What Jake Appelbaum did to me
Nick Farr

Dear Nick,

my first congress was the 27C3 and it was the first such event I went to. I was blown away by all the cool people and all the cool projects they did and how everyone was just inclusive of everyone else. The angels were awesome and helpful and there was that one guy on stage moderating many talks, especially the Lightning Talks. He was funny and I had such a great time enjoying the pauses between the talks (He even asked me to come on stage once) as well as the talks themselves. I later found out that guy was you and that you some kind of a legend on the congresses. The whole experience was magical for me and it changed my perception of our little group of hackers and makers.

And so I returned to the following C3s, but I started missing you on the later ones. I asked around and apparently, you had had some health problems. I was a bit sad, but accepted it.

I the meantime, I saw one of Jacob’s talks in Hamburg (don’t quite recall when that was) and I thought that he was one of the good guys. Helping to build TOR, always standing up for people’s rights to privacy and so on…

Your post on Medium deeply moved me, because it triggered me to reevaluate some things. You and other media channels make some accusations about Jacob, that paint a completely different picture about him, and a friend told me that people themselves and the actions they are famous for, are sometimes completely different things (especially for scientists). I should have known that, but my, perhaps naive, view of the whole hacker community might have clouded my mind with that.

I am with you on this. We must not accept someone who takes such actions in our midst. The C3 should stay a place that is a magical refuge for all the hackers out there who think they’re alone because they were cast out of their respective communities simply because they like different things or are a bit different. The experience should be just as good for the following new generations of hackers to come as it was for me. And while I do not want to push you towards anything and completely understand your situation, I have to say that it would be great if you could come back to the stage again and entertain us again :)

Much love from Germany,


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