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Tor's Appelbaum Objects to Freedom House Assessment

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 14 2011

On Monday, Freedom House put out a report called "Leaping Over the Firewall: A Review of Censorship Circumvention Tools," that ran down the high points and low points of tools like Tor, Ultrasurf, and Your Freedom that try to help people figure out ways to safely and anonymously navigate the Internet, particularly in situations where their governments have an interest in not letting them navigate the Internet safely and anonymously.

The merits of these circumvention tools is one of the hottest debates happening in the so-called Internet freedom space. For one thing, there's a battle raging over whether several million of the dollars that Congress has allocated to the State Department on this front should be redirected to the Broadcasting Board of Governors so that they might focus totally on circumvention.

So there's a lot at stake. For his part, computer security researcher Jacob Appelbaum is arguing now that the Freedom House report did a bad job assessing Tor, the project he's closely involved in. And more broadly, he writes, "the actual basis for the Freedom House review is a scientifically flawed survey that does not measure the properties that it claims to measure."

The Freedom House report "Leaping Over the Firewall" is after the jump.