Introduction

The Tails Social Contract is a set of commitments that we as contributors to the Tails project stand by. This work is derived from the Debian Social Contract and the Tor Social Contract. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email: tails-project@boum.org.

This is a promise from our contributors community to the rest of the world, affirming a commitment to our beliefs.

1. By creating Tails we try to provide usable tools for anonymity and privacy

We believe that privacy, the free exchange of ideas, and equal access to information are essential to free and open societies. Through our community standards and the tools we create, we provide means that empower all people to protect and advance these ideals.

2. Tails is and will remain free software

Equal access to information includes the free availability of our code and documentation as well as the transparency of our decision making processes.

All the components of Tails that we create ourselves are, and will be, licensed in a manner consistent with the Debian Free Software Guidelines.

Tails will always be free to use, remix, adapt and distribute. As the only exceptions to this rule, Tails includes:

  • a minor part of non-free firmware in order to work on as much hardware as possible;
  • a few pieces of software whose source code is public but not compatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines; they are needed to support important use cases.

3. We will give back to the Free Software community

Tails is a privacy-oriented Debian Derivative.

We want usable security and privacy-oriented tools to become a standard for the Free Software community as a whole.

Bug fixes, code improvements, Debian packaging, as well as work on usability issues will be sent upstream whenever possible. This way, our modifications will benefit others and can be improved upon further by a wider audience of people.

4. We encourage participation and transparency

We want to produce Tails in a way that encourages participation, which requires publicly documenting what can be improved. As Tails is created in such a transparent manner, anyone is encouraged to participate, review it and point out problems.

To make our community a welcoming place for everybody we agreed on a Code of Conduct.

5. We will never harm our users intentionally

We will always do our best to create secure and usable tools. We will never willingly include backdoors or malicious software nor will we cooperate with any entity wanting us to harm our users.

Mistakes sometimes happen. We will be honest about them and fix those that affect the safety of Tails users when they are reported to us.

Whenever severe security issues are reported to us in private, we will test them and ensure we promptly fix these issues. We will notify our users whenever such an issue has been reported to us. However, for the security of our users, we might not disclose such a severe issue before releasing a fix.

6. We give users the means to decide how much they can rely on Tails

We encourage users to inform themselves and decide if Tails is suitable for their use case and how much they can trust it. We work diligently to keep our community up-to-date through our various communication channels about the current state of our software and its limitations. We encourage users to read our documentation as well as third-party documentation in order to make an informed decision and engage in a learning process about the tools we ship.

We provide and explain methods of verification so that anyone can ensure that they downloaded a genuine copy of Tails.