[tor-project] Tor Browser Vision Brainstorm

Pili Guerra pili at torproject.org
Mon Feb 11 11:47:47 UTC 2019

Hi everyone,

We had a very good meeting to start scoping out the Tor Browser vision for the near future on Friday and I just wanted to recap what was discussed and open it up for wider discussion here for those that wanted, but were unable, to join.

The starting point for the discussion was: "Why do we need Tor Browser?"

It was agreed that there is currently a need for a browser to protect users from tracking, surveillance and censorship as well as making tor more accessible for users. However, currently the Tor Project is not a browser vendor and Tor Browser is still in some ways just a prototype for how to do truly private browsing, at the expense of usability and features. Moving forward, it's not clear whether we should try to become a first-class browser, or help others in the actual browser business to take up the challenge to create a truly secure and private browser that meets the Tor Project's privacy standards and that we can fully endorse.

Does the Tor Project need to become a browser vendor? If so, what would it take for Tor Browser to become a user's main browser as opposed to one that is only used for specific tasks?

If not, what does this mean for Tor Browser in future? Should it continue serving *just* as a prototype for how to put user's privacy first? Do we want to let other browser vendors take up this task and instead create tools that measure the privacy standards of different browsers?

Working on the premise that we do want to become the main browser for a significant percentage of users, what is it that we need to do in order to achieve this? Do we want to make a compromise by slightly reducing privacy in order to improve usability and add more features? Or should we keep on investing in privacy features as a priority?

Further to that, if we did get more users as a result of usability improvements and at the cost of slightly reduced privacy, would the increased aggregate privacy of a larger user base make up for this slight reduction in privacy?

What about users who have no choice but to use Tor Browser? How can we justify any compromise for them?

As you can see from all these questions, there is plenty for us to figure out still and we found out that this was not the sort of discussion we could hash out in just one session. As such, we'll be announcing a follow up session in a couple of weeks time.

You can find the full meeting logs for this first session here[1].



[1] http://meetbot.debian.net/tor-meeting/2019/tor-meeting.2019-02-08-19.59.log.html

Project Manager: Tor Browser, UX and Community teams
pili at torproject dot org
gpg 3E7F A89E 2459 B6CC A62F 56B8 C6CB 772E F096 9C45

> On Thursday, Feb 07, 2019 at 10:17 AM, Pili Guerra <pili at torproject.org (mailto:pili at torproject.org)> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> We’ll be holding a brainstorming session this Friday 8th February @ 20:00 UTC over on #tor-meeting to discuss our joint vision for the Tor Browser in the near future.
> Please join us! We would love to hear your views.
> Thanks!
> Pili
>> Project Manager: Tor Browser, UX and Community teams
> pili at torproject dot org
> gpg 3E7F A89E 2459 B6CC A62F 56B8 C6CB 772E F096 9C45
> _______________________________________________
> tor-project mailing list
> tor-project at lists.torproject.org
> https://lists.torproject.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/tor-project
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