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Jacob Appelbaum is a bullying sex pest, says ex-employer Tor Project

Anonymizing tool team concludes investigation and fires two others

Web activist Jacob Appelbaum humiliated, intimidated, bullied and frightened numerous people in the internet community and subjected others to "unwanted sexually aggressive behavior."

That's according to his former employer, the Tor Project, which today announced it had closed a seven-week investigation into allegations made against Appelbaum – allegations that resulted in his immediate dismissal from a $100K-a-year job.

In a statement written by executive director Shari Steele, the organization also said it had fired two other people (unnamed) for "having engaged in inappropriate conduct," and would introduce new complaints and anti-harassment policies later this week in response to the scandal.

Appelbaum has denied all allegations of "sexual misconduct," calling them "unsubstantiated and unfounded." He has not said anything publicly since June 6, two days after Steele noted that "serious, public allegations of sexual mistreatment" had been made against him that were "consistent with rumors some of us had been hearing for some time."

The Tor Project hired a private investigator to look into the complaints – some of which were posted anonymously online, some under people's real names, and some, according to Steele, that were provided in confidence to Tor and have not been made public.

"I want to thank all the people who broke the silence around Jacob's behavior," Steele added. "It is because of you that this issue has now been addressed. I am grateful you spoke up, and I acknowledge and appreciate your courage."

As a result of the saga, earlier this month, the entire board of the Tor Project resigned and was replaced by an entirely new set of individuals. Steele called that decision an "incredibly brave and selfless thing," but it came in response to reports that the board had known about Appelbaum's behavior for some time and failed to act.

Appelbaum did not respond to The Register's request for comment. ®

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