[tor-talk] Almost everyone involved in developing Tor was (or is) funded by the US government

Moritz Bartl moritz at torservers.net
Wed Jul 23 13:02:46 UTC 2014

On 07/23/2014 02:24 PM, Kristy Chambers wrote:
> Have I written, that there is anything creepy about that?
> The basic question is, in how the tor project can be trusted if we look
> on suspicious activities of tor developers (e.g. choosing worse design
> decisions).

The whole process is open; Tor may sometimes be slow at making any
design decisions, exactly because they want everything to be backed by
proper research. http://freehaven.net/anonbib/ is a repository of a lot
of papers, and the research community obviously has a close eye on Tor
and alternative designs. Many people, like me, coming from a computer
science/privacy research background, can evaluate the decisions and so
far there is no evidence that Tor doesn't try its best.

Everyone is aware of the bad situation of the US government funding
almost every serious venture in privacy these days, but EU funding is
awarded very differently and hard to acquire as a free software project.
If you have a good idea where to get independent funding, we could even
start a completely non-US dependent entity to work on Tor.

Tor never tried to hide the US background and its funding sources. Of
course, there is always a (maybe subtle) influence by a funder, but in
general Tor writes the proposals and the deliverables and does it in a
very sane way.

This FUD comes up quite often these days, one must wonder if there's
some controlled media campaign going on. Then again, random journalists
come across this non-story all the time.

Moritz Bartl

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