Diving in to the situation around Tornado Cash at the moment seems … complex. The US Treasury has applied broad sanctions against it and the Dutch government has arrested an alleged author for enabling money laundering for North Korea, while the EFF and others seem to think it’s an infringement of free speech and point out Tornado Cash is also useful to allow donations to Ukraine without placing the donor at risk from Russian retaliation.
The “Tor” in Tornado brings to mind another application with a mixed reputation. Truth is, the issue is complex and requires precision and case-by-case solutions. While the “Yes Minister “ origins of the phrase “Irregular verb” are sarcastic, there’s some value to seeing this as the resolution of an irregular verb family: I value my privacy; you keep your questionable actions secret; they illegally evade the authorities.
Tor still remains in the “I” and “you” zone for the US while Tornado Cash is in the “they zone”. But this can change, and we should use obfuscation tools like this in full knowledge of the ambiguity.