community

Announcing the Tor Browser User Manual

The community team is excited to announce the new Tor Browser User Manual!

The manual is currently only available in English. We will be adding more languages in the near future, as well as adding the manual to Transifex.

During the creation of this manual, community feedback was requested over various mailing lists / IRC channels. We understand that many people who read this blog are not part of these lists / channels, so we would like to request that if you find errors in the manual or have feedback about how it could be improved, please open a ticket on our bug tracker and set the component to "community".

This manual is part of an ongoing effort to foster wider adoption of Tor, and provide better support to all users, new and old. We'll soon have some more exciting new developments to share about our user support efforts, so stay tuned.

Thanks for using Tor!

Greetings from Tor's New Executive Director


Shari Steele

I am honored to be joining the Tor Project today as the new Executive Director. I've been a big fan of Tor for a long time—ever since I met founders Roger Dingledine and Nick Mathewson in 2004 and learned about the important work they were doing to provide anonymity for online communications. Today Tor is an essential part of the Internet freedom infrastructure. Activists around the world depend on Tor, as do whistleblowers, victims of domestic violence, and regular citizens who care about their privacy.

This incredible team of people has built an amazing organization. I hope to help grow the Tor Project by building a more sustainable infrastructure and a more robust funding base, as well as by achieving greater adoption of Tor products by mainstream Internet users. There's a lot to be done, but I think we'll have fun while working to make the Internet safer and more secure.

I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming weeks and months, and I welcome your ideas and suggestions.

Yours in freedom,
Shari Steele

Announcing Shari Steele as our new executive director

At long last, I am thrilled to announce that our executive director search is now successful! And what a success it is: we have our good friend Shari Steele, who led EFF for 15 years, coming on board to lead us.

We've known Shari for a long time. She led EFF's choice to fund Tor back in 2004-2005. She is also the one who helped create EFF's technology department, which has brought us HTTPS Everywhere and their various guides and tool assessments.

Tor's technical side is world-class, and I am excited that Shari will help Tor's organizational side become great too. She shares our core values, she brings leadership in managing and coordinating people, she has huge experience in growing a key non-profit in our space, and her work pioneering EFF's community-based funding model will be especially valuable as we continue our campaign to diversify our funding sources.

Tor is part of a larger family of civil liberties organizations, and this move makes it clear that Tor is a main figure in that family. Nick and I will focus short-term on shepherding a smooth transition out of our "interim" roles, and after that we are excited to get back to our old roles actually doing technical work. I'll let Shari pick up the conversation from here, in her upcoming blog post.

Please everybody join me in welcoming Shari!

Tor Open Hack Day in Berlin (for everyone)

Hello!

We are very happy to tell you that the Tor meeting in Berlin is currently underway!

During the past days we've been busy discussing the future of Tor as an organization and designing the protocols and features that we want to see in the future.

We would like to inform you that tomorrow (Thursday, October 1st) we will be
having an open day where everyone is welcome to come and discuss Tor
with us. People interested in Tor are welcome regardless of their
background or skills.

The meeting is taking place at Betahaus in Berlin all day, and you can find more information in the wiki.

Looking forward to see you here!

Thank you!

Tor Exit Nodes in Libraries - Pilot (phase one)

Hello Tor Community!

We first introduced you to the Library Freedom Project back in February after we won the Knight News Challenge on Libraries. Since then, we’ve been hard at work bringing privacy education to libraries across the United States, with stops in the UK and Ireland, virtual trainings in Canada and Australia, and more plans to visit international libraries in the works.

Today, we're excited to announce a new initiative, a collaboration between the Library Freedom Project and Tor Project: Tor exit relays in libraries. Nima Fatemi, the Tor Project member who's already helped Library Freedom Project in a number of ways, is our main partner on this project. This is an idea whose time has come; libraries are our most democratic public spaces, protecting our intellectual freedom, privacy, and unfettered access to information, and Tor Project creates software that allows all people to have these rights on the internet. We're excited to combine our efforts to help libraries protect internet freedom, strengthen the Tor network, and educate the public about how Tor can help protect their right to digital free expression.

Libraries have been committed to intellectual freedom and privacy for decades, outlining these commitments in the ALA Core Values of Librarianship, the Freedom to Read Statement, and the ALA Code of Ethics. They're also centers of education in their local communities, offering free classes on a variety of subjects, including computer instruction. Libraries serve a diverse audience; many of our community members are people who need Tor but don't know that it exists, and require instruction to understand and use it.

Some of these patrons are part of vulnerable groups, like domestic violence survivors, racial and ethnic minorities, student activists, or queer and trans communities. Others belong to local law enforcement or municipal government. All of them could benefit from learning about Tor in a trusted, welcoming environment like the library.

Bringing Tor exit relays into libraries would not only be a powerful symbolic gesture demonstrating our commitment to a free internet, but also a practical way to help the Tor network, and an excellent opportunity to help educate library patrons, staff, boards of trustees, and other stakeholders about the importance of Tor. For libraries that have already installed Tor Browser on library PCs, running a relay is the obvious next step toward supporting free expression in their communities and all over the world.

As public internet service providers, libraries are shielded from some of the legal concerns that an individual exit relay operator might face, such as trying to explain to law enforcement that the traffic leaving her exit is not her own. Furthermore, libraries are protected from DMCA takedowns by safe harbor provisions. Importantly, librarians know their rights and are ready to fight back when those rights are challenged.

In order to begin this new project, we needed a pilot, and we had just the library in mind – Kilton Library in Lebanon, New Hampshire, one of two Lebanon Libraries. Chuck McAndrew is the IT librarian there, and he's done amazing things to the computers on his network, like running them all on GNU/Linux distributions. Why is this significant? Most library environments run Microsoft Windows, and we know that Microsoft participated in the NSA's PRISM surveillance program. By choosing GNU/Linux and installing some privacy-protecting browser extensions too, Chuck's helping his staff and patrons opt-out of pervasive government and corporate surveillance. Pretty awesome.

Kilton Library is not only exemplary because of its GNU/Linux computer environment; it's also beautiful and brand-new, LEED Gold-certified, with an inviting and sunny open floor plan and an outdoor community garden. It's an example of the amazing potential inherent in libraries. We drove up to New Hampshire last week to start phase one.

We decided to set our pilot up as a middle relay to start – we want to ensure that it is stable and doesn't interfere in any way with the library's other network traffic. We nicknamed the new relay LebLibraries, and you can check out how our relay is doing here, on Globe.

After the LebLibraries relay is up for a few months, we'll return for phase two of the project and convert it into an exit node. Our goal is to make exit relay configuration a part of the Library Freedom Project's privacy trainings for librarians; we'll meet with library directors and boards of trustees to talk about how Tor fits into the mission of libraries as beacons of intellectual freedom, and how libraries are perfectly positioned not only to help our patrons use Tor Browser, but are the ideal location to run Tor exit relays to help give back to the Tor community.

We need more libraries to join us in this initiative. Want your local library to be our next exit relay site? Know an awesome librarian who wants to help protect free expression locally and globally? Please have them contact us with the answers to this questionnaire. We're also looking for libraries to host FOSS seedboxes. And as always, we want libraries to install and run the Tor Browser on library computers.

Want to support this project and more like it? You can make a donation to the Library Freedom Project, or donate directly to Tor Project. And stay tuned for phase two of our pilot with Kilton Library.

Alison Macrina and Nima Fatemi


A version of this post also appeared on The Library Freedom Project’s blog

Note: This post was drafted by Alison. (Thank you!)

Help Tor Find a New Executive Director

The Tor Project is continuing its world-wide search for our new Executive Director. We need your help to find this person, whether they work for a nonprofit organization, for a tech company, at a university, for an open software project, or somewhere else entirely. We are open to candidates from lots of different backgrounds.

Here's a link to our original blog post with many more details, including how to submit candidates: Tor Project Launches Worldwide Search for a New Executive Director

An excerpt:

"The Tor Project, one of the world’s strongest advocates for privacy and anonymous, open communications is currently seeking an experienced Executive Director to lead the organization. The new Executive Director will spearhead key initiatives to make the organization even more robust in its work to advance human rights and freedoms by creating and deploying anonymity and privacy technologies, advancing their scientific and popular understanding, and encouraging their use."

Please take a moment to consider whether you know a candidate, likely or unlikely, who might be a great fit for this position.

Thanks!

Tor Project Launches World-wide Search for New Executive Director

The Tor Project is pleased to open a world-wide search for our new Executive Director. We have engaged The Wentworth Company to help us with the search process, and invite the broader Tor community and friends to share the job posting (reproduced below) among your networks. Please contact Judy Tabak, contact information below, for more information or to be considered for the job.

Thanks!


The Tor Project, one of the world’s strongest advocates for privacy and anonymous, open communications is currently seeking an experienced Executive Director to take the helm. The new Executive Director will spearhead key initiatives to make the organization even more robust in its work to advance human rights and freedoms by creating and deploying anonymity and privacy technologies, advancing their scientific and popular understanding, and encouraging their use.

The Position

The position provides the high-profile opportunity to assume the voice and face of Tor to the world, and particularly to the global community of Internet organizations dedicated to maintaining a stable, secure and private Internet. In this position, the successful candidate will be able to exercise their deep leadership experience to manage a virtual team of culturally diverse volunteer developers. The candidate will have the opportunity to draw support from their stature in the wider community of Internet privacy foundations and activist organizations to advance external development initiatives.

The Organization

Founded in 2006, this 501(c)(3) research NGO provides free software that enables anonymous Internet communication world-wide. Tor’s mission is to return control over Internet security and privacy to users. Tor’s members, users, and sponsors include governmental and nongovernmental organizations, the US Navy, Indymedia, Electronic Frontier Foundation, journalists and media organizations, corporations and law enforcement organizations.

The original Tor design paper won the Usenix Security "Test of Time" award in 2014. The Tor Project won the EFF's Pioneer Award in 2013, and the Free Software Foundation's Award for Projects of Social benefit in 2010.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will dive head first into the activities of advocacy for the Internet privacy movement. They will enjoy exercising their strong network of connections in fundraising efforts. They will take satisfaction in establishing a highly collaborative and productive culture in a volunteer-driven, virtual organization and will appreciate the opportunity to build consensus among diverse cultural groups as they all work toward the common mission and goal. The successful candidate will have a passion for the ideals behind Internet privacy and welcome the opportunity to make strides for the cause to establish anonymous Internet communications.

The Opportunity

The successful candidate will welcome the opportunity to create an organizational culture that builds conditions and infrastructures vital for Tor’s continued success and relevance to the cause. This is a chance to be known for leadership agility at the helm of an organization on the forefront of the drive to enable free, private, non-censored Internet communication for people everywhere.

The Compensation

As leader of the Tor team, the successful candidate receives a highly competitive compensation package.

If you know someone who might be interested, please contact, or ask them to contact:
Judy Tabak
The Wentworth Company
479 West Sixth Street, San Pedro, CA 90731
(310) 732-2321
JudyTabak@wentco.com
Wentworth ReqID: 67528129

How We Work

The Tor Project is driven by ideas. We believe in the right to privacy for every person on the planet. Our community—paid and volunteer—brainstorms projects that embody those ideas, like decentralized hidden messaging systems or ingenious new ways to get uncensored Internet access to people in China.

On our public wikis, we make lists of what we need to build these projects—and then we approach potential sponsors with these lists. If we’re lucky, a sponsor will pay to do the project. If not, we may make it for free.

This is true whether the potential sponsor is a government agency or anyone else.

Because of this system, some projects, like hidden services, need more funding, and we are seeking individual contributions to make this technology stronger. One day we hope to build it into many more programs—for instance, phone apps--to make them private and secure by default.

Our diverse, international community includes thousands of men and women inspired by the ideals we share. They work to support Tor and create important tools based on Tor, like Tails and Orbot (there are at least a dozen of these). Our group includes visionaries who think and talk publicly about the Internet and the future of privacy; among them: @nickm_tor, @ioerror and @RogerDingledine. @aaronsw was one of us.

We will accept no back doors to our software, ever. You can watch @ioerror talk about this at last year’s 31c3 talk in Hamburg. We believe in and build free, open source software—free as in freedom. Tor’s source code is online for everyone to see.

We are proud of our people, our work, and our ideals. We are a human rights organization. We are inventors. Our community is a workshop for the future of privacy tools; maybe even for the future of privacy.

The Tor community is open to newcomers; we hope you will join us.

Roger Dingledine Becomes Interim Executive Director of the Tor Project

Tor Project co-founder Roger Dingledine has been appointed Interim Executive Director of the organization by Tor's Board of Directors. He replaces Andrew Lewman, who is leaving the Tor Project to take a position at an Internet services company. Roger will continue in this role until a permanent replacement has been found. During this period, Tor Project co-founder Nick Mathewson will take on the role of Interim Deputy Executive Director.

A New Era at the Tor Project

Andrew Lewman, our current Executive Director, is leaving The Tor Project to take a position at an Internet services company. While at Tor, Andrew was passionate about using our tools to help people from diverse backgrounds and points of view benefit from online privacy. We thank Andrew for his contributions and wish him well.

The Board has asked Tor’s Executive Committee to plan the transition. As a member of this committee, I can say that I expect that Tor Project co-founder Roger Dingledine will serve as interim Executive Director while we conduct the search for a permanent replacement.

Although we are sad to see Andrew leave, Tor is entering an exciting period of growth. We are exploring the establishment of Tor Labs and launching new programs like our Tor Summer of Privacy.

Our developers are building the next generation of Internet anonymity tools — and we continue to lead the international discussion on Internet freedom and liberty through our public talks and research.

Thanks to the entire Tor community for your help as we move forward!

--Wendy Seltzer
Member of the Board of Directors of the Tor Project

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