[openssl-users] good riddance to PayPal

Steve Marquess marquess at opensslfoundation.org
Fri May 13 14:56:07 UTC 2016

On 05/13/2016 10:35 AM, Tucker Moreau wrote:
> Hey,
> Have you considered reaching out to a group like Software in the
> Public Interest and accepting donations through them? It's how Debian,
> Arch, and several others take donations exactly so they don't have to
> deal with the trouble of banks that you're going through now.
> Admittedly, it sounds somewhat worrying that OpenSSL itself wouldn't
> hold the funds directly this way, but I suppose it's better than
> having the funds indefinitely locked in PayPal or not being able to
> take donations at all.

We have considered this approach, in detail, and the comfort level isn't
there. A requirement of their 501(c) status for such organizations is
that they can't make any commitments as to how funds raised in our name
will be spent. We would have to trust their good judgment in deciding
how those funds were used. We found that such arrangements haven't
always worked out as intended, and at any rate the OpenSSL team places a
very high priority on maintaining independence from undue outside
influence. If this outside charity were to accumulate a significant
amount of funding then that would constitute undue influence.

FWiW when this was discussed I made exactly that argument to my
colleagues; that we'd be better off entrusting a third party with
donations than losing them entirely. But, there was a strong consensus
that clearly established independence trumped any hypothetical financial
gain. We have turned down other donations-with-strings opportunities in
the past for similar reasons.

Also, while we value the individual donations received via PayPal, the
bulk of our donation funding has been received via bank transfers
(Swift/ACH), and that is unaffected by the closing of our PayPal account.

-Steve M.

Steve Marquess
OpenSSL Software Foundation
20-22 Wenlock Road
London N1 7GU
United Kingdom
+44 1785508015
+1 301 874 2571 direct
marquess at opensslfoundation.org
stevem at openssl.org

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