Tor Story

@Witchman05 - Jun 2 2021

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Sometime in the mid-1990s at the United States Naval Research Laboratory, history was being made.

Paul Syverson, Michael G Reed and David Goldschlag, a mathematician and two computer scientists in the employ of the US intelligence community, were working on a tactic to protect sensitive and confidential online communication and data by the United States government and their associates. In 1997, development was continued further by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. Five years later, however, Syverson and his new associates, Roger Dingledine and Nick Mathewson released the alpha version of "The Onion Routing project" on the 20th of September, 2002.

With the Naval Research Laboratory publicly releasing this software's code to the masses in 2004, Mathewson and Dingdledine (with funding from the online civil-liberties organization, the Electronic Frontier Foundation) continued developing it and strengthening it, eventually launching the Tor Project group in 2006, with five of their associates. The EFF, along with a number of other sponsors (including a massive chunk of funding from the US government until 2014), helped the Tor Project and their brainchild, the Tor Browser and "onion routing", to become the #1 in privacy and anonymity software, where it stands to this day.

In December, 2015, Roger Dingledine, who at the time held the position of interim executive director, stepped down to the position of director and board member of the Tor Project; his position was succeeded by Shari Steele, former executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Major personnel changes were also made to the Tor Project all throughout 2016, thought to be precipitated by the sexual assault, harrassment, and stalking allegations against Jacob Appelbaum, who until his retirement from the Tor Project on the 25th of May, 2016, was a leading developer and main spokesperson for the project, being considered "the face of the Tor Project". With the entire board publicly stepping down and being replaced on the 13th of July and the Project releasing the results of a seven-week investigation against these allegations (confirmed to be true), considerable upheaval was felt in the cypherpunk and Tor communities.

At the time of writing, the Tor board is comprised of: Alissa Cooper, Bruce Schneier (of Schneier on Security and Applied Cryptography) Cindy Cohn (also the executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, following Steele's move to the Tor Project), Gabriella Coleman, Chelsea Komlo, Dees Chinniah, Julius Mittenzwei, Kendra Albert, Matt Blaze, Nighat Dad, Rabbi Rob Thomas (founder and CEO of the cybersecurity firm Team Cymru), and Ramy Raoof.


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