Lofgren questions DHS policy towards TOR Relays

December 10, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.Today, U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) released a letter expressing her concern with news reports indicating an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent enlisted local law enforcement to pressure a New Hampshire public library into disabling its Tor relay.

The letter, addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, notes that the Tor network is used by journalists, activists, dissidents, intelligence sources, and other privacy concerned individuals to keep their web browsing private, and the network receives significant funding through government grants.

The letter reads:

"While the Kilton Public Library's board ultimately voted to restore their Tor relay, I am no less disturbed by the possibility that DSH employers are pressuring or persuading public and private entities to discontinue or degrade services that protect the privacy and anonymity of U.S. citizens."

Lofgren asked DHS to provide clarification with respect to the incident, including whether interference in the library's offering of Tor was the result of a DHS policy, or the result of an agent acting independently without authorization.

A full copy of the letter can be found here.

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