The Tor Project, an effort to allow users to browse the Internet anonymously, thinks that it is receiving tips from spies focused on finding its flaws. Tor’s Andrew Lewman alleges that the folks tasked with finding ways to break Tor, are supplying the group with the information that they uncover.
Not all, of course, but according to a quote published by the BBC, Lewman claims that Tor receives tips on something close to a monthly basis, pointing out “subtle” bugs in Tor’s code.
As such, it appears to Lewman that some involved in intelligence work are contravening their co-workers and helping Tor fix issues that those agencies might otherwise be able to exploit.
The other irony to all of this is that the Tor Project has been funded in part by U.S. military money in the past, and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor currently.
So, to sum: A project to help Internet users be private that the United States has funded in the past, and currently funds today, is being hacked by the NSA, while other actors of state agencies appear to be leaking found vulnerabilities to Tor itself.
That’s just so damn efficient it almost sounds like government.
As TechCrunch wrote previously, Tor matters because it provides much-needed cover to a broad swath of the population like journalists, dissidents and activists. You can see why the NSA would want a way in. Happily, it seems that there are those even on that particular side of the fence that aren’t comfortable with it.