Tor Has a New Leader, Heads Toward its Next Frontier

by Ostatic Staff - Dec. 18, 2015

There continue to be many people around the globe who want to be able to use the web and messaging systems anonymously, despite the fact that some people want to end Internet anonymity altogether. Typically, the anonymous crowd turns to common tools that can keep their tracks private, and one of the most common tools of all is Tor, an open source tool used all around the world.

In fact, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)--people with a fair amount of clout--has previously asked the architects of Tor to evaluate turning it into an Internet standard. But one of the biggest ever pieces of news related to Tor, broke this month when a former Electronic Frontier Foundation executive director was named to lead the Tor Project. Shari Steele has big plans for Tor.

Roger Dingledine, Tor’s interim executive director, wrote in a blog post on Steele's appointment that "Tor is part of a larger family of civil liberties organizations, and this move makes it clear that Tor is a main figure in that family."

As a matter of fact, the EFF, where Steele comes from has a long history with Tor. As the blog post notes:

"We have our good friend Shari Steele, who led EFF for 15 years, coming on board to lead us.

"We've known Shari for a long time. She led EFF's choice to fund Tor back in 2004-2005. She is also the one who helped create EFF's technology department, which has brought us HTTPS Everywhere and their various guides and tool assessments."

Tor's technical side is world-class, and I am excited that Shari will help Tor's organizational side become great too. She shares our core values, she brings leadership in managing and coordinating people, she has huge experience in growing a key non-profit in our space, and her work pioneering EFF's community-based funding model will be especially valuable as we continue our campaign to diversify our funding sources."

 The Electronic Frontier Foundation actually recommends that users of the Firefox and Chrome browsers use the HTPPS Everywhere extenstion to enable Tor with ease.

It would certaintly change the dynamics of the Internet--affecting everyone from advertisers to malware purveyors--if Tor became baked into the Internet itself. We shall see what Steele's plans for Tors include.