The Tor Project is laying off a third of its staff due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, the non-profit organization has announced.
The developer of the popular privacy-focused Tor Browser said the crisis hit it hard, forcing it 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,” Executive Director Isabela Bagueros noted in a blog post.
“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,” Bagueros also said.
She also underlined that the crisis is putting an emphasis on the need for privacy and secure access to information, as people need access to online information and sometimes they face “ongoing obstacles” in this endeavor.
Bagueros also noted that the organization took the decision to let go some employees to ensure it would continue to make its technology 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,” she concluded.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many small businesses, and it’s no surprise that the Tor Project, which survives entirely on donations, has taken a hit as well.
In fact, it’s entirely possible that the organization has received fewer and less substantial donations than before, which, paired with the fact that some major supporters have become past sponsors, has had a major influence on the decision to lay off people.
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