Nobody wants to talk about Jacob Appelbaum. Do you?

Nobody wants to talk about Jacob Appelbaum. Do you?
Jacob Appelbaum at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress in a session with Julian Assange and Sarah Harrison

When I first switched from Windows to GNU/Linux, I learned about the free software movement and Tor. I wanted to learn a lot from videos of talks and presentations. One fine day I saw a video of Jacob Appelbaum with Roger Dingledine. It was just amazing, as I had just gotten into GNU/Linux and was a new user learning a lot every day. Jacob's charisma made me an instant fan. I really liked his online handle and his IRC nick, ioerror.

I followed him through videos of talks and so on, until one day the news of serious accusations and allegations, including one of rape, completely shocked me.

As expected, he was rarely seen online as most of the people he worked with had now disassociated themselves from him. And nobody wants to talk about Jacob Appelbaum.

Thanks to filmmaker Jamie Kastner, we finally got to see Jacob's side of the story. So I had the opportunity to watch the amazing documentary and I am astonished. This post is basically my description and understanding of the documentary in my own words.

Jacob loves living with cats and talks about an accident he had with one of them, which he suspects may have been a possible break-in. He seemed very confident and not at all unstable as we are led to believe.

Jacob is very vocal about his American citizenship and passport and the reason he doesn't live in America is because of harassment for his work. He currently lives in East Berlin and talks about a joke that Germans make when they see the amount of surveillance that is far more advanced than the Stasi ever had.

He also fears life imprisonment if he is charged in the US under the Espionage Act.

He says he can expect Rosenberg treatment. He is very vocal about the history of killing dissidents in the USA, legally or illegally.

He talks about the complex situation of surveillance you can go through, like strange hotel visits, undercover agents following you in places like restaurants or public gardens, where you might think you're alone for a while and yet you're not. Joggers running past you in a loop for hours on end. When you're actually in that situation, you have trust issues and a very difficult time that you can't understand unless you've been there.

Jacob takes us to a place [US Embassy] in Israel where he demonstrates live surveillance activity to the filmmaker. They meet a random guy around the corner who happens to be into cybersecurity and CNOs [Computer Networks Operations], Jacob calls them as people who basically break into your systems. So this random guy confirms that the US Embassy has very active surveillance and then he goes on to talk about Stingrays, and then Snoop Snitch, but also Cellebrite Inbound.

It is so scary how Jacob deflects a 'general' question about what work he did for Wikileaks because of the legal repercussions, including but not limited to investigations, that not only he but others, including his friends, have had to face.

Jacob also talks about the work he did for Wikileaks and how closely he worked with Julian Assange as a supporter, as he was never paid and was never an employee of Wikileaks. The documentary talks about the use of the term co-conspirator/associate in the US indictments against Julian Assange, which the prosecution literally use as a tool to scare others, including Jacob. It is a statement of how their fate is now linked to Julian.

A little bit of the Tor Project is discussed in the documentary. Jacob talks about how, as a young, naive person, he got excited about the idea of teaching the world anonymity tools as a developer and public figure with the Tor Project.

Some people in the documentary talk about Jacob having the charisma to attract people they call groupies, and about him being the next Julian Assange.

Jacob also talks about his first WikiLeaks appearance during a talk in the US, which he himself is still not sure why he did, and which was almost 11 years ago. After the appearance and the unpleasant experience there, he flew to Europe.

Jacob also talks about Laura Poitras and how she came to him for help with Edward Snowden. And how Jacob was in contact with him when he was in Hong Kong, for him it was like a little window where you have someone from the intelligence community answering your questions.

Jacob talks about the Tor developer meeting in Munich, DE, where it was absolute chaos because of Edward Snowden's leaks and his use of the Tor Project sticker on his laptop, and how it could bring the heat on the project, and it did, as more and more people in power started to distance themselves from the project. Even banks refused to work with Tor because of the Patriot Act, as former Tor Project Executive Director Andrew Lewman said in the documentary.

Jacob has not been to the US for more than 6 years. Jacob misses his home and talks about it, so the original intention of leaving the US was never not to return. is discussed where in the summer of 2016 a lot changed for Jacob after the website went live on 3rd June with some very bad stories including sexual misconduct/assault type descriptions of people who worked with Jacob, including a horrible rape allegation by Chelsea Komlo.

Even the investigative journalists who did most of the digging didn't want to talk about it because some of the descriptions changed from what was originally on the website and it came as additional information.

Although no witness wants to talk about what happened on the night in the flat where the alleged rape took place.

Christopher Sheats (Privacy and Security Engineer) came forward to talk about the alleged rape case and according to him, what Chelsea Komlo said in the blog post is not what happened. According to him, he was so close that he could easily see if there was anything sexual under the sheets or blankets, if anything.

In the documentary, Anna Loll, a Berlin-based freelance investigative journalist, said that Sarah Michelle Reichwein, aka ISIS Agora Lovecruft, told her that Jacob Appelbaum had allegedly groped her and that it happened in Berlin in January 2014.

Snapshots from

However, according to Jacob's passport, he had an entry stamp indicating that he was in Hong Kong at the time of the alleged sexual misconduct.

The story as originally published by ISIS Agora Lovecruft as 'Forest' on is available on her blog.

Sarah Michelle Reichwein aka. ISIS Agora Lovecruft's habit of accusing people of rape, sexual assault/misconduct and other serious misconduct involving illegal drugs etc. is then discussed with Nadim Kobeissi in the documentary.

Nadim himself, for not supporting them, is eventually called a serial rapist by isis agora in public on Twitter [now] because he had some doubts about isis agora's accusation pattern, which was now very clear to him.

Para 38 and Para 39 of Case 4:19-cv-01751-DMR Document 1 Filed 04/03/19 Page 6 of 10
Case 4:19-cv-01751-DMR Document 1 Filed 04/03/19 Page 6 of 10

Nadim also received similar tweets about him on Twitter from Chelsea Komlo.

Nadim had also shared his story of working with Jacob on He was originally supporting Chelsea Komlo and others.

The documentary ends with a Jacob who still wants to be that charismatic person on stage, but for some reason isn't being called to the places he really wants to be. He is shown making small talk about a total immunity deal the US government wants to make with him if he testifies against Julian Assange. Jacob has opted out of the full immunity deal, stating that he would rather die on foreign soil.

One thing to note about the limited audience was that it appeared to include Mr Richard Stallman. However, there is no communication or exchange between the two in the documentary.

You can't call it the end of the energetic Jacob you're used to, but it really has changed him a lot. Kudos to the filmmaker for finally talking about Jacob!

What we can learn from this is how a sticker on your laptop or some kind of association with your project, especially if you are a whistleblower or dissident, can jilt a lot of important connections and relationships. And how the US government attacks freedom of the press and legitimate activism by painting them as terrorists or foreign intelligence services funded by the other side, for example Russia. Also, how much power the US government can exercise as a state over other countries, including the EU, to do damage control and other operations.

I as a human being cannot imagine the strength Mr Julian or even Jacob has to endure this whole process. I am not sure what is next for Jacob, given the seriousness of the allegations, some from serial allegation experts like Sarah Michelle Reichwein aka. ISIS Agora Lovecruft. Apparently, anyone who disagrees is a rapist or serial rapist. I could be one tomorrow if she happens to read this. Or maybe I can be a junkie turned drug dealer if they like that title for me. Regardless of the fact that I am a person who has never taken any kind of intoxicant in my life. Because nobody wants to talk about it.

Here is an extract from a reply submitted by Sarah Michelle Reichwein aka. ISIS Agora Lovecruft. It is truly unbelievable to read her thoughts on Germany, its laws and culture. A developed country like Germany is called a safe haven for rapists.

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Is German culture really so barbaric and uncivilised that it cannot understand basic things like "not getting raped"? I completely disagree.

The German national football team after winning the FIFA World Cup for the fourth time in 2014

What is important is to see the role of investigative and other journalists in this case and how we as a society see it. I mean, without hearing Jacob's side, or Nadim's side, or any other side offered to even the most dreaded terrorists in the world today, how could we decide a case in public or in media trials?

Jacob, for example, can surely work as a good security consultant in a good company and make a good living, right? If this is how we treat people, including people like Mr Richard Stallman, when accusations are made, I mean, who are these people working for? I think they work for us.

Finally, it is important to note that even after the filmmaker's numerous requests over the years, very few people actually wanted to talk about Jacob. None of the award-winning journalists, writers or Tor project people with whom Jacob worked closely want to talk.

Those who did were reluctant anyway.

I would like to be absolutely clear that if Jacob has committed crimes of the nature alleged by several people he has worked with, he certainly deserves jail time. Let the evidence in the courts decide. After all, everyone is innocent until proven guilty.