[tor-project] Is there a mission statement / list of goals for Tor Project?

Virgil Griffith i at virgil.gr
Sat May 21 05:08:38 UTC 2016

It occurred to me there's another obvious conflict,

Taking the natural goals of:
(a) developing and enabling privacy-enhancing technologies
(b) reducing the surveillance breadth and power of the
military-industrial complex

The MEMEX project furthered (a), but at the expense of (b).  This
decision was controversial, which perhaps illustrates why a priority
tiering is valuable.  As the Tor leadership made the MEMEX decision,
this means that everything else being equal, they put (a) on a higher
tier than (b) ?

I make no judgment of whatever priority tiers are decided.  I merely
assert that as-is, there are conflicting stories.  Greater
clarification of when we're acting for the organization's ideology
versus acting for our own ideology would be immensely helpful in
avoiding circular firing squads.

As an aside, when deciding such things, I find


to be valuable.


On Sat, May 21, 2016 at 12:45 PM, Virgil Griffith <i at virgil.gr> wrote:
> This seems like an obvious question, but
> https://www.torproject.org/about/overview.html
> gives me no clear answer.
> -----
> I've gotten conflicting reports on the goals of Tor ranging among:
> * protecting Tor users and HSs
> * preventing linking of IP addresses to internet traffic regardless of
> whether someone is a Tor user
> * developing and enabling privacy-enhancing technologies
> * furthering human rights
> * furthering "internet freedom"
> * furthering "privacy"
> Each of these is a fine and good thing.  However, the current
> ambiguity makes it unclear what to do when these individually good
> things conflict.  For example, Tor2web enables linking of client IP
> addresses to internet traffic.  Which is bad.  However, it also
> "furthers human rights" as it's the largest whistleblowing platform.
> How to adjudicate?  When are we, as agents of Tor Project, serving
> "the ideology of Tor" versus our own personal ideology?
> Clarifying this is a standard part of organizational maturity.  For
> example, Greenpeace does a similar thing:
> * http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/about/mission/
> * http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/about/our-core-values/
> While different people will have slightly different ideas of what
> constitutes the "Tor ideology", and we don't want to wantonly pick
> fights, it seems reasonable for management to triage these
> individually good things into different tiers.  Because right now I
> see people claiming orthogonal things as Tor Project's ideology.
> -V

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