Volunteer Spotlight: Damian Johnson

Tor mural painted by Ryan 'Henry' Ward.

Tor is a labor of love, built by a small group of committed individuals, but we’re lucky to have the support of a dedicated volunteer base who help us make Tor the strongest anonymity tool out there. Today, we’re highlighting one volunteer in particular, Damian Johnson, aka atagar.

Eight Years and CountingDamian Johnson

Damian has been contributing to Tor since 2009, when he was developing a real-time relay which started as a Google’s Summer of Code application. “Though I'll need to pull back the time I contribute to Tor,” he wrote, as summer drew to a close, “I'm still hoping to stay active in the community.”

We’re so glad that Damian has done just that and become so central to Tor. In the past eight years, he has continued to develop arm (which just got a big overhaul, and is now called Nyx) and Stem, a Python controller library to use with Tor. He also graduated to running Google’s Summer of Code for six years, runs DocTor, a tool which monitors relay consensus health, and helps us run Tor’s many mailing lists, and helps onboard new core Tor members.

We’re grateful to Damian’s commitment to internet freedom, and for rolling up his sleeves and helping to improve Tor. Thank you, Damian!

Getting involved with Tor is easy. You can help us make the network faster and more decentralized by running a relay, especially if you live in a part of the world where we don’t have a lot of relays yet.

“The best defense for civil liberties is to deny centralized authority the power it needs to restrict personal freedoms,” Damian wrote in his GSOC application in 2009. “Privacy is a vital part of that.”

That’s still true today. Tor is a vital tool for protecting privacy and resisting repressive censorship and surveillance. If you can, please consider making a donation. Mozilla is generously matching every donation up to $500,000, so now’s your chance to double your impact.


November 20, 2017


well , this Volunteer Spotlight article is nice , hello atakar.
( > “The best .. today. " is an american point of view , very fun)


November 21, 2017


You can help us make the network faster and more decentralized by running a relay, especially if you live in a part of the world where we don’t have a lot of relays yet.

Please provide documentation on trac about examples of typical places where new relays are sought and if possible with some providers and past experience. That would be more than enough for a lot of us to run relays in new places.

This would be an excellent idea, I'll try to get this information put together. The short answer is that Tor's speed and capacity in the Global South is reduced because we don't have enough exit relays across the Global South.


November 25, 2017


When you were just my little son, how many times did I straighten out your shirt and jacket before we left for school, Damian?

Are you still putting on mismatched socks?

~ bad spoof, not even


November 30, 2017


Hello, can I send cash to the bank address listed in Germany? Will they actually deposit it? Thank you Tor and Tails :)

Join the discussion...

We encourage respectful, on-topic comments. Comments that violate our Code of Conduct will be deleted. Off-topic comments may be deleted at the discretion of the post moderator. Please do not comment as a way to receive support or report bugs on a post unrelated to a release. If you are looking for support, please see our support portal or ways to get in touch with us.

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

3 + 8 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.