University implies they helped FBI break Tor protection because of a subpoena

Carnegie Mellon University has finally issued a statement commenting on the recent accusations that their researchers have aided the FBI to unmask a subset of Tor users believed to be involved in criminal activities on the dark web.

The University dubbed media reports that publicized Tor Project Director Roger Dingledine’s claims that the researchers were paid for this work as “inaccurate.”

“Carnegie Mellon University includes the Software Engineering Institute, which is a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) established specifically to focus on software-related security and engineering issues. One of the missions of the SEI’s CERT division is to research and identify vulnerabilities in software and computing networks so that they may be corrected,” they explained.

“In the course of its work, the university from time to time is served with subpoenas requesting information about research it has performed. The university abides by the rule of law, complies with lawfully issued subpoenas and receives no funding for its compliance.”

The carefully crafted statement didn’t exactly say that in this case they were served in a subpoena, and didn’t explicitly say they performed the attack that resulted in the discovery of a number of suspected criminals.

The same statement has been issued by the Software Engineering Institute. For those who don’t know, SEI is a not-for-profit center specifically established by the US Department of Defense to focus on addressing its software and cybersecurity needs.

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