Tor shakes up exec board following Appelbaum withdrawal

The project's entire board of directors has been replaced with fresh faces.

In the aftermath of a scandal which saw one of the core members of the Tor project step down, Tor has replaced its entire board of directors in the hope of leaving such a past behind.

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The Tor project runs the onion router, a browser and relay-and-node system which helps mask your digital footprint.

Used worldwide, the project is supported by a backbone of volunteers and donations and remains a thorn in the side of law enforcement seeking to break into the system to track criminal suspects.

The Massachusetts-based nonprofit has not had an easy time in the spotlight recently. One of the project's most prominent figures, security specialist Jacob Appelbaum, left his position in June after rumors of serious sexual misconduct emerged.

The 33-year-old denies all of the allegations, dubbing them no more than a "smear campaign," but nonetheless made the decision to leave in May this year. The Tor project followed by releasing a short statement which said the rumors were not "entirely new" to the project's staff, but the "concrete" nature of the allegations had left the team "deeply troubled."

Now, over a month later, the effects of this situation are being felt. The Tor project has shaken up its entire core executive board of seven members, replacing all of them with new faces.

In an announcement, the Tor project said the decision was made to keep the organization in "the best possible health."

As of July 12, Roger Dingledine, Meredith Hoban Dunn, Ian Goldberg, Nick Mathewson, Julius Mittenzwei, Wendy Seltzer, and Rabbi Rob Thomas will all step down from their positions.

Matt Blaze, a computer and information science professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Cindy Cohn, executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) privacy rights group are among the first to make up Tor's new board.

They are joined by anthropologist and author Gabriella Coleman, who currently holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University. Bruce Schneier, a well-known author and security expert is also among the new members. Software developer Linus Nordberg, a longtime internet and privacy activist who has been involved with Tor since 2009 has also been appointed.

Executive Director of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group Megan Price is the final member of the new Tor executive board.

Tor's executive director Shari Steele commented:

"I think this was an incredibly brave and selfless thing for the board to do. They're making a clear statement that they want the organization to become its best self."

Roger Dingledine and Nick Mathewson will continue as co-founders of the Tor project. There is one remaining board seat, but no appointment has yet been announced.