[TheGuardian] Shari Steele on online anonymity: Tor staff are ‘freedom fighters’

Posted on

Steele comes to Tor after 15 years as executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an organization she joined as a staff lawyer in 1992 shortly after it was founded. […]

Perhaps most significantly, it was her decision, as head of the EFF in 2004, to take Tor under the foundation’s wing that is the reason Tor exists in its current shape today, according to Roger Dingledine, who helped found the Tor Project in 2006. Steele won’t take the credit for that decision, but it earned her the loyalty of Tor staff and devotees. […]

Earlier in 2015, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department Leslie Caldwell told Washington’s State of the Net conference that as much as 80% of the traffic on Tor involves child abuse material.

Wired immediately said the statistic was wrong; Caldwell was misrepresenting research that had found that 80% of hidden traffic involved child abuse, not 80% of all Tor traffic. Hidden sites account for around 2% of all Tor traffic. […]

Steele describes the people who work on Tor as “freedom fighters”. “The people who are working on the Tor project are doing it because they care desperately about the technology and they care desperately about what the technology means to the world,” said Steele. […]