Using the SecureDrop name and logo


We kicked this around internally at Freedom of the Press Foundation a bit, and I wanted to give a quick update on the organization’s view vis-a-vis the “SecureDrop” mark and its use in community fundraising like the Liberapay fundraiser:

  • We do consider SecureDrop to be a protected name currently stewarded by Freedom of the Press Foundation.
  • In future, that stewardship could potentially be transferred to a neutral third party, such as an organization specifically set up for SecureDrop governance, or an established free software/open source organization that could play this role.
  • Regardless, we strongly support reasonable community use of the mark (wordmark + logo), including for fundraising that supports volunteer efforts. We intend to develop permissive trademark guidelines that reflect this, similar to Tor’s trademark guidelines. Our main goal is to avoid confusion, especially given the importance of our public security commitments.
  • Regarding the Liberapay fundraiser, we suggest that the phrase “SecureDrop Community” be used consistently to disambiguate this from FPF’s own fundraising efforts, along with the branding that is already in place. That suggestion is meant as a “working agreement” to help donors understand the difference, and we can revisit it in future.

Let me know if that makes sense - happy to discuss further! In answer to your point, Loic, I do really like the funding process and guidelines you’re developing. I don’t see a reason why FPF couldn’t be doing more to offset volunteer expenses, as well, by participating through the Liberapay pool, or by other means. :slight_smile:

RfC: Draft SecureDrop trademark guidelines
Clarification of the Liberapay endorsement
What is the difference between and
SecureDrop UX Style Guide

@eloquence thanks for the update :slight_smile:

It is great that Freedom of the Press Foundation is amicable to the idea that SecureDrop is used liberally and your reference to the Tor’s trademark guideline is a great way to illustrate the spirit :tada: I would be happy to discuss the specifics of the guidelines Freedom of the Press Foundation will write, in particular the definition of “commercial” which is more tricky than it seems. But it is ultimately Freedom of the Press Foundation decision alone.

The decentralized SecureDrop cannot become a reality as long as Freedom of the Press Foundation intends to define how the name is used. The expectation to defer to a central authority defeats a decentralized model. Although I must confess I’m a little disappointed, I’m really glad that we had this discussion in the open before I get my hopes up too much :slight_smile: This is exactly the reason why I think it is beneficial to discuss ideas in public and it would be silly of me to insist when there is explicit resistance.

Here is my conclusion:

  • Freedom of the Press Foundation intends to control how the SecureDrop name and logo are used.
  • A decentralized SecureDrop (or any other decentralized group of people/organization for that matter) needs another name, not controlled by a single entity.

Towards SecureDrop decentralization