Decoding Jake Appelbaum

I am a volunteer in the Tor community and watched with great interest as allegations of sexual assault against Jacob Appelbaum surfaced last week.

His statement is carefully worded, and so I did my best to decipher it here.

In the past few days, a calculated and targeted attack has been launched to spread vicious and spurious allegations against me.

I can’t directly say the allegations are false.

Given the way these accusations have been handled, I had little choice but to resign from my position as an advocate at the Tor Project and devote my full attention to completing my doctoral work on cryptography at the Technical University of Eindhoven.

They were going to fire me if I didn’t quit.

Vague rumors and smear campaigns against me are nothing new. As a longtime public advocate for free speech and a secure internet, there have been plenty of attempts to undermine my work over the years.

I need you to believe the government is behind this.

Now, however, these unsubstantiated and unfounded attacks have become so aggressive that I feel it’s necessary to set the record straight. Not only have I been the target of a fake website in my name that has falsely accused me of serious crimes, but I have also received death threats (including a Twitter handle entitled ‘TimeToDieJake’).

This one troll account mentioned my death in its handle, so now I am the victim. If that account didn’t exist, I would have had to invent it.

I think it’s extremely damaging to the community that these character-assassination tactics are being deployed, especially given their ugly history of being used against fellow members of the LGBT community. It pains me to watch the community to which I’ve dedicated so much of my life engage in such self-destructive behavior. Nonetheless, I am prepared to use legal channels, if necessary, to defend my reputation from these libelous accusations.

I can’t sue.

I want to be clear: the accusations of criminal sexual misconduct against me are entirely false.

I’ll never be convicted of a crime.

Inevitably, there may have been moments in my professional or private life when I may have inadvertently hurt or offended others’ feelings. Whenever I was aware of these instances, I have, and will continue to, apologize to the friends and colleagues in question and to continually learn how to be a better person. Though the damage to my reputation caused by these allegations alone is impossible to undo, I nonetheless take the concerns of the Tor community seriously.

I’m not sorry.

To dispel any further rumors, to the best of my knowledge, the Tor network is not ‘compromised.’

The Tor network is fine, I guess. I haven’t had a patch accepted in several years.

I’ve dedicated my life as a journalist, activist, and longtime member of the Tor Project to advocating for the transparency of public processes and to speaking out about the necessity of privacy, security, and anonymity. These are ideals that I will continue to uphold, despite the vicious campaign that is currently being waged against me.

Read this whole thing again; I never directly said that any of the allegations are not true.