Strength in Numbers: Community Is Key
This post is one in a series of blogs to complement our 2018 crowdfunding campaign, Strength in Numbers. Anonymity loves company, and the internet freedom movement is stronger when we fight together. Please donate today, and your gift will be matched by Mozilla.
This is my first blog post as the Tor Project’s Executive Director. I can’t express how excited I am for this next journey. I have been a Tor user and advocate since its early days, in the Vidalia times. Tor has come a long way, always evolving to provide a holistic solution for anonymity, security and privacy online.
Our year-end campaign is called Strength in Numbers, because many of the things that make Tor strong depend on size and diversity. You see, the beauty of Tor is that to achieve its goals of security, anonymity, and privacy, it must have a strong and vibrant community. We must have a decentralized network of volunteer-run servers to have a Tor network. And the higher the number of countries where these relays exist, the safer all communications running through them are. Therefore, Tor’s community must truly be a global one.
We also want Tor to be widely used by a variety of people in a variety of countries on a variety of platforms. I would like to share the short term vision I have been developing with the help of others in the Tor community for us to be able to achieve that. These are things that we want to drive our work for the next ~3 years:
- A Mature Tor Project (organization/community)
- Stable income flows from a diverse funding base
- Diverse and robust organization that meets our needs
- Strong organizational culture, focused on employee and volunteer happiness and stability
- Global brand recognition - Tor means strong privacy
- Full Access (product)
- Any person on the planet can access the Tor network
- Any person on the planet can use the Tor network to access any website or online services
- Ensure the Tor network is diverse, healthy, stable and scalable
As you can see, one of our first goals is to diversify our funding base. It’s very important for any nonprofit organization to have diverse sources of income. But unrestricted donations, like the ones we get during end of year fundraising campaigns, not only help us diversify our funds, but also allow us to be agile in our work. We can easily allocate resources to whatever important events that requires our response, and reorder our priorities whenever needed. This is extremely important for any software development organization, especially one that provides essential safety to people in volatile locations like Tor.
Not everyone who uses Tor is in a situation where they can provide financial support. It’s so important that those of us who are able to give do, so those in harm’s way can communicate safely.
Won’t you help us with our important work? Please donate today.
And use Tor! As this year’s campaign t-shirt says, Anonymity Loves Company. The more people use Tor, the safer those who need it the most will be.
I look forward for the amazing work we will be doing in 2019 to achieve our goals. Thank you for being part of this community and for joining us on this journey. You help us keep Tor strong.