[tor-project] Happy 2020! Privacy by Design

isabela isabela at torproject.org
Mon Jan 27 21:22:10 UTC 2020

Hello Tor!

Happy 2020! First off, I’d like to thank all of you for your amazing
support in 2019. Looking back, it is really inspiring to see how much we
achieved despite all the challenges.

I will try to list some highlights from 2019, but before I do, I want to
say that I know we have done much more than what I am listing here.

In 2019 we kicked off the year with the stable release of Tor Browser
for Android, which is the result of a big effort to improve the Tor
experience on mobile. We organized a plan to ensure our network can
scale if more people start to use it. We started to look at how to
improve user perceived metrics on our network, like speed. Our User
Testing Program is now a mature program that we can rely on to receive
user feedback about our tools. The Money Machine team really invested in
our relationship with donors, and all that great work almost doubled the
individual donations in 2019, bringing ~$850k in donations. We also saw
the difference in our lives with a dedicated team working on
anti-censorship efforts. This front is much better organized, moving
projects forward, and we are better informed about what is working and
what is not around the world. Thanks to everybody for helping with all
this work!

For 2020, we will continue to execute our scalability plan for our
network, continue to improve its performance metrics, and kick off our
Network Health team, a new initiative to ensure that the network is
healthy as it grows. Scaling our network is not a small thing, and it
will be our priority for a while. But as the demand for privacy
increases, [1] we will see more and more people using Tor to improve
their own tools’ privacy features. And we want Tor to be able to meet
that demand.

We should demand privacy by design, because right now, even privacy laws
enacted to respond to the crisis we are facing, as it allows too much
room for interpretation on the industry side. Privacy cannot be an
afterthought. We need technology to be designed in an ethical way that
respects people’s rights. Tor is in a position where we can offer
privacy protections that others can use on their sites or applications.
Onion services are a technology that can serve that goal. And of course
onion services wouldn’t be possible without the combined efforts of
every team at Tor.

In 2019 our year-end campaign was Take Back the Internet with Tor.
Throughout 2020, we will  campaign for Privacy by Design. And we will
promote Tor as both an example of it and one of the ways to achieve it.
We have many challenges ahead of us to meet this goal of serving as a
solution for other tools to enhance their privacy features. For instance
we will have to figure out how to work better on mobile. We want to
bring privacy to the internet and people are mainly using mobile devices
to access it. There is no way for us to avoid that.

We already made progress on this front with Tor Browser for Android and
our work on the tor network to improve its performance for mobile
devices. But there is a lot more to do, and just like we are doing with
scalability, we will break down this work into phases so it's easier to
manage and advance it.

I am excited with all of the above and I am happy to chat more with
folks about it. I would suggest keeping an eye here at this email list
for our team’s updates. Folks are working their roadmaps right now and
sharing it with their team meeting notes and or reports.

Thanks again for all of your support this past year. I know 2020 will be
even better.


Isabela Bagueros
Executive Director
The Tor Project


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