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<nettime> Statement from the TOR Foundation
nettime's sub-committee on Fri, 29 Jul 2016 11:48:02 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Statement from the TOR Foundation

Posted July 27th, 2016 by ssteele

Seven weeks ago, I published a blog post saying that Jacob Appelbaum had
left the Tor Project, and I invited people to contact me as the Tor
Project began an investigation into allegations regarding his behavior.

Since then, a number of people have come forward with first-person
accounts and other information. The Tor Project hired a professional
investigator, and she interviewed many individuals to determine the
facts concerning the allegations. The investigator worked closely with
me and our attorneys, helping us to understand the overall factual
picture as it emerged.

The information shared was sensitive, and in writing this post I am
aiming to balance my desire for the Tor Project to be transparent and
accountable with my desire to respect individual privacy.

Here is what I am able to say:

The investigation is now complete. Many people inside and outside the
Tor Project have reported incidents of being humiliated, intimidated,
bullied and frightened by Jacob, and several experienced unwanted
sexually aggressive behavior from him. Some of those incidents have been
shared publicly, and some have not. The investigation also identified
two additional people as having engaged in inappropriate conduct, and
they are no longer involved with the Tor Project.

Based on the results of this investigation, we want to be more clear
about (1) how we expect people to behave, (2) where people can take
complaints and problems, (3) what will happen when complaints are received.

Putting procedures in place is more difficult for the Tor Project than
for other organizations, because the staff of the Tor Project works in
partnership with a broader Tor community, many of whom are volunteers or
employed by other organizations. It is not a traditional top-down
management environment. I am pleased, therefore, to announce that both
the Tor Project and the Tor community are taking active steps to
strengthen our ability to handle problems of unprofessional behavior.
Specifically, the Tor Project has created an anti-harassment policy, a
conflicts of interest policy, procedures for submitting complaints, and
an internal complaint review process. They were recently approved by
Tor’s board of directors, and they will be rolled out internally this week.

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.

I believe these new policies and practices will make the Tor Project and
the Tor community significantly healthier and stronger. I want to thank
everyone who has contributed to the work we've done so far, and also to
those who will contribute in the coming months.

I also want to note that the Tor Project board just elected a slate of
new board members with significant governance and executive leadership
experience. This was a bold and selfless decision by the outgoing board,
to whom I am grateful. I am confident the new board will be a key source
of support for the Tor Project going forward.

I want to thank all the people who broke the silence around Jacob's
behavior. It is because of you that this issue has now been addressed. I
am grateful you spoke up, and I acknowledge and appreciate your courage.

I look forward to instituting the changes described above and to
continuing the Tor Project's important work.

--Shari Stee

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