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Tor is funded by US State Department
01-18-2012, 01:52 PM,
Tor is funded by US State Department

Quote:(1) There has been a very vigorous response to a piece submitted by “Anon” concerning security aspects of the EFF’s Firefox plug-in Decentralized SSL Observatory and the Convergence Firefox plug-in. See: Anon contends that these are no more that applications that gather user data without their knowledge, and that they are a security risk. Anon describes them as spy tools.

(2) In addition to this Jacob Appelbaum complained bitterly via Twitter about a piece on PGPBOARD See: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=435&p=610&sid=020f19930742474493970ab1baa517d2#p610 which questioned Tor’s independence, described its funding base, and identified him as a de facto US government funded operative.

Dealing with the second point first. Appelbaum could not question the validity of the data. It was obtained from Tor’s 2008 Tax return, he challenged the interpretation drawn, and the relevance of the 2008 data, implying that Tor had move on, and that things were different now.

PGPBOARD has obtained a copy of the Tor projects 2010 tax return. So lets see just how different things really are concerning US government funding of Tor since their 2008 tax return.

Back in 2008 Tor’s tax returns shows a gross revenue of $514,611 USD. Two organizations provided $433,180 USD in funding, which accounted for 86.1% of TOR's 2008 overall operating budget. These organisations were:

The International Broadcasting Bureau

On April 30, 1994, President Clinton signed the International Broadcasting Act (Public Law 103-236). The legislation established the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) within the United States Information Agency (USIA), and created a Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) with oversight authority over all non-military U.S. government international broadcasting.The Voice of America, the oldest and best-known organization within the BBG, was the first broadcast news organization to offer continuously updated programming on the Internet. When USIA was disbanded in October 1999, the IBB and BBG were established as independent federal government entities, with the IBB as an administrative vehicle under the BBG containing VOA, Radio and TV Martí, the Office of Engineering and Technical Services, and a number of support services. The position of IBB Director is appointed by the President of the United States, with Senate confirmation.[2] Currently, this position is held by Richard M. Lobo. Mr. Lobo was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in September 2010. Previously, the directorship was held by Seth Cropsey (December 9, 2002—2004).Appointed by the BBG, Brian Conniff served as acting director from April 1999 to December 2002. Joseph B. Bruns was the first director of IBB, he served from 1994 until 1995. Bruns previously had been Acting Associate Director of Broadcasting of USIA and Acting Director of VOA.”

and the

InterNews Network

Internews Network is primarily supported by grants. Funders have included the AOL-Time Warner Foundation, the Beagle Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Gregory C. Carr Foundation, the Coxe-Otus Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the GE Foundation, the Government of the Netherlands, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Science Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the RealNetworks Foundation, Rockefeller Financial Services, the United Nations Development Programme, the US Agency for International Development, the US Department of State, the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Foundation, and many others. The US Agency for International Development and the US Department of State provide the overwhelming (over 98%) of funding for Internews operations.

In short Tor in 2008 was funded by the US government, principally the Department of State to the tune of 86% of its operating costs.

So how were things looking in 2010 for Tor, when the world was gripped by Wikileaks and whistle-blowers?

In 2010 Tor was far better off financially, Applebaum’s salary had increased by a about 30% to an inflation busting $98,980 USD. In 2010 Tor’s total revenues were $1,353,593, of this $1,314,301 we from donations and grants received from various sources. The two primary funding sources for Tor in 2010 were; The InterNews Network and The International Broadcasting Bureau. The same organizations that had provided the majority of Tor’s funding in 2008. By far the largest donor being the InterNews Network via USAID and the Department of State.

So in 2010 just how deep was the Department of State digging into its pockets to support the Tor project and its ongoing operations? In 2010Tor was funded by the US government to the tune of $1,093,153 or 81% of its total operating costs. Since FY2008 the US government has more that doubled its funding for the Tor project.

Now why would the US Government be doing this in the prevailing climate of Assange, Wikileaks, and whistle blowing etc. maybe promoting Tor as a secure conduit for global whistle blowers? Now there is a thought.

Now for the second point:

Tor’s 2010 tax return (attached) shows “Formless Networking LLC” as a registered "consultant" with a remuneration of $88,160. In a recent piece appearing here: raises concerns about the Freedom Network and its links to “Formless networking LLC”. The Freedom Network is notorious for is involvement with child pornography. Evidently Formless Networking LLC is a shell company of 12 Tor exit nodes run by Tor developer Mike Perry who has been recently criticised by Anon concerning Mozilla add ons and applications.

This matter needs cleaning up and fast. Is the US government unwittingly funding child pornography networks?


Alan Taylor
PGPBOARD Administrator
London. England

"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."
- The Gospel of Thomas

I think I am, therefore I am, i think...
- George Carlin
01-18-2012, 09:16 PM,
RE: Tor is funded by US State Department
Not particularly surprising, considering that TOR was used by the ¨arab spring¨ nations as well as chinese dissidents, georgians and others in order to circumvent governmental censorship and organize below the radar. I´m curious how much of the funding was actually suggested by the CIA or NSA, or if they were responsible for the other 19%... I´m pretty sure that the US government could make its way through the various layers of the onion in individual cases, but I doubt they have the time or need to deal with most of they traffic through the network, otherwise I expect that silk road would be gone by now... then again, it´s also possible that the bitcoin movement is close enough to an electronic currency that can be taken over and replace the current system that it´s ¨positive¨ possibilities outweigh the ¨negatives.¨

However, Tor´s been around since before 2008, in fact I first experimented with it in 2004 I believe, and it was simply too slow to deal with since it was early on in its existence and there weren´t many people using it. I doubt that it started as a governmental false flag of security, but it almost certainly became too subversive not to attempt to co-opt.
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