The Tor Project is laying off a third of its staff due to the economic issues caused by coronavirus. The team, according to a statement from the organization, now consists of only 22 people.
On April 17, the Tor Project posted “COVID-19’s impact on Tor” on its blog. Text below.
Tor, like much of the world, has been caught up in the COVID-19 crisis. Like many other nonprofits and small businesses, the crisis has hit us hard, and we have had to make some difficult decisions.
We had to let go of 13 great people who helped make Tor available to millions of people around the world. We will move forward with a core team of 22 people, and remain dedicated to continuing our work on Tor Browser and the Tor software ecosystem.
The world won’t be the same after this crisis, and the need for privacy and secure access to information will become more urgent. In these times, being online is critical and many people face ongoing obstacles to getting and sharing needed information. We are taking today’s difficult steps to ensure the Tor Project continues to exist and our technology stays available.
We are terribly sad to lose such valuable teammates, and we want to let all our users and supporters know that Tor will continue to provide privacy, security, and censorship circumvention services to anyone who needs them.
The Tor Project, in 2019, only received $833,956 in donations from individuals. Their end of year campaign brought in $300,000 in donations (which Mozilla matched). Of course, the Tor Project is sponsored by a number of bigger donors, including DARPA and the Zcash Foundation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, donating to non-profits such as the Tor Project is far from a priority for individuals and companies with their own financial concerns.
And as a reminder for those with spare change in their wallets, Dark.Fail survives off donations entirely and would appreciate support. HugBunter would also appreciate donations (Dread link) for his work as the creator and administrator of Dread.