[tor-project] The Tor Project Social Contract

Lunar lunar at torproject.org
Tue Aug 2 11:59:41 UTC 2016


Mike Perry:
> I hate to be late to the party, and I hate to start a libre/free/open
> flamewar, but I am concerned about the specific language "free of cost"
> with respect to our tools in Point #3.
> […]
> I see nothing wrong with paid versions of Tor tools, paid hardware, or
> paid access, so long as the implementations of security-critical
> components are open source and auditable. Maybe others disagree?

I disagree. :)

Wealth is already an important factor in one's ability to enjoy freedoms
of opinion, expression, and association. If we agree that you can't
really exercise these freedoms in the digital world without tools like
Tor, I think such access to these tools should not be restricted by
how much money you can spend on it.

While I agree that we should find ways to cover costs of production,
or that I think it's ok to sell hardware with Tor preinstalled,
I believe we should try to find business models that aim to balance the
wealth disparities of this world, because I want our work to help
balance power.

> Here's an attempt to reword to capture my thinking:
>   3. Our tools are universally available to access, use, adapt, and distribute

Ok with the rewording here.

>   The more diverse our users, the less simply being a user of Tor implies
>   about any user, so we aim to create tools that anyone can access and
>   use. We do not restrict access to our tools unless it is for the
>   security of all users, and we design, build, and deploy our tools
>   without collecting identifiable information about our users. We expect
>   the code and research we publish to be improved by many different
>   people, and that is only possible if everyone has the ability to use,
>   copy, modify, and redistribute our tools.

But with the above changes I really feel we are missing something about
how wealthy we expect our users.

Thanks for raising these concerns.
Lunar                                             <lunar at torproject.org>
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