* The Social Contract deals mainly with tools and such, however it does not include anything specific about the governance of the Tor Community and how the Tor Project will safeguard users/contributers rights during times of "stress". How are policies changed, who will be able to participate etc it is all missing.
The way that policies are changed is described in
and who can participate (vote) is described both there and in
We put together many of these core policy documents in the 2017-2018
timeframe when we were trying to add structure to our community. I don't
want to say that we did them perfectly, but I think they are at least
self-cohesive and they have helped us get this far.
* The Code of Conduct specifically references Dir-Auth operators, but does not reference the Relay operators, but references "other valued participants". Who are these, and who are these explicitly not? Why are dir-auths listed and relay operators not?
The new language that got added recently seems to be ", that is the
entire Tor Community. The Tor Community consists of a diverse group
of contributors, including the Tor Board of Directors, Tor Directory
Authorities, network operators, trainers, translators, researchers,
employees, contractors (regardless of their employment status with
The Tor Project, Inc.), and other valued participants. This policy is
applicable to all of them."
I believe that 'network operators' was intended to include not just relay
operators but bridge operators, people who run Snowflake proxies, etc.
I can't speak authoritatively for what the words mean, but to me they
sure seem to be claiming as much ground as they can. That is, anything you
are uncertain about, words like 'entire' are trying to make it in-scope.
* Statement of Values: it references Core Contributors, however does not define them.
* Membership does reference core contributers, so these should either be included or SoV should reference the MP.
Right, there is one notion of Core Contributors, and it is described in
Membership, and used in other docs.
Part of the challenge there was the order in which we created and
agreed on the various docs. At first, folks doing the drafting hoped
they could just write it all down and we would agree on it all at once,
but it quickly became clear that e.g. without an agreed-upon way to
decide whether we have agreed upon something, it is hard to proceed.
Over the years people have worked on collecting minor bugs with the policy
documents, with the goal of doing a "version 2" of them all to fix things
like consistency. But, those people seem to always get distracted, and
then not pass their collection to the next person, so... I don't know
of anybody who still has a set of proposed updates at this point.
* Membership Policy does list relay operators as Community Members so do they suddenly fall under the Code of Conduct? users are also part of the (wider) Tor Community, so they are also bound by the CoC?
I think you're right that this line is not precise in terms of how broad
we can really make its scope. But the CoC uses the word "contributors"
which I think is a good word to start from here. To me it is hard to
imagine a relay operator who thinks of themselves as not contributing
to Tor or the Tor Project or the Tor Community.
I think users who are using Tor with intent or awareness of the fact that
their use contributes to better safety for other users... you could call
them contributors? But I could also see a person who uses an app that
has Tor embedded in it wondering how anybody could consider them in-scope.
If (or rather, when) edge cases like this turn out to actually matter
in practice, and we can't sort out which way it ought to be, this is
what the Community Council is for. But in my opinion it would be smart
to look for ways to not let it get to that point, that is, try to use
common sense before needing to escalate to using The Process.
* Community Councel, does require "The Community Council needs to represent the breadth of the Tor community to function effectivly", this means gender is part of 'breath', wouldn't it be more logical to ensure the different "sub-communities" (ie dir-auths/relays/network/advocacy etc are represented at the TCC (so a functional 'breath')?
Fortunately, the process of creating the Community Council imagined and
documented exactly this question. Here are the two paragraphs:
"""The Community Council needs to represent the breadth of the Tor
community to function effectively. As such, the Community Council
must include at least one female-identified person. If we lack a
female-identified person before the councilmembers are voted on, the vote
can be delayed up to one month and another call for volunteers will be
We recognize the need for other kinds of voices that were not well
represented in our community at the time these guidelines were ratified --
namely, a diverse set of racial, geographic, linguistic, and technical
backgrounds. Since we currently lack enough current contributors to
make representation of those identities a requirement for this council,
we will acknowledge here the priority of getting better representation
in our community as a whole."""
So, yes, and we started with one because we didn't think it was practical
to start with all.
* The TCC is also limited to 'contributers', as the CC has a say over the Tor Community it would be more logical to widen the pool of potential CC members? (democratise the Tor Project instead of a handful 'in-crowds' making decisions?) Users are/are-not part of the Community (depending on the document you read) having those onboard could give a fresh perspective on the needed direction of the Tor Project, maybe?Food for thought ...
Yes, I think it would be great to look for ways to broaden
the opportunities for participation. For the Community Council in
particular, we want people not only that we trust to make good choices
and to understand our community, but also that we trust to simply still
be around and make time for Tor when the need arises. So I think there
are some real practical barriers for broadening participation too quickly
there, and it would be smarter to start somewhere else.
This topic of broadening participation reminds me of another email I
wrote recently about revamping the Core Contributor process, which I
will save for a future email so I don't make this one too long.
On Thu, Nov 16, 2023 at 08:51:33PM +0100, Alex de Joode wrote:
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