Honorable spies anonymously leak NSA/GHCQ-discovered flaws in Tor

Andrew Lewman, head of operations for The Onion Router (TOR), an anonymity and privacy tool that is particularly loathed by the spy agencies' capos, credits Tor's anonymous bug-reporting system for giving spies a safe way to report bugs in Tor that would otherwise be weaponized to attack Tor's users.

He gets tips from disaffected spies on a monthly basis, and says that NSA whistleblower William Binney attributes the leaks to the vast numbers of NSA spies who are "upset that they are spying on Americans."

Mr Lewman said that his organisation provided advice to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the UK Serious Crime Agency (Soca), to help them understand how Tor worked in order to aid their investigations.

But he criticised cyberspies who carried out orders to undermine Tor's protections.

"We are around 30 people in total, and think of the NSA or GCHQ with their tens of thousands of employees and billions of pounds of budget," he said.

"The odds there are obviously in their favour.

"It's sort of funny because it also came out that GCHQ heavily relies on Tor working to be able to do a lot of their operations.

"So you can imagine one part of GCHQ is trying to break Tor, the other part is trying to make sure it's not broken because they're relying on it to do their work.

"So it's typical within governments, or even within large agencies, that you have two halves of the same coin going after different parts of Tor. Some protect it, some to try to attack it."

NSA and GCHQ agents 'leak Tor bugs', alleges developer [Leo Kelion/BBC]