The attempt by CMU experts to unmask Tor Project software was appalling

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As a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School from 2000-2001, I’m writing to express my disgust at the alleged actions of Alexander Volynkin and Michael McCord of CMU’s Software Engineering Institute who, according to reporting by the Post-Gazette (“2 CMU Experts Said to Unmask Surfing Software,” July 31), may have engaged in seemingly unethical and irresponsible “research” by conducting cyber-attacks against the Tor Project for five months, seeking to violate the privacy of untold thousands of law-abiding individuals using that legal service.

Words fail me to describe how reprehensible their alleged conduct was, more so given the fact that they intended to publicly reveal their “success” in a presentation at the Black Hat USA hacker conference in Las Vegas last weekend, without ever fully advising the Tor Project of the scope of their cyber-attacking, or providing them with the user data they collected, or agreeing to destroy it or even confirm that it has been protected since being surreptitiously obtained!

I am truly ashamed to have any connection to a university with employees who seek to undermine United States citizens’ right to privacy and anonymity in their legal use of the internet.

Joe Papp
Bethel Park


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