[tor-project] The Tor Project Social Contract

Paul Syverson paul.syverson at nrl.navy.mil
Wed Aug 3 17:18:20 UTC 2016

On Wed, Aug 03, 2016 at 04:49:00PM +0000, Alison wrote:
> Here's the suggested rewrite from a few mails ago. I think it addresses
> all the points made here:
> Suggested rewrite:
> 3. Our tools are universally available to access, use, adapt, and distribute
> 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 will make most of our tools free of cost. 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.
> The added line is "we will make most of our tools free of cost". Is that
> descriptive enough?

"Most" might invite people to contemplate what fraction of the tools are
free of cost: Is it 51%, three-quarters, all but a few exceptions, etc.?
This is a distraction from the point being made.

How about, "We will generally make our tools, documentation, trainings,
research results, services and support free of cost to users."

I also thought it useful to underscore here that we're not by omission
implying that Tor is following some 'give away the razors, sell the razor
blades' approach wrt support etc. Hence the mention of other things
besides tools. If that's a can of worms not to be touched at this
time, drop all that other stuff and revert to just 'tools' with the
'generally' vs. 'most' switch. Also, perhaps I'm being pedantic,
but we're not making our tools free of cost. Making our tools costs
a lot, we're just not charging the end users. I rephrased that aspect
as well.

Also, maybe use 'typically' instead of 'generally'? The important
point is that this is the norm, the usual, but we don't want to imply
precluding the sorts of integration or deployment that Mike
mentioned. I think 'generally' works best here but your intuition may


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