Tor Project gets whole new board of directors

Tor Project’s entire board of directors has stepped down and announced their successors. Among them are the noted “security guru” Bruce Schneier and Cindy Cohn, the Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

The switch was announced by the departing board on Wednesday.

Tor Project new board

“As Tor’s board of directors, we consider it our duty to ensure that the Tor Project has the best possible leadership. The importance of Tor’s mission requires it; the public standing of the organization makes it possible; and we are committed to achieve it,” they explained.

“We had that duty in mind when we conducted an Executive Director search last year, and appreciate the leadership Shari Steele has brought. To support her, we further believe that it is time that we pass the baton of board oversight as the Tor Project moves into its second decade of operations.”

Of the departing board – Roger Dingledine, Nick Mathewson, Meredith Hoban Dunn, Ian Goldberg, Julius Mittenzwei, Wendy Seltzer, Rabbi Rob Thomas – Dingledine and Mathewson will remain with the Tor Project (they are its co-founders) and continue to lead the project’s technical research and development.

Aside from Schneier and Cohn, the new board includes:

  • Gabriella Coleman, the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University
  • Internet and privacy activist Linus Nordberg, involved with Tor since 2009
  • Megan Price, Executive Director of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group), and
  • Matt Blaze, professor in the computer and information science department at the University of Pennsylvania, and noted researcher.

Tor’s Executive Director Shari Steele commended the move. “They’re making a clear statement that they want the organization to become its best self,” she noted.

The announcement does not contain any reference to the recent stepping down of privacy advocate and Tor developer Jacob Appelbaum from the board of directors, due to claims of his “sexual misconduct,” which he denied.

A few days after the announcement of Applebaum’s departure from the board and the project, Steele admitted that the allegations “were not entirely new to everybody at Tor; they were consistent with rumors some of us had been hearing for some time.”

“We have been working with a legal firm that specializes in employment issues including sexual misconduct. They are advising us on how to handle this, and we intend to follow their advice,” she said at the time.

“This will include investigations of specific allegations where that is possible. We don’t know yet where those investigations will lead or if other people involved with Tor are implicated. We will act as quickly as possible to accurately determine the facts as best we can. Out of respect for the individuals involved, we do not expect results to be made public.”

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