Details have surfaced of why the Tor Project’s main evangelist has left the project so quietly, and they’re about to trigger another media storm, reminiscent of the GitHub 2014 sexual harassment scandal.

This past Thursday, on June 2, the Tor Project published a two-line blog post, bluntly announcing that the project’s public face and most known personality, Jacob Appelbaum, has left the project on May 25.

Two days later, after many have criticized the project’s leadership on Twitter, the Tor Project’s Executive Director Shari Steele has addressed the issue in an official statement.


Applebaum left the project because of accusations of sexual misconduct

“Over the past several days, a number of people have made serious, public allegations of sexual mistreatment by former Tor Project employee Jacob Appelbaum,” Steele started his statement. “These types of allegations were not entirely new to everybody at Tor; they were consistent with rumors some of us had been hearing for some time. That said, the most recent allegations are much more serious and concrete than anything we had heard previously.”

Steele, who’s in charge of the Tor Project for only six months, said that following internal discussions Applebaum decided to step down from his position.

The Tor Project has also called in a law firm that will aid its investigation into this matter. Steele said the project won’t reveal its findings to the public.

There’s a public website describing some of the accusations

An unknown party put up a website yesterday detailing some of the accusations against Applebaum. Five stories are described on the site. Keep in mind that no evidence is provided, only accounts.

Applebaum, who is a self-declared bisexual, had started work on the Tor project as a software coder, and became a well-known figure after helping with the Edward Snowden leaks.

After the scandal broke, Applebaum has not issued any statements, on Twitter or through other channels.

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