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Tor Project Statement of Core Contributor Values

Community health is a shared responsibility. By making the community more inclusive and welcoming, we build a stronger and more resilient Tor. Perfection is not required; a commitment to continuous improvement and learning is.

Our Social Contract defines our commitment to our users and the rest of the world. This Statement of Values defines our commitment to ourselves as a community of people working to build and improve Tor. This Statement of Values quotes passages from the Social Contract to illustrate how the two documents share underlying values. Some points from the Social Contract are omitted here because they have less to do with how we treat each other internally. This document is not a code of conduct; rather, it expresses the values that our code of conduct seeks to implement.

[Social Contract 1]  We believe that privacy, the free exchange of ideas,
and access to information are essential to free societies. Through our
community standards and the code we write, we provide tools that help all
people protect and advance these rights.

We aspire to live by these ideals in our community by always taking care to treat each other with respect. We can only succeed in helping all people if we succeed in treating all members of our community in a way that achieves fair outcomes for everyone. The world (including the infosec and privacy communities) is full of unjust systems. These systems, being unjust, necessarily benefit some people and harm others. Those of us who receive those benefits (like being taken more seriously, being criticized less, being safe from certain kinds of harm) remain complicit in the injustice unless we explicitly use our power to help those it harms. We all fail sometimes, but we all must try to do better, especially when we have the power to do so.

(This is what people mean by "privileged people have an obligation to help people without that privilege." For more info, see "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack".)

We believe that everyone whose values and goals align with ours should feel welcome and safe in our community, regardless of their experience, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, family, relationships, ability (whether mental or physical), personal appearance, socioeconomic status, body size, race, ethnicity, age, religion, nationality, or membership in a disadvantaged and/or underrepresented group.

[Social Contract 3] The more diverse our users, the less is implied about
any person by simply being a Tor user. This diversity is a fundamental goal
and we aim to create tools and services anyone can access and use.

We want to grow an inclusive and diverse community of people working on Tor. A diverse community helps us achieve our goals of making our tools usable by a diverse user population.

We are a community of people who care passionately about human rights such as privacy, freedom of expression, and freedom of association. We need to be careful how we apply our social rules. Applying rigid rules to people can worsen existing injustice. After all, a rule can be neutral in principle, but not neutral in fact. As we formulate and apply our policies, we must remember that our rules are made to create a safe, fair, and respectful community, and that they have value only to the extent that they serve that goal.