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  • 05.17.16

The FBI has been stalking this Tor developer and no one knows why

She goes by the name Isis Agora Lovecruft and is a core developer for Tor, the browser favored by hackers and other dark webbers because it hides users’ online locations. The FBI began trying to contact Lovecruft last November. Fearing that the feds might want to compel her to compromise Tor security in some way, she fled to Germany late last year. But the calls didn’t stop. 

The FBI may want Lovecruft’s help in a Tor-related criminal case, to help them gain access to a user’s private communications (though this would be difficult now that she’s in Europe). But the feds won’t even talk to Lovecruft’s lawyer Nate Cardozo. All they’ve said is that they want to meet with Lovecruft alone, without an attorney present. In short, they’re acting creepy, and Lovecruft is rattled.

The bureau’s desire to talk to Lovecruft might stem from a misunderstanding of how Tor works, Cardozo said. “. . . if they think they can ask about a private Tor connection from three months ago, there’s not going to be any record of that—they’re looking for something that doesn’t exist,” he told Fast Company. Cardozo added that because Tor is open source, there’s no way to add a secret “back door” to user data. “Everyone would know about it,” he said.MS