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Tor Project Code of Conduct

Statement of Intent:

The Tor Project is committed to fostering an inclusive environment and community. Tor is a place where people should feel safe to engage, share their point of view, and participate.

This code of conduct applies to The Tor Project as a whole, 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. It is intended to provide guidelines for contributors. Employees and contractors of The Tor Project, Inc. (TPI) are also subject to company policies and procedures. Those people should feel free to contact HR with questions or concerns.

This code of conduct is not exhaustive or complete. It is an ongoing effort to summarize our shared understanding. We want to provide a welcoming, safe environment, so we can work together to pursue powerful solutions. We reserve the right to deviate from strictly enforcing this code. Any deviations must produce an outcome which is fairer, and aligned with our values. We understand that keeping a living document relevant and “patched” involves sustained effort.

0. Summary: Don't be a jerk. Be awesome instead.

The Tor community should be a good place where people are glad to be.

DO: Be kind, thoughtful, and considerate.

DO: Make Tor a place where people are happy and comfortable.

DO: Remember: We are all contributing; we are all learning. Nobody was born an expert.

DO: Yield the floor. Listen. Make sure everyone gets heard.

DON'T: Insult, harass, intimidate, or be a jerk.

DON'T: Treat honest mistakes as an excuse to hassle people. Mistakes are for learning.

DON'T: Hunt for ways to uphold the letter of this code while violating its spirit.

AND DO: Eagerly email: with questions or concerns. Public key.

1. Purpose

A primary goal of the Tor community is to be inclusive of many different contributors. We want to include contributors from the most varied and diverse backgrounds possible. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of their experience, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, family, relationships, ability (whether bodily or mental), personal appearance, socioeconomic status, body size, race, ethnicity, age, religion, nationality, or membership in a disadvantaged and/or underrepresented group.

A safe environment means one free from abuse, whether isolated or systemic. We explicitly acknowledge that tolerating abuse is a security problem. Allowing abusers and malicious people to disrupt our community puts our software, developers, and users at risk.

This code of conduct outlines our expectations for all those who participate in our community, as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior.

We invite all those who participate in The Tor Project to help us create safe and positive experiences for everyone.

2. Be your best self

The following behaviors are expected and requested of all community members:

  • Participate in an honest and active way. In doing so, you contribute to the health and longevity of this community.

  • Exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions.

  • Attempt collaboration and dialog before engaging in conflict.

  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.

  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert community leaders if you notice:

    • a dangerous situation

    • someone in distress

    • violations of this code of conduct, even if they seem minor

  • Remember that community event venues may be shared with members of the public. Please be respectful to everyone using these locations.

  • Respect the privacy of your fellow community members.

3. Unacceptable behaviors

The following behaviors are unacceptable within our community:

  • Violence, sexual assault, threats of violence, or violent language directed against another person, especially violence against a person or group based on a protected characteristic. (Display of weapons may constitute intimidation or a threat of violence.)

  • Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or otherwise discriminatory jokes and language.

  • Spontaneously posting or displaying sexually explicit or violent material. (If it is necessary to share such material when working on Tor's mission, do so with sensitivity. Be aware that many people don't want to see it.)

  • Posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information ("doxing") without their consent.

  • Personal insults or attacks, particularly those related to:

    • experience

    • gender identity or expression

    • sexual orientation

    • family

    • relationships

    • ability (whether bodily or mental)

    • personal appearance

    • socioeconomic status

    • body size

    • race

    • ethnicity

    • age

    • religion

    • nationality

    • membership in a disadvantaged and/or underrepresented group

  • Inappropriate photography, audio recording, or recording of personal information. You should have someone's consent before recording these things, and before posting them publicly.

  • Inappropriate physical contact. You should have someone’s consent before touching them.

  • Unwelcome sexual attention: this includes sexualized comments or jokes, inappropriate touching, groping, and unwelcome sexual advances.

  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following (online or in person).

  • Deliberately undermining the spirit of this code while following the letter.

  • Sustained disruption of any community events, including talks, presentations, and online conversations.

  • Deliberately pushing against someone's stated boundaries.

  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.

4. Unacceptable behavior has consequences

We will not tolerate unacceptable behavior from any community member. We will not make exceptions for sponsors and those with decision-making authority. People in formal or informal leadership roles must model the highest standards of behavior.

Anyone asked by another community member to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately. Please don't step in on someone else's behalf without their consent.

5. Where to go for help

The Community Council is an elected body of Tor Core Contributors who can assist with intra-community conflict resolution. Community Council policies and information can be found on the Community Council wiki. You can contact the whole Community council:

  • if you have questions or concerns about the code of conduct, or

  • if you feel that you have witnessed a code of conduct violation

However, if you feel that there is a conflict of interest with any council member, you may contact members individually. Council members' GPG keys are listed on the Community Council wiki. If there is a conflict of interest, the affected council member will recuse themselves. They will not be involved in any discussion or documentation of the incident. More about the Community Council can be found in the guidelines.

6. What to do if you witness unacceptable behavior

If you are subject to or witness unacceptable behavior, or have any other concerns, please notify the Community Council as soon as possible. You can contact the community council in person, or at Current council members are listed on the wiki. The Community Council's incident response will vary on a case-by-case basis. The council will make every effort to respond to the incident immediately. The council will prioritize the safety of the person who has been harmed, or is at risk of harm. Person(s) who have been harmed or are at risk of harm can withdraw the incident report at any time. We will never do anything without the consent of the person who has been harmed or is at risk of harm, except in situations where there is a threat of imminent danger or harm to anyone. More information about the Community Council's incident reporting and response policies can be found on their wiki.

7. What the person reporting a violation can expect

The Community Council prioritizes the safety and well-being of any person who feels that they have been harmed or may be in danger of being harmed. Anyone reporting an issue to the Community Council can expect that their report will be taken seriously. Initial reports can be taken in written or verbal form. If the incident does not require an immediate resolution, then a written report can be shared with the Community Council in an encrypted format. The next steps in an incident response will vary on a case-by-case basis.

8. How the Community Council responds to incidents

If a community member engages in unacceptable behavior, the Community Council may take any action they deem appropriate, including but not limited to a warning, informal mediation, temporary ban or permanent expulsion from the community. Any actions and decisions by the Community Council may be appealed by following the appeals process in the Community Council guidelines.

9. Scope of this document

This code of conduct covers all community participants:

  • paid and unpaid contributors

  • sponsors

  • other guests

when interacting:

  • in all online and in-person community venues

  • in one-on-one communications that relate to community work

This code of conduct and its related procedures also applies to unacceptable behavior occurring outside the scope of community activities when such behavior has the potential to adversely affect the safety and well-being of community members. As members of the Tor community, we support and follow this Code while we are working on Tor, and take care not to undermine it in the rest of our time.

10. License and attribution

This code of conduct is shared under a Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0 International license.

This code of conduct uses some language and framing from the Citizen Code of Conduct, which is shared under a CC-BY-SA license: