The Tor Project says it can't build open source tools for circumventing censorship if it also controls who uses those tools.
A day after The Daily Stormer retreated to the darknet, the organization that helped make that move possible is condemning the neo-Nazi site while grudgingly acknowledging its technology allows the site to continue to spew messages of hate.
A version of the site, dubbed the "top hate site in America," appeared Wednesday on a part of the web that can only be accessed through the Tor Project's browser, which hides users' online identities. The Daily Stormer moved to a Tor onion service after GoDaddy and then Googlepulled its domain following an offensive story it published about Heather Heyer, who was killed on Saturday while counter-protesting against white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"We are disgusted, angered, and appalled by everything these racists stand for and do," Tor member Steph wrote in a blog post Thursday. "Ironically, the Tor software has been designed and written by a diverse team including people of many religions, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and points on the (legitimate, non-Nazi) political spectrum.
"We are everything they claim to despise," Steph wrote. "And we work every day to defend the human rights they oppose."
With the move, the Tor Project joins a slew of companies and organizations seeking to distance themselves from white supremacist activity on the web. Apple and PayPal have disabled support of their services at websites that sell merchandise glorifying white nationalists and support hate groups, while Reddit and Facebook have each banned entire hate groups.
Click to see our in-depth coverage of online hatred.
On Wednesday, internet security provider Cloudflare dropped its support for the website, essentially allowing it to be taken down with a denial-of-service attack. Twitter also joined the campaign by suspending the accounts linked to the the website.
Steph pointed out the Tor browser is designed to defeat censorship, and the organization can't and shouldn't decide who benefits from that freedom.
"We can't build free and open source tools that protect journalists, human rights activists, and ordinary people around the world if we also control who uses those tools," Steph wrote. "Tor is designed to defend human rights and privacy by preventing anyone from censoring things, even us."
Solving for XX: The industry seeks to overcome outdated ideas about "women in tech."
Special Reports: All of CNET's most in-depth features in one easy spot.
- What is Tor? A beginner's guide to using the private browser - CNET - May 24th, 2020
- How to activate DNS-over-HTTPS in the latest version of Google Chrome - Komando - May 24th, 2020
- The Patriot Act and your privacy - Security Boulevard - May 24th, 2020
- Firefox zero day in the wild: patch now (Tor Browser too!) - Naked Security - April 11th, 2020
- IntSights: The dark web is a wretched hive of coronavirus scams and pandemic cybercrime - VentureBeat - April 11th, 2020
- What Is the Tor Browser & How To Use It In 2020 - Blokt - April 11th, 2020
- Tape the webcam, enable firewall: 11 rules to ensure cyber security when you work from home - Economic Times - April 11th, 2020
- Tails 4.5 Is Out: Run The Live Operating System With Secure Boot - Fossbytes - April 11th, 2020
- This Week In Security: Zoom (Really This Time), Fingerprints, And Bloatware - Hackaday - April 11th, 2020
- Apple blocks third-party cookies in Safari - ZDNet - March 26th, 2020
- Dark Web A cyber heaven of criminal activity - The Financial Express BD - March 26th, 2020
- Install the privacy-focused Tor Browser on your Chromebook in 4 simple steps - Chrome Unboxed - March 24th, 2020
- NetAbstraction Announces Support for Private and Secure Access to the Dark Web #48955 - New Kerala - March 24th, 2020
- Tails 4.4 has been released with new Tor Browser version - Neowin - March 14th, 2020
- Want to browse the web privately? Heres how to do it for real - Yahoo Tech - March 14th, 2020
- 17 things you can buy on the Dark Web - MyBroadband - March 14th, 2020
- 3 ways to browse the web anonymously - We Live Security - January 27th, 2020
- What is a Bitcoin mixer and how does it work? - CryptoTicker - January 27th, 2020
- Digital surveillance threats for 2020 - The Star, Kenya - January 18th, 2020
- Teejayx6 Will Steal Your Identityand Rap About It - WIRED - December 2nd, 2019
- Such as the struggle of the Venezuelan economy, some residents turn to a lucrative gig: Cybercrime - Herald Journalism 24 - December 2nd, 2019
- Smart users guide to the snooping game - Livemint - November 17th, 2019
- Privacy on your smartphone: how to protect your data - AndroidPIT - November 17th, 2019
- BBC News heads to the dark web with new Tor mirror - The Verge - October 27th, 2019
- The Tor Project releases Tor Browser 9.0 with several UX improvements - Neowin - October 27th, 2019
- Fraudulent Tor Browser Spies and Has Been Stealing The Bitcoins - GoodTime Nation - October 27th, 2019
- OnionShare Lets Anyone Host Anonymous Sites on the Dark Web - BleepingComputer - October 16th, 2019
- #SecTorCa: Millions of Phones Leaking Information Via Tor - Infosecurity Magazine - October 16th, 2019
- Is there anything we can do to stop someone spying on us? - Newstalk 106-108 fm - August 25th, 2017
- If you're really concerned about browser security, Incognito isn't enough - TechRepublic - August 20th, 2017
- The Daily Stormer has lost its lease, accessible only via Tor browser - The Moderate Voice - August 20th, 2017
- Neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer resurfaces with Russian domain following Google and GoDaddy bans - Vox - August 16th, 2017
- Tor Browser 7.0.4 Download - TechSpot - August 14th, 2017
- Debian-Based Tails 3.1 Anonymous OS Debuts with Tor Browser 7.0.4, Linux 4.9.30 - LXer (press release) - August 11th, 2017
- Tails 3.1 has been released but you'll need to do a manual upgrade - Neowin - August 10th, 2017
- China and Russia go further in squelching Internet freedom - Washington Post - August 10th, 2017
- The FBI Booby-Trapped a Video to Catch a Suspected Tor ... - Motherboard - August 9th, 2017
- Major Improvements Are Coming Soon to the Tor Browser - The Merkle - August 8th, 2017
- The Attack on Global Privacy Leaves Few Places To Turn - WIRED - August 4th, 2017
- Tor Co-Founder: There Is No Dark Web The Merkle - The Merkle - August 3rd, 2017
- Online privacy protection - Choice - CHOICE - August 2nd, 2017
- There Is Basically No Dark Web. It's Only A Few Webpages TOR Co-founder - Fossbytes - July 31st, 2017
- How to Install Tor Browser for Mac and Protect Your Online Activity - iDrop News - July 29th, 2017
- How to get around an ISP blocking a website - MyBroadband - July 26th, 2017
- Don't blame online anonymity for dark web drug deals. - Slate Magazine (blog) - July 26th, 2017
- Tor network will pay you to hack it through new bug bounty program ... - ZDNet - July 21st, 2017
- Tor Project to launch public bug bounty project - CIO Dive - July 21st, 2017
- How to access the dark web - The Daily Dot - July 20th, 2017
- Your Mailman Is a Drug Dealer. He Just Doesn't Know It. - WNYC - July 20th, 2017
- Want porn? Prove your age (or get a VPN) Naked Security - Naked Security - July 20th, 2017
- Suspected AlphaBay founder dies in Bangkok jail after shutdown of online black market - Washington Post - July 19th, 2017
- S. Sudan blocks Sudan Tribune website over hostile coverage - Sudan Tribune - July 19th, 2017
- Assassins and child porn; a darknet offers everything - The Slovak Spectator - July 19th, 2017
- Apple users warned of dangerous new Mac malware that steals banking credentials - ThaiVisa News - July 18th, 2017
- The best security apps to lock down your Android phone - The Daily Dot - July 14th, 2017
- Mozilla is held to a higher standard - Ghacks Technology News - July 14th, 2017
- Privacy blunder? Firefox's Get Add-ons page uses Google Analytics - Ghacks Technology News - July 13th, 2017
- Russia, China vow to kill off VPNs, Tor browser - The Register - July 11th, 2017
- How to safely search the deep web - The Age - The Age - July 11th, 2017
- ACLU's Gillmor on privacy: 'We pay for what we value' (Q&A) - The Parallax (blog) - July 10th, 2017
- What is Tor browser, and is it safe? | Komando.com - July 7th, 2017
- Darknet 101: Your guide to the badlands of the internet - CNET - CNET - July 5th, 2017
- In Reporting on North Korea, Tech Helps Break Through Secrecy - New York Times - July 5th, 2017
- How to safely search the deep web - The Sydney Morning Herald - July 5th, 2017
- TOR Browser - darkwebnews.com - July 5th, 2017
- How To Search The Deep Web Safely - Gizmodo Australia - July 5th, 2017
- Burleson man convicted of accessing child porn from dark website - Fort Worth Star Telegram - July 4th, 2017
- Here Brazilian Journalists Learn Privacy for Themselves and Their Sources - Brazzil.com - June 30th, 2017
- Purism aims to push privacy-centric laptops, tablets and phones to market - Computerworld - June 29th, 2017
- Brazilian site teaches journalists how to protect sources and personal data from digital attacks - Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas (blog) - June 29th, 2017
- The best ways to make your search private in 2017 - KnowTechie - June 28th, 2017
- Bill regulating online anonymizers unanimously passes first ruling in Russian Duma - Washington Times - June 24th, 2017
- The Burger King Ad That Activated Google Home Just Won A Prestigious Award - XDA Developers (blog) - June 24th, 2017
- Mozilla's new Android browser blocks ads and trackers - Boing Boing - June 22nd, 2017
- Secure OS Tails 3.0 Launches With Debian 9 Base, Redesigned ... - Tom's Hardware - June 15th, 2017
- Tails OS hits version 3.0, matches Debian's pace but bins 32-bit systems - The Register - June 14th, 2017
- Tor Browser 7.0 is released | The Tor Blog - June 10th, 2017
- Tor Browser 7.0 works harder to protect your anonymity on its own - Engadget - June 10th, 2017