The Tor Project, the nonprofit group behind the privacy-focused Tor browser, launched the Tor Project Membership Program Monday in a bid to increase the diversity of funds in their budget. The nonprofit laid off a third of its staff in April amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • “For a while, we have been thinking about how to continue to increase the diversity of funds in the Tor Project’s budget and, more importantly, how to increase unrestricted funds,” said Tor Project Executive Director Isabela Bagueros. “This is a type of funding that allows us to be more agile with software development of Tor and other tools."
  • Members of the program gain access to the Tor Project’s “Onion Advisors” group, who can help integrate Tor into their products as well as answer questions about the Tor Project’s areas of expertise, such as privacy or circumventing censorship. 
  • Whether it’s creating an .onion address for a member's site, setting up the Onion-Location feature for an .onion site (which lets users navigate domains more easily) or integrating applications into the Tor network, these Onion Advisors can help, according to Bagueros.
  • “We decided to create a program inspired by what Tor is based on, community,” said Bagueros. “Our goal is to build a supportive relationship between our nonprofit and private sector organizations that use our technology or want to support our mission.”

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