Tor takes off the gloves after sustained staffer harassment

'Women who work on Tor endure serious threats'

The Tor project has revealed that one of its team has been subjected to “a sustained campaign of harassment for the past several months” and declared it will no longer tolerate such activity on the Tor network.

In a strongly-worded post, Tor's “arma”, aka Roger Dingledine, says the female staffer “is not alone and her experience has catalyzed us to action.”

He adds that “Under such attacks, many people have suffered — especially women who speak up online. Women who work on Tor are targeted, degraded, minimized and endure serious, frightening threats.”

Tor's counter-action action starts with the post linked to above, which includes the following declaration:

'Merely because one is free to say a thing does not mean that it should be tolerated or considered reasonable. Our commitment to building and promoting strong anonymity technology is absolute. We have decided that it is not enough for us to work to protect the world from snoops and censors; we must also stand up to protect one another from harassment.”

Tor's version of standing up means “we will no longer hold back out of fear or uncertainty from an opportunity to defend a member of our community online.”

But the organisation isn't going to break out the flame throwers.

“We know that online harassment is one small piece of the larger struggle that women, people of color, and others face against sexism, racism, homophobia and other bigotry,” Dingledine writes. Rather than fighting fire with fire, the organisation wants to “devise ways to concretely support people who suffer from online harassment” and hopes the post sparks “ larger public conversation about online harassment” that moves more organisations to act. ®

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