Solidarity against online harassment

One of our colleagues has been the target of a sustained campaign of harassment for the past several months. We have decided to publish this statement to publicly declare our support for her, for every member of our organization, and for every member of our community who experiences this harassment. She is not alone and her experience has catalyzed us to action. This statement is a start.

The Tor Project works to create ways to bypass censorship and ensure anonymity on the Internet. Our software is used by journalists, human rights defenders, members of law enforcement, diplomatic officials, and many others. We do high-profile work, and over the past years, many of us have been the targets of online harassment. The current incidents come at a time when suspicion, slander, and threats are endemic to the online world. They create an environment where the malicious feel safe and the misguided feel justified in striking out online with a thousand blows. Under such attacks, many people have suffered — especially women who speak up online. Women who work on Tor are targeted, degraded, minimized and endure serious, frightening threats.

This is the status quo for a large part of the internet. We will not accept it.

We work on anonymity technology because we believe in empowering people. This empowerment is the beginning and a means, not the end of the discussion. Each person who has power to speak freely on the net also has the power to hurt and harm. Merely because one is free to say a thing does not mean that it should be tolerated or considered reasonable. Our commitment to building and promoting strong anonymity technology is absolute. We have decided that it is not enough for us to work to protect the world from snoops and censors; we must also stand up to protect one another from harassment.

It's true that we ourselves are far from perfect. Some of us have written thoughtless things about members of our own community, have judged prematurely, or conflated an idea we hated with the person holding it. Therefore, in categorically condemning the urge to harass, we mean categorically: we will neither tolerate it in others, nor will we accept it among ourselves. We are dedicated to both protecting our employees and colleagues from violence, and trying to foster more positive and mindful behavior online ourselves.

Further, we will no longer hold back out of fear or uncertainty from an opportunity to defend a member of our community online. We write tools to provide online freedom but we don't endorse online or offline abuse. Similarly, in the offline world, we support freedom of speech but we oppose the abuse and harassment of women and others. We know that online harassment is one small piece of the larger struggle that women, people of color, and others face against sexism, racism, homophobia and other bigotry.

This declaration is not the last word, but a beginning: We will not tolerate harassment of our people. We are working within our community to devise ways to concretely support people who suffer from online harassment; this statement is part of that discussion. We hope it will contribute to the larger public conversation about online harassment and we encourage other organizations to sign on to it or write one of their own.

For questions about Tor, its work, its staff, its funding, or its world view, we encourage people to directly contact us (Media contact: Kate Krauss, press @ torproject.org). We also encourage people join our community and to be a part of our discussions:
https://www.torproject.org/about/contact
https://www.torproject.org/docs/documentation#MailingLists

In solidarity against online harassment,

Roger Dingledine
Nick Mathewson
Kate Krauss
Wendy Seltzer
Caspar Bowden
Rabbi Rob Thomas
Karsten Loesing
Matthew Finkel
Griffin Boyce
Colin Childs
Georg Koppen
Tom Ritter
Erinn Clark
David Goulet
Nima Fatemi
Steven Murdoch
Linus Nordberg
Arthur Edelstein
Aaron Gibson
Anonymous Supporter
Matt Pagan
Philipp Winter
Sina Rabbani
Jacob Appelbaum
Karen Reilly
Meredith Hoban Dunn
Moritz Bartl
Mike Perry
Sukhbir Singh
Sebastian Hahn
Nicolas Vigier
Nathan Freitas
meejah
Leif Ryge
Runa Sandvik
Andrea Shepard
Isis Agora Lovecruft
Arlo Breault
Ásta Helgadóttir
Mark Smith
Bruce Leidl
Dave Ahmad
Micah Lee
Sherief Alaa
Virgil Griffith
Rachel Greenstadt
Andre Meister
Andy Isaacson
Gavin Andresen
Scott Herbert
Colin Mahns
John Schriner
David Stainton
Doug Eddy
Pepijn Le Heux
Priscilla Oppenheimer
Ian Goldberg
Rebecca MacKinnon
Nadia Heninger
Cory Svensson
Alison Macrina
Arturo Filastò
Collin Anderson
Andrew Jones
Eva Blum-Dumontet
Jan Bultmann
Murtaza Hussain
Duncan Bailey
Sarah Harrison
Tom van der Woerdt
Jeroen Massar
Brendan Eich
Joseph Lorenzo Hall
Jean Camp
Joanna Rutkowska
Daira Hopwood
William Gillis
Adrian Short
Bethany Horne
Andrea Forte
Hernán Foffani
Nadim Kobeissi
Jakub Dalek
Rafik Naccache
Nathalie Margi
Asheesh Laroia
Ali Mirjamali
Huong Nguyen
Meerim Ilyas
Timothy Yim
Mallory Knodel
Randy Bush
Zachary Weinberg
Claudio Guarnieri
Steven Zikopoulos
Michael Ceglar
Zachariah Gibbens
Jeremy M. Harmer
Ilias Bartolini
René Pfeiffer
Percy Wegmann
Tim Sammut
Neel Chauhan
Matthew Puckey
Taylor R Campbell
Klaus Layer
Colin Teberg
Jeremy Gillula
Will Scott
Tom Lowenthal
Rishab Nithyanand
Brinly Taylor
Craig Colman-Shepherd
A. Lizard
M. C. McGrath
Ross MacDonald
Esra'a Al Shafei
Gulnara Yunusova
Ben Laurie
Christian Vandrei
Tanja Lange
Markus Kitsinger
Harper Reed
Mark Giannullo
Alyssa Rowan
Daniel Gall
Kathryn Cramer
Camilo Galdos AkA Dedalo
Ralf-Philipp Weinmann
Miod Vallat
Carlotta Negri
Frederic Jacobs
Susan Landau
Jan Weiher
Donald A. Byrd
Jesin A.
Thomas Blanchard
Matthijs Pontier
Rohan Nagel
Cyril Brulebois
Neal Rauhauser
Sonia Ballesteros Rey
Florian Schmitt
Abdoulaye Bah
Simone Basso
Charlie Smith
Steve Engledow
Michael Brennan
Jeffrey Landale
Sophie Toupin
Dana Lane Taylor
Nagy Gabor
Shaf Patel
Augusto Amaral
Robin Molnar
Jesús Cea Avión
praxis journal
Jens Stomber
Noam Roberts
Ken Arroyo Ohori
Brian Kroll
Shawn Newell
Rasmus Vuori
Alexandre Guédon
Seamus Tuohy
Virginia Lange
Nicolas Sera-Leyva
Jonah Silas Sheridan
Aaron Zauner
Christophe Moille
Micah Sherr
Gabriel Rocha
Yael Grauer
Kenneth Freeman
Dennis Winter
justaguy

Lee Azzarello
Zaki Manian
Aaron Turner
Greg Slepak
Ethan Zuckerman
Pasq Gero
Pablo Suárez-Serrato
Kerry Rutherford
Andrés Delgado
Tommy Collison
Dan Luedders
Flávio Amieiro
Ulrike Reinhard
Melissa Anelli
Bryan Fordham
Nate Perkins
Jon Blanchard
Jonathan Proulx
Bunty Saini
Daniel Crowley
Matt Price
Charlie McConnell
Chuck Peters
Ejaz Ahmed
Laura Poitras
Benet Hitchcock
Dave Williams
Jane Avriette
Renata Avila
Sandra Ordonez
David Palma
Andre N Batista
Steve Bellovin
James Renken
Alyzande Renard
Patrick Logan
Rory Byrne
Holly Kilroy
Phillipa Gill
Mirimir
Leah Carey
Josh Steiner
Benjamin Mako Hill
Nick Feamster
Dominic Corriveau
Adrienne Porter Felt
str4d
Allen Gunn
Eric S Johnson
Hanno Wagner
Anders Hansen
Alexandra Stein
Tyler H. Meers
Shumon Huque
James Vasile
Andreas Kinne
Johannes Schilling
Niels ten Oever
David W. Deitch
Dan Wallach
Jon Penney
Starchy Grant
Damon McCoy
David Yip
Adam Fisk
Jon Callas
Aleecia M. McDonald
Marina Brown
Wolfgang Britzl
Chris Jones
Heiko Linke
David Van Horn
Larry Brandt
Matt Blaze
Radek Valasek
skruffy
Galou Gentil
Douglas Perkins
Jude Burger
Myriam Michel
Jillian York
Michalis Polychronakis
SilenceEngaged
Kostas Jakeliunas
Sebastiaan Provost
Sebastian Maryniak
Clytie Siddall
Claudio Agosti
Peter Laur
Maarten Eyskens
Tobias Pulls
Sacha van Geffen
Cory Doctorow
Tom Knoth
Fredrik Julie Andersson
Nighat Dad
Josh L Glenn
Vernon Tang
Jennifer Radloff
Domenico Lupinetti
Martijn Grooten
Rachel Haywire
eliaz
Christoph Maria Sommer
J Duncan
Michael Kennedy Brodhead
Mansour Moufid
Melissa Elliott
Mick Morgan
Brenno de Winter
George Scriban
Ryan Harris
Ricard S. Colorado
Julian Oliver
Sebastian "bastik" G.
Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara
Koen Van Impe
Kevin Gallagher
Sven "DrMcCoy" Hesse
Pavel Schamberger
Phillip M. Pether
Joe P. Lee
Stephanie Hyland
Maya Ganesh
Greg Bonett
Amadou Lamine Badji
Vasil Kolev
Jérémie Zimmermann
Cally Gordon
Hakisho Nukama
Daniel C Howe
Douglas Stebila
Jennifer Rexford
Nayantara Mallesh
Valeria de Paiva
Tim Bulow
Meredith Whittaker
Max Hunter
Maja Lampe
Thomas Ristenpart
Lisa Wright
August Germar
Ronald Deibert
Harlan Lieberman-Berg
Alan L. Stewart
Alexander Muentz
Erin Benson
Carmela Troncoso
David Molnar
Holger Levsen
Peter Grombach
John McIntyre
Lisa Geelan
Antonius Kies
Jörg Kruse
Arnold Top
Vladimir G. Ivanovic
Ahmet A. Sabancı
Henriette Hofmeier
Ethan Heilman
Daniël Verhoeven
Alex Shepard
Max Maass
Ed Agro
Andrew Heist
Patrick McDonald
Lluís Sala
Laurelai Bailey
Ghost
José Manuel Cerqueira Esteves
Fabio Pietrosanti
Cobus Carstens
Harald Lampesberger
Douwe Schmidt
Sascha Meinrath
C. Waters
Bruce Schneier
George Danezis

Claudia Diaz
Kelley Misata
Denise Mangold
Owen Blacker
Zach Wick
Gustavo Gus
Alexander Dietrich
Frank Smyth
Dafne Sabanes Plou
Steve Giovannetti
Grit Hemmelrath
Masashi Crete-Nishihata
Michael Carbone
Amie Stepanovich
Kaustubh Srikanth
arlen
Enrique Piracés
Antoine Beaupré
Daniel Kahn Gillmor
Richard Johnson
Ashok Gupta
Alex Halderman
Brett Solomon
Raegan MacDonald
Joseph Steele
Marie Gutbub
Valeria Betancourt
Konstantin Müller
Emma Persky
Steve Wyshywaniuk
Tara Whalen
Joe Justen
Susan Kentner
Josh King
Juha Nurmi
John Saylor
Jurre van Bergen
Saedu Haiza
Anders Damsgaard
Sadia Afroz
Nat Meysenburg
x3j11
Julian Assange
Skyhighatrist
Dan Staples
Grady Johnson
Matthew Green
Cameron Williams
Roy Johnson
Laura S Potter-Brown
Meredith L. Patterson
Casey Dunham
Raymond Johansen
Kieran Thandi
Jason Gulledge
Matt Weeks
Khalil Sehnaoui
Brennan Novak
Casey Jones
Jesse Victors
Peter DeChristo
Nick Black
Štefan Gurský
Glenn Greenwald
hinterland3r
Russell Handorf
Lisa D Lowe
Harry Halpin
Cooper Quintin
Mark Burdett
Conrad Corpus
Steve Revilak
Nate Shiff
Annie Zaman
Matthew Miller (Fedora Project)
David Fetter
Gabriella Biella Coleman
Ryan Lackey
Peter Clemenko
Serge Egelman
David Robinson
Sasa Savic
James McWilliams
Arrigo Triulzi
Kevin Bowen
Kevin Carson
Sajeeb Bhowmick
Dominik Rehm
William J. Coldwell
Niall Madhoo
Christoph Mayer
Simone Fischer-Hübner
George W. Maschke
Jens Kubieziel
Dan Hanley
Robin Jacks
Zenaan Harkness
Pete Newell
Aaron Michael Johnson
Kitty Hundal
Sabine "Atari-Frosch" Engelhardt
Wilton Gorske
Lukas Lamla
Kat Hanna
Polly Powledge
Sven Guckes
Georgia Bullen
Vladan Joler
Eric Schaefer
Ly Ngoc Quan Ly
Martin Kepplinger
Freddy Martinez
David Haren
Simon Richter
Brighid Burns
Peter Holmelin
Davide Barbato
Neil McKay
Joss Wright
Troy Toman
Morana Miljanovic
Simson Garfinkel
Harry Hochheiser
Malte Dik
Tails project
„nuocu
Kurt Weisman
BlacquePhalcon
Shaikh Rafia
Olivier Brewaeys
Sander Venema
James Murphy
Chris "The Paucie" Pauciello
Syrup-tan
Brad Parfitt
Jerry Whiting
Massachusetts Pirate Party
András Stribik
Alden Page
Juris Vetra
Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn
Marcel de Groot
Ryan Henry
Joy Lowell
Guilhem Moulin
Werner Jacob
Tansingh S. Partiman
Bryce Alexander Lynch
Robert Guerra
John Tait
Sebastian Urbach
Atro Tossavainen
Alexei Czeskis
Greg Norcie
Greg Metcalfe
Benjamin Chrobot
Lorrie Faith Cranor
Jamie D. Thomas
EJ Infeld
Douglas Edwards
Cody Celine
Ty Bross
Matthew Garrett
Sam P.
Vidar Waagbø
Raoul Unger
Aleksandar Todorović
John Olinda
Graham Perkins
Casa Casanova
James Turnbull
Eric Hogue
Jacobo Nájera
Ben Adida

If you would like to be on this list of signers (please do — you don't have to be a part of Tor to sign on!), please reach us at tor-assistants @ torproject.org.

I think part of this discussion is about exactly this question: how much should Tor focus on just writing code that enables other people to do things to make the world better, vs how much should Tor use its reputation and context to make the world better in other ways. There are no perfect answers here, but I think we're setting some more data points as we move forward with blog posts like this one.

To athena and everyone,

Let's begin our solidarity journey together as Earth beings if you will...

[ http://peta.org/ ]

[ True History of America - Part 1 (1666-1840): The Curse against the Patriots
http://blog.ucadia.com/search?q=america ]

[ Restoring the Divine Feminine (Part 1)
http://blog.ucadia.com/2014/11/restoring-divine-feminine-part-1.html ]

[ The Law of One ]
http://www.lawofone.info/results.php?s=Intro

In full support of everyone in tor on both sides for and against this message. I urge you all to visit the above as your intuition guides you.

Together we shall and must eradicate harrasment to ANYONE ANYWHERE in this Universe.

In Love,
imu.

p.s. athena, please continue coding. We need you!

Thank you arma for starting this dialogue.

For me, it is less about striking a balance between the two than integrating them--they comprise a virtuous circle.

Some Tor people articulate to the world the stakes we all face with mass surveillance; others at Tor build tools that allow privacy online. Some do both.

When millions of people are willing to give away their rights because they "have nothing to hide," Tor people publicly discuss the implications of this view on a free society and send a message that mass surveillance is not normal or inevitable and it can and must be stopped.

Just as importantly, Tor doesn't just talk about the problem--it helps to fix the problem.

Another organization might put out white papers all day long or make software unconnected to the real life risks of users. Many do. Not Tor.

That's the first thing I liked about Tor. They see the problem deeply--they talk to human rights activists every day, for instance---and they are literally, hands-on, working to fix it. Powerful and inspiring. - Katie

In addition to finding the magic line between "producing and supporting anonymity-enabling software" vs "trying to improve the world is other ways", it's important to realize that this statement is signed by individuals. Yes, The Tor Project stands behind this message, but the individual who signed it (some employees, some contractors, many volunteers, most supporters of the project) are the ones who are making a statement against harassment and who are unwilling to tolerate it anymore.

Tor, itself, is already very political, but for other reasons. This statement simply adds to the discomfort oppressors associate with Tor.

nyc_feb15

December 13, 2014

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An Open Letter in Solidarity

History is not a smooth continuum of a move from prejudice to tolerance. If anything, to borrow a term from our discipline, history is a process of simulated annealing. We are constantly in search of a better local maxima for ourselves, our communities, and our countries. Discrimination is nothing new. Harassment is a familiar condition. Bigotry is hardly novel. But I contend that humanity –is- improving.

What is new are the ways in which the emergence of a world-wide online community has enabled discussion, both for and against these old evils. I am pleased to see that for every voice that has come out in support of the old order, the hegemonic misogyny and racism so casual about itself that it fails to even understand the meaning of those words, there have been voices raised in opposition.

Community leaders, scholars, religious leaders, politicians, social workers, activists, and more have taken a step forward to be heard. They tell stories about life now and about how life could be, and they bring the perspective of those marginalized into the open. In this way, we hear about life for persons of color, for women, for GLBT members of our communities. Many of the voices come from these people, but many come from those who enjoy society’s more privileged statuses.

We are witnessing the backlash to the bravery of all of these voices. Hatred fights back to cling to its old notions of power. Gamergate, police violence against people of color, transphobia, the institutionalized denial of equal rights to millions of our citizens because they don’t conform – all of these are real. When vested in politics, hatred can be surprisingly clinical. When it takes the form of online death threats, street harassment, and police brutality, it is visceral, ugly, and often, all too effective.

I do not speak for the whole of my community – I cannot pretend to have that kind of authority to substitute my voice for the voices of those whose departures from society’s idea of ‘the norm’ are so much more visible and public. I do not face a daily struggle in light of my differences. But I will put my voice together with the voices of those who are fighting this struggle. I refuse to ignore the conflict, I refuse to pretend it does not exist, and I refuse to think I have no power to affect it. My colleagues, my students, and my community will know that I stand in support of those who have no choice but to participate, by virtue of society’s ill-conceived notions.

Most recently, I came across this page in support of its contributors, some of whom have been harassed online simply because they had the audacity to be female, in tech, and participating in a project that already draws a lot of controversy. I have met both Roger and Nick at talks before – although I know neither of them personally. I’m not acquainted with the other members of the TOR community personally, but I have no reason to think them any less –persons- for that. They, and all other people, deserve a minimum standard of human rights, respect, and empowerment.

To all those who would oppose that, I have a simple message: You will not win this fight. The world will not allow it. If you want to remain in ignorance, you have every right to, but when you inflict your ugly ignorance on others, we will resist you.

Sincerely,
J Duncan
Informatics
Indiana University

nyc_feb15

December 13, 2014

Permalink

A good post. I would sign this petition. However, I find the tag feminism misleading. In my opinion it looks like men were to blame for most of the harassment on the web. So I cannot sign this statement.

I agree harassment is not a constructive way to resolve value differences and it shows the value of the offender. Thanks to all of the TOR project staff and volunteers for their great work.

nyc_feb15

December 13, 2014

Permalink

The bullying and sly misrepresentation designed to raise armies of trolls against Tor developers is only the latest in a pattern.

There's a longish history over the last few years of bullying, aggressive baiting misrepresentation, implicit apologia for state power, and general noxiousness on the part of Mark Ames, Paul Carr, and Yasha Levine.

I first saw them attack IP abolitionists. Then they went after libertarians. Then they went after anarchists. Now they're coming after the entire hacker community.

nyc_feb15

December 13, 2014

Permalink

For years, I have advocated using one's real name on the Internet except when there is a very good reason for a pseudonym or to be anonymous. Also, for year or so, I had a Tor node on one of my computers.

My reason for advocating transparency in how we represent ourselves is that the lack of transparency allows people to behave worse than they otherwise would. But being visible is not always wise.

Sometimes, to say what needs to be said or to publish what needs to be read, we must conceal our names, our identities, our habits, or locations. Tor is a key tool that allows for Internet freedoms in an increasingly repressive era.

While the Internet is an unprecedented means of expression and communication, it is also a giant failed social experiment. Harassment has become one of the dominant modes of Internet behavior.

Tools like Tor, while necessary for the protection of our freedom of expression, can be used in the service of harassment.

Please respect these tools for what they are: tools that allow ordinary people to resist repression. The best way to encourage respect for these vital tools is to call for a change in social norms such that mobbing, harassment, cyberbullying and such are clearly no longer acceptable.

Harassment poisons schools, organizations, communities, politics. There is no ideological difference too small for someone to decide you need to be purged and use harassment to accomplish it. The collateral damage to our culture and our organizations is huge.

Let us rise above the practice of harassment and learn to do better.

I had intended to sign my name to the comment which begins "For years, I have advocated using one's real name" and was amused when my comment came through as "anonymous".

Kathryn Cramer

nyc_feb15

December 13, 2014

Permalink

If a community is going to be subject to harassment, there is a responsibility of members to support each other and a need to assert a vision of what the community's expectations are. There are certainly people who might not always have had positive influences in their lives displaying a standard what is decent behavior. Tor has a leadership role in the community, people look up to the project and personalities involved. I appreciate that it is exercising its position in a constructive manner.

This is also a moment of reflection for even those who aren't necessarily intolerant to examine their own behavior. I have seen decent people resort to less decent practices in their communications with other members of the community. We could all do well to check ourselves. Tor is heavily moderating these comments. Only propaganda gets through. I view my participation as a commitment for self-examination as much as it is a rejection of another group's nonsense.

Furthermore, when Tor is at times misused by malicious parties for abusive behavior elsewhere, this reaffirms that support for freedom expression does not mean support for violence against others.

I hope this is a first step in a continuing engagement on harassment for Tor and all the signatories of this letter.

nyc_feb15

December 13, 2014

Permalink

I support this 100% because why should people hide in fear on the Internet just because people can be anonymous and say such terrible unjustified things to other people. The Internet's suppose to bring people together, not tear them apart.

nyc_feb15

December 13, 2014

Permalink

Speaking out against harassment, online harassment in this case is important. I'm not certain, but I hope it is alright to assume that those who have said that (online) harassment of females is to be spoken out against would also say that (online) harassment against anyone, anywhere is to be spoken out against.

I had problems with how some things in the statement are put, including their order and the reason why the statement has been made in the first place.

Anyway, I put my name under it. The issue is important. It's a social issue.

Simply put, I oppose harassment against people!

--
Sebastian "bastik" G.

nyc_feb15

December 13, 2014

Permalink

Reading through these comments, there have been several people asking what solidarity in this context exactly means. To me, solidarity means that you will use your own voice, and whatever specific inter-personal opportunities that you may have, to state that certain behavior is not accepted.

I challenge myself, and I challenge all of you to speak up against harassment by whatever means you can, whenever you see it.

I'll wrap this up with something I think Jake said, "You should use your privilege to help other people." I'm sure if we all think hard enough, we can find the ways in our lives that we are privileged and use that privilege improve the lives and treatment of others.

Mark Giannullo

nyc_feb15

December 13, 2014

Permalink

I see the names of personal heroes like Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Julian Assange, Cory Doctorow and Bruce Schneier...if they are on board, then so am I. Solidarity through privacy!

nyc_feb15

December 13, 2014

Permalink

I would like to thank the Tor developers for all the hard work they do for us, and hope that they continue to do so for a long time to come.

This kind of harassment of those who would help us be safer, more secure, in this modern era of state surveillance is wholly unacceptable. Which is why this is a good idea - a public statement of "Fuck off mate, harassing tor devs ain't cool.".

Keep up the good work.

nyc_feb15

December 13, 2014

Permalink

So basically you are willing to protect every harassing party on the planet, but when it happens to one of your own all of a sudden you are jumping on the sjw bandwagon. Predictable but still kind of ironic.

There's a difference between the technical protections that Tor provides -- which we are absolute on maintaining for all because it's the only way to provide it for the people who need it -- and how we wish people behaved in the world.

In particular, this statement is not about removing protection from certain parties. It's about how we're now planning to stand up and participate and discuss and engage with the topic of harassment and not stand quietly by, hoping somebody else will deal with it.

The answer to bad speech is more speech.

nyc_feb15

December 13, 2014

Permalink

Does giving your real name not kind of defeat the purpose of Tor?

Sincerely

John and Jane Doe

nyc_feb15

December 13, 2014

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It seems as though readers are taking a stand against on-line "harassment" without knowing even the smallest details about this particular harassment series of events: IMHO a few details of the events of harassment should be expressed before people sign on to voice solidarity against it.

nyc_feb15

December 14, 2014

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I'll personally take the opportunity and will take some time to self-reflect my own actions. It doesn't even take long. Thanks.

nyc_feb15

December 14, 2014

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Thank you for starting this new trend of an old Internet tradition of dealing with and confronting online abuse. This is not a gender issue, even if more women are harassed online (and I'm not sure that is the case). It's a people issue and an ethical issue. Looking forward to seeing this motion develop!

https://corruptionandthecorrupt.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/cyberharassmen…

Much ♥

Kitty Hundal

nyc_feb15

December 14, 2014

Permalink

Exactly.

I see two questions:

- Do you support the general goals of the Tor Project?
- If you do, are there cultural changes that one can make that lead to more constructive outcomes for the project?

I'm pretty sure sustained harassment of individual developers isn't constructive, and doesn't lead to better outcomes for the Tor Project. So let's create a cultural norm where that doesn't happen.

nyc_feb15

December 14, 2014

Permalink

Thank you to Tor for standing up to this online abuse. Freedom of speech and the right to privacy are fundamental civil liberties. But using "freedom of speech" and "privacy" as a shield to hide behind and a licence to harass others and destroy their reputations is the exact opposite of civil liberty - it is despicable and cowardly and must be confronted.

nyc_feb15

December 14, 2014

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I abhor the harassment of anyone involved with the creation or running of Tor, and I don't do it along sexist lines. Harassment is harassment... period. However, having read the comments, some posters seem to be of the opinion that they can use the primary subject to further their own moralistic judgments. That worries me. So can we stick to the primary objective and not muddy the waters with 'free speech' and 'civil liberties'. Those are interpretable... harassment is not.

Those who actually work in and write about civil liberties and free speech would be rather shocked to find out that the definition and confines of "harassment" are not interpretable.

nyc_feb15

December 14, 2014

Permalink

I think Roger summarized it well on the tor-talk thread: Anonymity can and is targeted at supporting speech. Threats can and are targeted at silencing speech.

Thanks Tor for taking this stand and bringing attention to these issues. We at Aspiration are in full solidarity.
gunner

nyc_feb15

December 14, 2014

Permalink

So how do you plan on precluding Internet harassment without censoring anybody?

nyc_feb15

December 15, 2014

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I understand that the identities of various individuals have been tied up one way or the other in this debacle. And that makes it all the more difficult to resolve this debacle cleanly.

Arma - I implore you to think of the voices who have been intimidated into silence. There has been a substantial amount of SWATing and blackmailing and jobs lost due to falsified claims of pedophilia/drug use/violent behavior being phoned in. Much of this harassment with real world consequences has been solely against one side of the 4 month long drama. And it's the side that has gotten the least amount of opportunity to speak their side.

I implore you - please investigate for yourself the claims that have been made. Please investigate the harassment that your coworker stated to you. There has been a contingent of trolls intent on harassing individuals in the tech industry while posing as a member of the video gaming community in order to inflame passions even more.

I am so exhausted....4 months trying to find a way to get across that video gamers are not at war with feminism and no one wants to hear it. It's just trolls sending gore pics and death threats to each side while pretending to be the other. It's the primary reason this debacle has lasted for so long.

nyc_feb15

December 15, 2014

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I truly am sorry for you having to put up with this sort of thing - It is wrong!

The terribly ironic thing is that I use TOR often because I too get harassed. Usually for defending those who are getting harassed. So I know the feeling as I have several times been the subject of concerted attacks. It is the mob mentality and aided by anonymity.

You end up bitter and with a very low opinion of humanity.

Censorship is wrong when it is only a matter of free speech, but when it is preventing others from their free speech, or being used to intentionally hurt others, then censorship is a necessary evil. I do not say that lightly either, but it is the result of the only debate I ever lost. I supported free speech in that debate, and free access to the sum of all human knowledge. I thought this was a good ideal, but lost when I was asked if that meant did I believe in free access to bomb-making knowledge and child porn for anyone who wants it? Of course I did not believe in that and so I had to concede defeat. Free access for all, to everything is a great ideal, but not practical sadly. So censorship is a necessary evil and TOR needs to protect it's helpers.

I realize I am not "in the loop" here, but WHY would anyone want to harass anyone who was working to help us anyway? Are their misogynistic feelings so strong that they want to hurt something like TOR, or do they consider they do not need TOR as they are such l33t haxors and can used hacked accounts, etc?

It's Tor, not TOR.

Anyways, I strongly disagree with some of the things you've said, regarding censorship being necessary.

>being used to intentionally hurt others, then censorship is a necessary evil.
Censorship is not a necessary evil when all "intentionally hurt" involves someone being a douche on the internet. Plus, what one person calls harrassment, another person called confrontation. I do not wish to censor you, even though some of the things you have said are rude, and downright dangerous.

>I do not say that lightly either, but it is the result of the only debate I ever lost.
Heh.

If you supported free speech in a debate, then someone came up with the obligatory argument "what if someone uses it for evil?", and then you buckle, you must not have been in many serious debates before, have you? "Greater good" is a thing, you know.

>I thought this was a good ideal, but lost when I was asked if that meant did I believe in free access to bomb-making knowledge and child porn for anyone who wants it?
Free speech is black or white. You either give it to everyone, or risk it being lost for everyone. It's also not nearly as simplistic as you make it out to be. Bomb-making information can be sought out for a wide variety of reasons, not all malicious. For example, learning how to stay safe around explosives, or even how to detect/disarm explosives. There is no way whatsoever to selectively censor people who look for information on pyrotechnics who plan to use it for "evil" purposes, yet simultaneously allow access to those who have a benign motive. The same goes for child porn. What is child porn in one country is legal in another. The overwhelming majority of what goes for child porn online is jailbait, nudist beaches, and public sexting, all of which do not need to involve abuse. Child porn involving rape is comparatively quite rare. Furthermore, far more children have been removed from dangerous homes because people failed to censor (real) child porn, simply due to people noticing it, reporting it, and recognizing the victim. Censoring mere evidence (as well as censoring massive collateral) is not the answer. The same applies to censoring information that has the potential to be used dangerously. Now of course, I wish the world was perfect, where children do not get abused, and bombs are never used for evil, but that is not possible, so we must make a choice for the greater good.

“The true test of someone who claims to believe in Freedom of Speech is whether they tolerate speech which they disagree with, or even find disgusting.”
- The Freenet Project

>WHY would anyone want to harass anyone who was working to help us anyway? Are their misogynistic feelings so strong that they want to hurt something like TOR
I believe the harrassment was not because of "misogynistic feelings" (which are actually quite rare). It's very possible that this is an attack on Tor developers, and the attackers are using sexism as a tool, not as a motivation. In the real world, people tend not to attack random female devs because they have "misogynistic feelings", unless you consider bored trolls who just want a reaction.

>It's Tor, not TOR.
Yes, according to Tor, but in another post I pointed out that as an English major it always appears as TOR in my mind as that is what I was taught was the correct form for an acronym.

>Anyways, I strongly disagree with some of the things you've said, regarding censorship being necessary.

And I strongly disagree with yours sadly.

>Censorship is not a necessary evil when all "intentionally hurt" involves someone being a douche on the internet. Plus, what one person calls harrassment, another person called confrontation. I do not wish to censor you, even though some of the things you have said are rude, and downright dangerous.

Respectfully disagree entirely. Confrontation is about challenging someone's beliefs, harassment is about insults, degrading, etc the person. You have just proved my point in doing this.

>>I do not say that lightly either, but it is the result of the only debate I ever lost.
>Heh.

Thank you! That childish comment proves to everyone you are trolling and so can be ignored from here on.

Point by point rebuttal of your post does not continue, as we know now that you are only trolling. Perhaps because I stand up for others you are wishing to take me on also? Another sign of your immaturity-Picking unnecessary fights to apparently prove something to others about oneself. You have certainly proved a lot; to many with your post.

I do not believe in total free speech, there must be some constraints in a civilized and safe society. That was the point I was trying to make about having to concede in that debate. Play tautological games, and define you own description for freer speech than we have now, but not without some control of the most gross and crass. Those are my beliefs and is there a fault in my logic? Calling for someone to be harmed is not acceptable as "free speech" for most people, myself included.

>>Heh.
>Thank you! That childish comment proves to everyone you are trolling and so can be ignored from here on.
Well, that's convenient. You can't rebut their arguments, so you say they're trolling (because they used the word "heh", so you must have been pretty desperate to find a reason), and end it there.
(not the guy who made the original reply.)

nyc_feb15

December 15, 2014

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Good post, but just to be clear, people should still be free to say whatever the hell they want, including what is hateful and abusive. It may be wrong, but they should be free to, right?
Otherwise I am worried.

What do you think, Tor Project is going to build a harassment filter to keep assholes off the internet? :) Obviously not.

The harassers in this instance have been trying very hard for months to turn members of a community against eachother, and this statement of solidarity is letting them know they've utterly failed.

nyc_feb15

December 15, 2014

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Thank you for being unequivocal.

If we're going to create and grow an Internet that supports humans, it must provide room and safe space for discourses beyond white western men and their xboxes.

As important as any net neutrality reform, as important as any technical move that better preserves privacy, is a move toward self-examination and the creation of caring social structures that support, attend to, and amplify diverse, respectful discourse -- judging the success of our technology not by its theoretical elegance of profitability, but by its impact on the lives of those who use it.

Thank you for having your colleague's back, my back, and the backs of my sisters, my brothers, and my friends. Human decency is the coolest. Please let me know how I can lend a hand to make this go big.

Meredith Whittaker
Open Source Research Lead, Google

nyc_feb15

December 15, 2014

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Thank you to the entire Tor Project for your hard work, and for standing together against the kind of abuse your colleague was subjected to. I'm proud to join the great names on the list above and speak out in solidarity.

Yours,
Mansour Moufid

nyc_feb15

December 16, 2014

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I would be happy to add my name to this statement. I like the focus on endorsing free speech, while not considering that speech is inconsequential in its potential to do harm (and without calling for curtaining of speech itself as a solution). Similarly, while no one should be the subject of state sanction for mere speech, it does not mean they should be not judged by others for what they say, or given platforms to promote abusive speech.

I am committed to building privacy-friendly and abuse resistant technologies, and would be happy to help others interested in such projects.

George Danezis (UCL)

nyc_feb15

December 16, 2014

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I think that

* the post by arma (Roger Dingledine) and the discussion on this page

* the related thread on tor-talk
https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2014-December/035923.htm

make much more sense if you first read

* an article by Yasha Levine which appeared on Pando in July 2014, which somehow got everything completely backwards
http://pando.com/2014/07/16/tor-spooks/

* a fine rebuttal by Quinn Norton which appeared on Pando in December 2014
http://pando.com/2014/12/09/clearing-the-air-around-tor/

* an article on the harassment of Tor developers which ran in The Guardian in December 2014
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/03/privacy-advocates-unm…

* A piece by Cory Doctorow (another signatory above) on the FBI's war on citizen cryptography and Tor, which ran in The Guardian in October 2014:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/09/crypto-wars-redux-why…

Further information about organized attacks on Tor can be found here:

* EFF Snowden leak collection
https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/nsadocs

* ACLU searchable Snowden leak collection
https://www.aclu.org/nsa-documents-search

Especially relevant are

* GCwiki pages on the ANT catalog (JTRIG tool box, "Chinese menu")

* Several GCHQ presentations on "information operations" (disinformation, psyops) targeting individuals and groups, including at least two of the signatories listed above (Julian Assange and Glenn Greenwald)

* An NSA memo on arma's talk at NSA (they wanted him to tell them how to subvert Tor; it is apparent from the memo that they didn't learn anything helpful for their evil plan, and the memo even appears to make at least one elementary technical mistake about Tor)

* Several NSA and GCHQ presentations on operations targeting Tor and Tails (notably, one slide show reports "severe" problems subverting Tails, which was in fact at that time still remotely vulnerable to the later discovered Shellshock bug, if I understand correctly, in which case we should believe the generally duplicitous officials at NSA when they say they didn't know about Shellshock only because of the Snowden leaks!)

Also useful are these resources on surveillance-as-a-service companies:

* Wired for Repression series at Bloomberg News
http://www.bloomberg.com/data-visualization/wired-for-repression/

* Spy Files series at Wikileaks
http://wikileaks.org/the-spyfiles.html

* Reports at Citizen Lab
https://citizenlab.org/

Some aspects of Gamergate
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamergate_controversy
are related to the harassment discussed here, but that seems to be a distinct harassment campaign.

This is definitely a distinct troll mob from GamerGate, although some of their leaders started using tropes (cf. "Around Dyed Hair, Beware" - http://assets.feministing.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Around-Dyed-Ha…) borrowed from them early on:

Note also the parallel between the role of pseudo-journalistic ringleaders here and that of Milo Yiannopoulos in GamerGate. More recently, there does seem to have been more genuine crossover between the two groups: