Tor confirms sexual harassment claims against former developer

An internal investigation supports assertions that Jacob Appelbaum gave women grief during his tenure.

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Müller-Stauffenberg/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Müller-Stauffenberg/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Jacob Appelbaum isn't going to get any sympathy from the Tor Project over allegations of sexual harassment. An internal investigation at Tor has determined that the claims against Appelbaum, who's accused of humiliating and intimidating women, are accurate. This doesn't mean that charges are forthcoming, but it makes Appelbaum's own denials (he portrays this as a conspiracy to slander his name) less plausible. Appelbaum quit Tor in May, right as the harassment accusations were coming to light.

Appelbaum hasn't commented on the results of the investigation so far, but a New York Times source says he's preparing a response.

The investigation may also be useful for shedding light on broader problems within Tor, at least until very recently. Two community members also played a part in Appelbaum's incidents, for example, and aren't part of the flock any longer. Tor has already taken some dramatic steps to mend its image, including replacing its board and hiring new directors for administration and human resources, but it may learn a few extra lessons about creating a welcoming environment for women.

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