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[Debconf-team] brave new world (Re: [DC14] Portland team: DebConf in the USA)

Hi Daniel,

please don't "freak out" too much about this border/visa/database issue and be 
assured that we - as a team - are very well aware of those issues, also 
because we discussed them at length for debconf10, and not much has changed 
since them.

And like every year, each bid and each choosen bid will alienate some people 
and as such will also prevent some from coming. Sometimes more, sometimes less 
people, but there will always be some. "Remember" dc13? ;) (or 12, 11, 10, 

(And surely, we need to consider these facts and effects, but unless they 
prevent a really big group from coming, we shouldn't consider such issues as 

On Samstag, 16. März 2013, Daniel Pocock wrote:
> On 16/03/13 20:21, Ana Guerrero wrote:
> > On Sat, Mar 16, 2013 at 06:27:30PM +0100, Daniel Pocock wrote:
> >> My own feeling: countries like the US and Australia shouldn't bother
> >> holding major events like DebConf ...
> > 
> > The visas and border problems are not limited to US and Australia

Ana is totally right here. The EU is really not much better in this regard (eg 
happily sharing inner-european flight data with the US - Germany has just 
proposed to establish the same online visa system the US uses), China, 
Singapure and other asian countries are also storing data electronically, 
(very probably, havent checked, including fingerprints). 

This is a (IMO sad) world wide trend, which we cannot escape: even if we'd 
choose to hold DebConfs in some last-free country most people would need to 
travel there _from_ these "surveilance states" and thus deliver their 
fingerprints (and/or other biometric data) to get passports issued needed for 

> However, if DebConf were to apply the same principles that inspire the
> DFSG, then it would never be able to go to the US or Australia, because
> of things like the fingerprinting and all that other nonsense.

I don't see how the DFSG is in the way of collecting fingerprints. It's 
perfectly acceptable (according to the letters of the DFSG) to create a 1984 
like survailance state with free software - actually we consider software to 
be non-free if it's licence doesnt allow it to be used to build such a 
survailance state.

So, to summarize: these problems aint new, but rather well known and we will 
need to life with them, unless we'd want to turn DebConf into a virtual 
conference (which I dont.) 

cheers from "the land of the free",

P.S.: please also see http://www.tinychan.org/img/1328489021478010.jpg if you 
are worried about 1984...

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