It is disappointing to see that someone that is so smart and eloquent, can be so disgusting and stupid.
Appelbaum has always attempted to make the hacker scene, and especially the zeitgeist of the hacktivist stage, his own. When Wikileaks happened, he publicly fashioned himself as a lieutenant. And as the voice of Julian Assange, presenting Assange’s CCC keynote and representing the man or that work, or being the gatekeeper, “evangelist” or public persona, whenever possible. He did the same to become part of, and endeavored to become synonymous with, the Edward Snowden documents, also making himself a representative of Snowden and accepting an award on his behalf, and again, a gatekeeper of this arena. Similarly with the Tor Project. He has also aligned himself with the Freedom of the Press Foundation and CCC. He holds secrets belonging to these people and these organizations, and has made himself very powerful.
These are causes, not just jobs or consulting gigs. They are symbols for fighting injustice, and crusading for those at risk of exploitation. Their reputations are fraught and fragile. To attack a person in them is to attack the movement. They are also male-dominated organizations, in the male-dominated realm of hacking, where very few of the men are willing to accept that their hacker heroes, team bosses, and conference buddies might be doing really, really fucked up things to women.
I hope his victims find the justice they deserve, and that the affected communities make the required changes to ensure that this never happens again.