Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Reporter Attacked, Smeared for Tor Exposé

Peter B. Collins Presents Yasha Levine

Following his July article in Pando and a related interview here, Yasha Levine was the target of slings and arrows, including some from online privacy advocates who work for the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Levine had reported on the origins and funding of the Tor encryption system—linked to the Navy and State Department—and none of his detractors disputed any part of his reporting. Some dismissed Levine as a “conspiracy theorist” while others engaged in childish, crude and mean tweets and online comments. Levine has catalogued the attacks, and responds to the smears.

*Yasha Levine is an investigative reporter for Pando Daily. You can review the attacks and Levine’s replies here. And Wired reports the FBI has developed a hack for Tor through its “Operation Torpedo”.

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  1. What Yasha doesn’t mention is that the real “shit-storm” was when Andrea Shepard doxxed a twitter user that was very active in criticism of the Snowden/Greenwald narrative. She notified his place of employment as well as his parents that he was “trolling” people with “misogynistic” comments when, in fact, the real reason he was outed was his persistant dogging of people he believed to be phonies, such as many of the people behind Tor. She may have gotten him fired as his twitter account has been deleted. Its obvious to me that Tor is just a massive government honeytrap designed and promoted to ensnare the gullible.
    So, Yasha may have had to endure the barbs of Twitter scum, but the real story was someone’s potential loss of livelihood. Not only as Shepard not felt any regret of her actions, she has threatened the “doxxing” of others, including Levine, that don’t give Tor its due praise.

  2. Well done guys…. i rarely comment but hey this was really nice.

    Good work Yasha…… this piece right on point and a joy to listen to

  3. A third key?!..
    NSA Built Back Door In All Windows Software by 1999…
    “How is an IT manager to feel when they learn that in every copy of Windows sold, Microsoft has a ‘back door’ for NSA – making it orders of magnitude easier for the US government to access your computer?” he asked. ..ha ha..go Tor go..

    Only NSA can listen, so that’s OK..
    Ohh… A Door…It’s a Trap..NSAKEY or ADVAPI.DLL..
    I just Have to drink A very nice bottle of
    Kind Regards

  4. Castillonis says:

    I always suspected that this was a potential honeypot. The traffic would definitely have a higher priority. The jaw dropper for me was the EFF. Thank you Levine for bringing this to the public.

    • The EFF is funded by multiple people though, for real, check it out.

      And you can’t say their HTTPS Everywhere plugin is bad, it’s strange that it is not in the regular firefox add-on list, but there is ForceTLS in the official firefox plugins that pretty much does the same. My jaw dropped too, my beloved EFF crooks? Then I regained composure and did my best at finding who funds them and it’s not something that is close to Tor when it comes to dirty money. I think.

  5. I’ve read up on both sides of this scandal. The main response to Yasha seems to be that Tor made it clear all along that it received government funding, so therefore, there’s no real news.

    First, even if they had this on their website, it certainly was not a well-advertised feature of their project. I don’t think many people were aware of it, or of the continuing government funding of the project. Shining a light, or shifting focus to a previously under-considered issue is a valid role of investigative journalism, even if the information wasn’t strictly secret.

    Second, none of this in any way justifies the vitriol and nasty comments thrown at Yasha from the Tor people or their supporters. If there really was no news, then don’t respond to it. The reaction has become the news itself, because it implies some raw nerve has been hit. I think the reaction itself justifies further inquiry into whether this government funding is something to be concerned about and whether it is having a (perhaps intended?) effect of creating a lynch mob against any critics.

    It’s disturbing to see a group of supposed anarchists or libertarians so readily accepting money from government and its cronies. I understand why Glenn Greenwald was quick to dismiss Yasha’s claims – he falls into the same co-opted boat by his crony Omidyar funding. Let’s leave aside the issue of direct control of Tor by the government. Are these supposed Tor libertarians not in the least bit troubled by accepting stolen money (i.e. tax money) for their livelihoods? This is an ethical question that needs to be addressed, quite apart from the issue of control.

  6. Greenwald is still too old school, if you know what I mean?

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