For those who can’t wait for the German-language @ioerror article to come out in English, I will tweet it in summarized translation. Kind of like live tweeting, but not live. @zeit 1/?
I assume some prior knowledge of the @torproject sex and power scandal. If you are sick of hearing about it, or hope never to hear the first thing about it, mute me now for the love of God. @ioerror @zeit 2/?
Article title: “What Has This Man Done?” By @ChristianFuchs_ & @larsweisbrod with @kappuchino @ioerror @zeit 3/?
In 2016 an orgy took place in Jacob Appelbaum’s apartment in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, with plenty of MDMA in use. @ioerror @zeit 4/?
In the living room, fully dressed guests turned up the music to drown out the sounds from the back rooms, while listening to Jacob, star dissident of the hacker scene, holding forth. @ioerror @zeit 5/?
Jacob had fled the US because of surveillance, worked with Assange and Snowden, won awards for his journalism in Der Spiegel. @ioerror @zeit 6/?
At some point he leaves with a quiet American woman for a bedroom where a third person is present. They have sex. @ioerror @zeit 7/?
This event seals Jacob’s fate and results in his social downfall. The quiet American will subsequently accuse him of rape. @ioerror @zeit 8/?
In June, @torproject announces Jacob’s resignation as spokesperson and developer. Tor is a tool that allows dissidents and whistle-blowers to safely communicate. @ioerror @zeit 9/?
Shortly after, an anonymously published website appears with anonymous accusations against Jacob of “sexual, emotional, and physical” abuse. @ioerror @zeit 10/?
One victim, “Forest”, tells of sleeping in Jacob’s bed “as friends,” and awaking to find him touching her sexually, apparently while asleep. He apologizes the next morning & claims no memory. @ioerror @zeit 11/?
Another victim, “River”, is the the quiet American. She says he forced her to have sex while a friend watched, when she had made clear she did not want to. @ioerror @zeit 12/?
River further claims that she passed out from drugs or alcohol, and woke to find Jacob engaged in sex with her. She says she did not understand at the time that sex while unconscious was rape. @ioerror @zeit 13/?
So, is Jacob a sexual criminal? If the claim about unconsciousness is true, he is culpable under German law. @ioerror @zeit 14/?
To understand what actually happened, we must connect the anonymous aliases to real persons, & understand what happened in the days before and after, and what unfolded after Jacob’s resignation. @ioerror @zeit 15/?
Not all of the anonymous stories rise to the level of crimes. Sam reports that Jacob enticed her into his bathtub, and there washed her without her consent. @ioerror @zeit 16/?
Another victim reports that Jacob kissed her without permission, and another that he gave her an “aggressive shoulder massage.” @ioerror @zeit 17/?
In general, the website is a catalog of verbal crudeness and stupid antics, but it contains the one allegation of a serious crime. @ioerror @zeit 18/?
The consequences were devastating. Jacob was instantly persona non grata throughout the hacker scene, his apartment painted with graffiti accusing him of rape. @ioerror @zeit 19/?
Meanwhile, supporters gathered who regarded him as the victim of hypersensitive radical feminists who exaggerated minor misunderstandings and created libelous websites. @ioerror @zeit 20/?
The central questions neglected by both sides: Was Jacob really a rapist? Was River really unconscious? @ioerror @zeit 21/?
The name “Tor” is from “the onion router,” a network architecture of many layers that hides sender and receiver from one another and from the NSA through encryption. @ioerror @zeit 22/?
The case of Appelbaum is similar: Layers must be peeled back, revealing many stories. The first is that of activists mounting a campaign against a former hero. @ioerror @zeit 23/?
Another is of a kind of secret society of people who came together to live differently – more extreme, more ambitious – queer, polyamourous, trans, opposed to every convention. @ioerror @zeit 24/?
The freedom of emancipated love was inextricably tied up with betrayal, tristesse, power plays, and overwhelming emotional distance. @ioerror @zeit 25/?
Start with the days before, at the CCC in Hamburg, the hacker congress, with its attendant alcohol, drugs, and sex. The scene is the lobby of the Radisson Blu Hotel. @ioerror @zeit 26/?
Jacob is drunk. People are watching him. He kisses a Russian women in his circle so roughly that her lip bleeds. @ioerror @zeit 27/?
Later, another woman sits on his lap and they kiss, etc. At some point she stands up, playfully pushes him away. A man rushes up: “Is Appelbaum harassing you?”@ioerror @zeit 28/?
“No,” she answers, but the man nonetheless pushes in between them and admonishes Jacob. @ioerror @zeit 29/?
6 months later, with Jacob branded a rapist, @gizmodo prints an account of this incident by that man and his companions, describing Jacob’s abusiveness and the threat to the woman. @ioerror @zeit 30/?
But then the woman turns up, identifies herself as a girlfriend, denies that anything was wrong, and wonders at the bizarrely distorted perception of the witnesses. @ioerror @zeit 31/?
The victim website fell victim to the same error. One of its stories was taken down at the insistence of the woman described, who was, in fact, the roughly kissed Russian woman @ioerror @zeit 32/?
“I was not a victim of Jacob Appelbaum” she says, adding that she had related the incident to friends who then had twisted the story. @ioerror @zeit 33/?
2 weeks after the victim website appeared, 2 of the victims identified themselves: Sam=Tor developer Isis Lovecruft, Forest=Tor community activist Alison Macrina. @ioerror @zeit 34/?
Remember, Forest was the touching in bed, and Sam was the bathtub incident. Friends of Jacob said important details had been left out of the stories. @ioerror @zeit 35/?
In the case of “Sam”, the bathtub trauma was followed by conversation, reconciliation, and consensual sex. @ioerror @zeit 36/?
When questioned about this by Die Zeit, Macrina was furious; it was “offensive and disgusting” to ask such questions. @ioerror @zeit 37/?
It is inappropriate, Macrina said, ever to use other sexual activities to suggest that violence against assault victims doesn’t count. @ioerror @zeit 38/?
With victims going public, even the CCC now distanced itself from Jacob. A notable exception to the censure was Wikileaks, whose female associates denied experiencing any abuse. @ioerror @zeit 39/?
Meanwhile, in an ongoing internal shakeup, the entire board of Tor was replaced. Pivotal Tor veteran Lucky Green resigned in protest against Jacob’s treatment. @ioerror @zeit 40/?
Macrina moved into the roles formerly occupied by Jacob. She insisted that her expanding influence had nothing to do with the events surrounding him. @ioerror @zeit 41/?
Jacob was always a controversial person in Tor. He got the applause, but others seethed in silence with envy and contempt. He also made more money than Isis Lovecruft. @ioerror @zeit 42/?
Yet he consistently criticized his paymasters, putting forward a radical critique of Tor’s US government funding, and the organization creeping embrace of “professionalism” and coziness with the regime. @ioerror @zeit 43/?
In late July Tor announced its internal investigation had confirmed that Jacob had engaged in “undesired aggressive sexual behavior.” No mention of River, though, or rape. @ioerror @zeit 44/?
So far nobody, on either side, has filed any charges. Why not? @ioerror @zeit 45/?
The anarchists, who hate the state, chose to take matter of rape into their own hands, refusing to go to the police. Nor has Jacob gone to the police, oddly. @ioerror @zeit 46/?
River was new to the “scene.” Did she know what she was getting into? Jacob was open about it being a sex party. @ioerror @zeit 47/?
Witnesses who left the next morning for the airport said “River” had seemed sober and never lost consciousness. Everything had been consensual. @ioerror @zeit 48/?
On that New Year’s day, people including River rose late, went to a spa. River comforted a partier who felt he had disclosed too much of his personal life the night before. @ioerror @zeit 49/?
River’s account, like the story told of the Russian woman, seems to blur several different days, evenings, goings-on, and people. @ioerror @zeit 50/?
One thing stands out: Die Zeit interviewed three of five other people who were present. None observed Jacob and River having sex. Tor ended relations with two of these people in July. @ioerror @zeit 51/?
The dismissed Tor collaborators were accused of “inappropriate behavior.” @ioerror @zeit 52/?
Friends of Jacob asked River over those days if she was doing well, & she always said yes. Not one of 8 witnesses over 2 days saw her unconscious, or forced into sex. @ioerror @zeit 53/?
River left on 3 January. Macrina arrived that evening, apparently headed for the bathtub incident. @ioerror @zeit 54/?
Days later, River posted about the great time she had in Hamburg & Berlin, how she wished to repeat it. On 19 Jan. she later sent a friendly email to Jacob ending with “Hugs”. @ioerror @zeit 55/?
The Berlin hacker scene is shattered, hackers fear being falsely accused, projects languish, mutual trust is gone, and the NSA is popping champagne corks. @ioerror @zeit 56/?
Probably a lot was broken already. As in other leftist utopias, the will to power lurked behind the beautiful words. @ioerror @zeit 57/?
Everyone slept with everyone else and accused their partners of every possible evil. Nobody escaped paranoid accusations of working for the regime. @ioerror @zeit 58/?
Encryption cannot stop the revolution from eating its children. @ioerror @zeit 59/?
Jacob admits failing to fight sexism at Tor, admits behaving inappropriately, apologizes for wounding people, and calls River’s story “fiction.” @ioerror @zeit 60/?
Many others people we talked to, friends and foes alike, don’t want to be quoted. They fear reprisals. @ioerror @zeit 61/?