Sarah Jamie Lewis announces her candidacy for the Major Grants Review Committee

Dear Zcash Community,

I am posting here today to formally announce my candidacy for the Major Grant Review Committee.

Some of you will know me from my work as the Executive Director of the Open Privacy Research Society, a Canadian research non-profit that works with marginalized communities to build better technology. You may have heard about my involvement disclosing critical cryptographic vulnerabilities in e-voting software used in Switzerland and Australia. I’ve also been contributing and actively researching privacy and security issues in zcash related projects.

I began my career as a computer scientist for British Intelligence and spent a number of years working as a software-turned-security engineer for Amazon. I went onto work as an independent privacy researcher investigating everything from dark web deanonymization, to sex tech, to children’s toys. After publishing Queer Privacy in 2017, I became convinced of the need for a group that works solely with targeted communities to build technology focused on their risk models, and as such I have spent the last few years building a non-profit from the ground up.

I am announcing my candidacy today because the world needs censorship resistant, private transactions. The communities I live and work in need financial privacy. I believe that zcash has a rare combination of robust technology, a community of amazing technologists, and the beginnings of an ecosystem that can deliver on that vision.

I believe that my strong technical background and critical voice, combined with my experience building and managing a non-profit society can serve that vision well as a member of the Major Grant Review Committee.

Which brings me to my platform: Financial Privacy

  • Financial privacy demands a large number of active participants. Preference should be given to funding projects that will expand the number of ways that zcash can be used and the number of people who can use it. Projects must seek to extend their reach beyond the traditional crypto-sphere and into civil society, the arts, community support, social enterprise and activism.
  • Financial privacy demands a vigorous commitment to privacy at all levels of the stack. While security and privacy can never be a primary feature they are critical to success of the vision. I would strongly argue for the establishment of strict secure development standards and policies to be applied across all ecosystem projects at all stages of development. I would fight to ensure that the risk models of over-policed, over-targeted communities are at the forefront of such consideration as I believe the security of such communities is essential to the success of the vision.
  • Financial privacy demands transparency. After all, the thing you are supposed to be decentralizing is power. I am not a person who trusts easily nor do I think you should invest your trust in me without strict safeguards. If elected to serve on the crucial inaugural term I will seek to implement policies that demand intense scrutiny into committee decisions and grant outcomes. I would ensure the committee members are compensated fairly for the work they undertake while also ensuring that such compensation is public and subject to community review.

Disclosure: Last year Open Privacy was fortunate to receive a donation from the Zcash Foundation which we have so far used further our efforts building usable technology. In the event I was elected to serve on the committee I would excuse myself from any votes concerning any potential future funding that Open Privacy might apply or be considered for - both as a member of the committee and in my role as Executive Director at Open Privacy.

Thank you for your consideration, and I will endeavour to answer all questions posted to this thread regarding my candidacy.


@sarahjamielewis I have added a link your thread to the top post in the Megathread. Good Luck!