Barely 14 days after the website went live, two women posted blog entries and admitted to being the people identified as Sam and Forest.

A Tor programmer with the pseudonym Isis Agora Lovecruft admitted to being Forest (the one into whose underwear Mr. Appelbaum supposedly slipped his finger) and identified herself as a young American living in Berlin. Ms. Lovecruft is not a computer scientist. She studied physics and literature, and her majors were High-Energy Physics and Feminist Critical Theory.

Sam is also an American whose real name is Alison Macrina, head of a project that aims to make libraries accessible with Tor. (She is the woman in the bathtub episode.)

There’s a lot that suggests it was these two who set up the webpage containing the accusations. Ms. Lovecruft declares in her blog that she has been collecting the testimonies of Appelbaum victims for half a year. She is also the girlfriend that the Russian activist confided in about her bloody lip.

It’s possible that what Ms. Lovecruft and Ms. Macrina described under the Forest and Sam pseudonyms happened that way.

Friends of Mr. Appelbaum, however, accuse the two of having left out key details. Such as Sam ending her account with her reportedly leaping out of the bathtub and crying. In reality, apparently, the evening ended otherwise. After talking things over for a long time, she supposedly had consensual sex with Mr. Appelbaum. 

Ms. Macrina reacted angrily when asked about it. It’s "shameful and prurient" to even be asked about that at all, she said. "Finally, as a general principle, it is not okay to hold up other sexual encounters to assault victims as a way of suggesting that their assault is invalid."

Since the talk was no longer just about anonymous accusations, the Chaos Computer Club, which carries a lot of weight in the international hacker community, also distanced itself from Mr. Appelbaum after a fierce internal squabble. "Yes, of course this means Jacob Appelbaum @ioerror is not welcome," CCC said in a Twitter message June 17.

With that, all the significant institutions have ousted him – aside from a very few exceptions like WikiLeaks, with which he has occasionally worked. Its most prominent representative, Mr. Assange, is stuck in the Ecuadorian embassy in London as he seeks refuge from rape allegations. When asked about Mr. Appelbaum, the people at WikiLeaks replied from London: "No complaint has been lodged against Mr. Appelbaum within WikiLeaks. On the accusations appearing on the internet, we asked our female staff, lawyers and other women we are closely working with whether they had any experience of sexual violence in relation to Mr. Appelbaum or wished to make a complaint. They did not."

Meanwhile, a major shuffling of employees is taking place at the Tor Project. The whole supervisory board was to be replaced July 13. The network also is losing Tor veteran Lucky Green, a longtime supporter who no longer wants to be part of the way Mr. Appelbaum is being treated. The expert was responsible for the so-called Bridge Authority, a technical tool with which people in countries like China are able to gain access to Tor despite internet censorship. Tor is now building up a new Bridge Authority. The person responsible for the project is Ms. Lovecruft, alias Forest.

Ms. Macrina, alias Sam, was assigned the leadership of the Community Teams after the accusations had become known at Tor. She had also been on the Community Council since the end of 2015. Both committees are also responsible for dealing with sexual harassment among staff members. Ms. Macrina is said to have been deeply involved in the internal investigation against Mr. Appelbaum. Ms. Macrina has suddenly been listed on the Tor website as one of the Tor Project’s core people. In March, Mr. Appelbaum’s name was still listed in that position.

So what the person identified as River had wished for in her allegation on the anti-Appelbaum website has come true: "I am grateful to the people who have fought to do the right thing once they learned of Jacob's actions. I have seen how many people in this community are incredibly noble and compassionate. (....) It is these people, not people like Jacob, that should be the leaders of our community."

Ms. Macrina added that she has "never held any position that Jake held, nor have I taken over any of his responsibilities." She says the fact that she now holds more responsibility at Tor is a result of her "demonstrated commitment to the organization over time." In no way does she correlate that to events having to do with Mr. Appelbaum.

Mr. Appelbaum was always a controversial figure within the Tor Project. He hardly programmed and was more responsible for the outward image – he stood on stages, got the applause. Others were quietly doing the work, inside sources say. Mr. Appelbaum was at times being given an annual salary at Tor of close to $100,000, while a freelance programmer like Ms. Lovecruft earned only a fraction of that. Moreover, a serious conflict has been smoldering for months over Tor’s political alignment. To what extent are financial backers like the U.S. State Department acceptable? Mr. Appelbaum had always fought against being too close to the government, against too much professionalism. He wanted to stay a radical critic.

All of that might have prepared the ground for the hate, but it doesn’t answer the question about whether Mr. Appelbaum is a rapist or has otherwise committed a punishable offence. Following an internal investigation, the Tor Project issued a news release July 27: Mr. Appelbaum has repeatedly shown "unwanted sexually aggressive behavior." No word about River, no word about whether she was unconscious. Even after repeated requests, Tor continues to make no comment.

On the other hand, what happened does matter to Mr. Appelbaum.