[tor-project] A Vote of No Confidence in Shari Steele: A Proposal For A Tor Relay Operator Strike.
stderr at riseup.net
stderr at riseup.net
Thu Aug 18 19:53:00 UTC 2016
It has recently come to light that the Tor Project chose Franklin Bynum
as the “outside counsel” to investigate the allegations sexual assault
and sexual harassment against Jacob Appelbaum. Frank Bynum is in a
romantic relationship with one of the principle complainant in that
investigation, Alison Macrina.
In addition, Shari Steele allowed Macrina to become extensively involved
in the investigation of Appelbaum’s conduct, despite the fact that she
is an interested party in that investigation, since she claimed to have
been taken advantage of by him.
This is completely unacceptable and unprofessional conduct by Tor’s
If the allegations against Appelbaum are true or substantially true,
then this is a gross disservice to victims, since Shari’s actions robbed
the process of any appearance of impartiality or legitimacy. If the
allegations against Appelbaum are false or false in part, then this just
as bad or possibly worse.
Either way, Shari’s actions needlessly exposed the Tor Project to civil
liability, by creating an obvious appearance of bias, when she allowed
Bynum and Macrina to conduct the investigation. Shari Steele has failed
in her fiduciary duty towards the project.
The Tor Project should not expect volunteers to offer their time and
resources, when Tor’s leadership is sending a clear signal that it will
condone the preferential treatment of some community members over
others, that it may aid and abet public shaming campaigns, and that it
will simultaneously undermine the credibility of people who come forward
with abuse complaints by poisoning the investigation with obvious bias.
Tor needs an impartial, professionally-minded executive director who can
insure that influential members of the Tor community do not abuse their
power, whether they engage in unwanted sexual advances or expose the
project to liability through irresponsible public shaming campaigns.
I call upon other relay operators to conduct a coordinated 24 hour
shutdown of the Tor network, in order to send a clear vote of “no
confidence” in Shari Steele.
It’s time for a new executive director and a saner, less
favoritism-ridden and personality-driven Tor Project.
This is neither an endorsement of Jacob Appelbaum nor an endorsement of
the accusations against him. At this point the Tor Project’s conduct is
so reprehensible, that it doesn’t matter who is in the right — the
leadership needs to go.
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