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Re: [tor-talk] Tor Project Corporate Document FOI Request



On Fri, 22 Jul 2016, Zenaan Harkness wrote:

> On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 10:01:58AM -0400, z9wahqvh wrote:
> > On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 9:46 AM, Zenaan Harkness <zen@freedbms.net> wrote:
> > 
> > > Nope, you can make an FOI request of anyone. You can make an
> > > FOIA request of any government agency and they have certain
> > > statutory (the "A"ct part of FOIA) obligation to respond in a
> > > certain way.
> >
> > "I know a term has a generally accepted and even legal meaning,
> > but I'm going to use it however I want and demand you use it that
> > way too."
> > 
> > always a great way to start a dialogue.
> > 
> > the principles you express are all correct and I agree with
> > them. why it helps to muddy the waters by using a term that means
> > something specific to most people that hear it is beyond me.
> 
> As follows:
> 
> 1) The "tor community" as we consider ourselves collectively, are under
> the umbrella of Tor Inc.

I am confused. Our Streamtime.org collective considers itself part of
the Tor community. We ran the 2nd fastest server in Europe until 2006,
when our operations were heavily targeted by Dutch police, so we
desisted running it on our only server, noticing the take-up by then
was considerable so this wouldn't have affected the network. Since
then, nor me nor my colleagues never stopped advocating for Tor in the
context of freedom of speech for people caught in war zones.

In all this time, we have never had an "umbrella" above our heads. In
fact, this would have been pretty embarassing, since the fact that our
operations are *independently motivated* is crucial to our mission and
the nature of the Streamtime project. Or is that why our project has
been somehow overlooked by Tor? many people I've met later on don't
know this story. However, I'm not here for lamenting that.
Just saying we don't have that umbrella, whatever that means.
I'd be curious to know actually.

> 2) As said many times in the past, and loudly proclaimed on the tpo
> website, both Tor Inc, and therefore the community that has arisen
> under its aegis, consider certain principles as foundations of our
> community, and as reasonable expectations (and frankly, stated
> intentions) to be achieved - transparency, privacy, anonymity, trust
> etc.

Agreed.

> 3) The term "FOI" hints at this "duty" we project upon Tor Inc, it hints
> at our community members' expectations that this particular request be
> treated -not- as a flippant "oh by the way, can I get a copy of all
> these documents", but a little more seriously, to treat the request as
> sincere, genuine, in the interests of the community, and that likely a
> lot of us onlookers ("community members") will in fact be treating the
> response to this "FOI" request with this level of gravitas.


> Why that cannot be considered eminently reasonable?

What you wrote above is very reasonable.  I must admit being foreign
to US legal terms not having grasped this nuance at all in my previous
reply. Thanks for clarifying.


I am still puzzled by the definition of community and even more now
reading yesterday's Steele's statement:

"In addition, the Tor community has created a community council to
 help to resolve intra- community difficulties, and it is developing
 membership guidelines, a code of conduct, and a social contract that
 affirms our shared values and the behaviors we want to model. We
 expect these to be finalized and approved by the community at or
 before our next developer meeting at the end of September."

where/who is this council? what are the ways to participate?

As far it goes for many people who aren't in US and/or have no money
to travel around and/or aren't sexy enough to participate in coding
sprints :^) it is somehow difficult to grasp what ways are there to
interact with these developments. This also makes it frustrating for
coordinating each other on the advocacy of general ideals which we all
have nurtured even before Tor existed.

I can well speak for our collective here, we all love the Tor project
in its own limits and puberty and big merits, but it is very difficult
to understand how to link our efforts to its Inc and/or community, as
well share some solidarity and reflections. Perhaps the scene-like
dynamics and bullyism have a role in this, yet I don't really believe
so. I hope efforts will be taken so that the Tor "community council"
won't be something even more exclusive than it has been so far.

thanks for your consideration, I guess noone else in Tor Inc. will
read this anyway.

best



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