike is probably the worst way to express the dissent, many individuals worldwide rely on the Tor network to avoid censorship and express their ideas without fearing for their life.

“Journalists and activists use Tor in countries where people can be killed for the things they say,” Shari Steele, the Tor Project’s executive director told Motherboard. “Shutting down the Tor network would shut down their speech or, even more dangerous, could force them to use unsafe methods of communication.”

The call to the Tor General Strike includes 16 requests to the Tor Project, one of them invoke the sacking the co-founder Roger Dingledine.

Many demands included in the call for the Tor General Strike are related to the internal investigation on Appelbaum’s conduct. They demand more details on the claims against Appelbaum to be made public.

The news of the strike comes after the Tor relay operator Stephan Seitz shut down its node.

“The situation how the affair about Jake was handled by the Tor project has made me feel very uneasy. After digging through several material (for example I find that I am no longer believing in this project or trust it. That’s why I’m shutting down my tor relay fsingtor now.“ Seitz wrote to a Tor Project.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Tor Project, Tor General Strike)


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