Questions for Appelbaum solidarity group
- [June 17, 2016, Update: Received a response from Stefania Maurizi via Twitter: https://twitter.com/dellcam/status/743538415224791041 -- At least one person's name has been removed from the list since Wednesday.]
- I’d like these questions forwarded to each of the 12 women who initially signed the solidarity statement with Jacob Appelbaum, and if possible, the individuals who have signed the document since. If that can't be done, please let me know so I can reach out to each them individually. Since journalists have been accused of not hearing both sides, including by you in your letter, I may feel the need to ask these questions publicly, though it may cost me exclusivity with regards to your anticipated response.
- After your statement was released yesterday, two new witnesses stepped forward. Bill Budington of the EFF and Micah Lee of the Intercept tweeted that they witnessed Appelbaum sexually harassing a woman known as “Phoenix,” propositioning her for sex at the dinner table in front of about a dozen of her colleagues. When she informed Appelbaum she was married, he didn’t apologize; instead, he said she should invite her husband to bed with them. She described the incident as “the most uncomfortable meal of my professional life.” Budington also noted that he had heard “first-hand accounts of numerous other reports from victims.” [https://twitter.com/micahflee/status/741727831672000512]
- In a tweet Saturday, journalist Quinn Norton claimed that Appelbaum had “humiliated and threatened to rape a friend of mine in front of me.” [https://twitter.com/quinnnorton/status/741763431389241345]
- For the record, the Daily Dot has spoken to a dozen sources alleging misconduct. We have spoken to four people who have relayed personal stories of harassment and sexual assault. Some of these women have described themselves as members of an underground “victim network” that now consists of more than a dozen individuals. We understand some are discussing revealing their names and stories soon.
- Appelbaum has only released one statement in the last week. It painted these individuals as members of a widespread conspiracy to destroy his reputation using tactics, he said, that have been used against “fellow members of the LGBT community” in the past. Your statement said it is a “coordinated and one-sided attack on his character and work,” and implied the allegations have been presented in a way that may violate Appelbaum’s human rights. [“simple punitivism is not how the human rights that we all defend should be enforced or framed.”] Please correct me if I’m wrong.
- 1) Out of the 12 women who initially signed the solidarity letter, have any expressed a desire to retract their names, given that these new witnesses have come forward?
- 2) This is an incomplete list of public individuals who claim they are victims of, or have witnessed, Appelbaum’s harassment and sexual misconduct: Leigh Honeywell, Alison Macrina, Nick Farr, Andrea Shepard, Violet Blue, Quinn Norton, Meredith Peterson, Micah Lee, Bill Budington. (Additionally, Karen Reilly was identified by Buzzfeed as having filed a sexual harassment claim against Appelbaum in March 2015.) Shari Steele, head of the Tor Project, says the group has also heard numerous reports. The Noisebridge community said this week it had regrettably overlooked “many incidents” in the past. Your letter claims the “mainstream media” -- I presume that is a reference to the Daily Dot and Gizmodo -- is reporting on uncorroborated rumors. Could you specify how many witnesses to an incident your group believes is necessary to corroborate its occurrence?
- 3) With regards to “Phoenix,” her allegations of sexual harassment have been corroborated by two witnesses -- Lee and Budington. Do you consider these witnesses, as your letter describes, as part of a “one-sided attack on [Appelbaum’s] character and work”?
- 4) If not, does your group plan to update its website (ourresponse.org) to include a statement regarding this substantiated claim of sexual harassment? Do you believe it is just to circulate a petition that does not inform the people signing it of the aforementioned facts?
- 5) Sources say some of the people who signed the document were aware of allegations months ago and refuted them at that time as well. Is that accurate?
- 6) Can you say whose idea it was to draft a statement in support of Appelbaum?
- Thank you for your time.
-  Jacob Appelbaum's statement: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1soorlp
-  Statement of solidarity with Jacob Appelbaum: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2858953/Statement-Appelbaum-11-06.pdf