[tor-project] Launching Ethics Guidelines

Virgil Griffith i at virgil.gr
Thu May 12 20:02:12 UTC 2016

> If this is what you mean, I would suggest that having no service (or having
> no money), is better than allowing others to collect unknown quantities of
> data on users. (Isn't this precisely what Tor is trying to prevent?)

Yes this is what I mean.  See the bottom of this email for a
presumably more palatable bitcoin-based solution.

> It seems unwise to release a days' worth of minimised user data on a public
> mailing list, when the collection of that data is itself under discussion. If
> the community guidelines are that people should not behave like this, and
> you've already publicly behaved like this, that puts you in a very awkward
> position.

I accidentally posted the URL to the list.  My error.  I sent the
updated URL to isis/matt.  I have complete confidence in each of them
to distribute the data as they see fit.

> It's similar to the position that exits and rendezvous points are in if they
> are one-hop proxies.

Yes!  I strongly support this analogy.  Tor2web is a one-hop proxy.
Ergo I discourage using Tor2web for anything but regular people
linking and sharing onionsite content.  Unfortunately, the demand for
that solitary use-case is immense.

> Stem which is good, because I find the compromises
> that would require unacceptably distasteful.

I don't like the compromises either, but I see no way around it while
doing this at scale (1000+ hits/sec).  The only comparable operation
is torservers.net.  I am immensely jealous of their stream of grants.

An aside, speaking of Torservers, onion.to also allows Google to crawl
the onion-web, i.e.,

Just yesterday this practice was compared to rape.

> Thanks, atagar — you hit the nail on the head. A
> community member may not make compromises such as
> this on behalf of the community.

There was and does not exist any document or policy for what
constitutes something worth checking-in about, or even whom to
check-in with.  Moreover, my previous impromptu check-in place,
tor-assistants@, no longer exists.  However, if the communtiy is
simply asking to say aprised of any monetization/sustainability
changes, sure.  Can do.  Just give me someone to do this with and they
will be well-informed.  I'll start a blog.

On the topic of monetization, there remains the unexplored strategy of
doing top-up metering akin to SatoshiPay.io .  The technology hasn't
been attempted at this scale, but it would resolve the ad-network
problem.  So yes lets put that on front-and-center for onion.link
development and see how that goes before being forced to choose ads.

Okay good.  Yes, this is a step forward.


On Fri, May 13, 2016 at 12:51 AM, Tom Leckrone <semprephi at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On May 12, 2016, at 12:29 PM, Damian Johnson <atagar at torproject.org> wrote:
> <snip>
>> I'm not gonna say "monetization is evil, shame on you". That's silly.
>> Folks need to pay their rent and for a project to have full-time
>> attention it needs some funding source source. But do be careful. As
>> you've already seen the compromises this is forcing you to make go
>> well past making you a pariah to many folks in this community.
> Thanks, atagar — you hit the nail on the head. A community member may not make compromises such as this on behalf of the community. When community work is involved, each contributor is expected to disclose plans such as this to peers within the community. Virgil clearly should have known this, and his refusal to recognize it even now places an exclamation point on the matter.
> I really appreciate all your work at getting this right,
> Tom
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