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Re: Should mailing list bans be published?

Am 27.10.2013 um 20:46 schrieb Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org>:

> On Sat, Oct 26, 2013 at 05:27:25PM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:
>> Bart Martens wrote:
>>> I suggest we keep things civil, with respect for the persons involved.  It's
>>> really not up to Debian to harm someone's reputation, and that could reflect
>>> bad on Debian's reputation.
>>> Approaches I could support :
>>> - post the bans with reasons on debian-private
>>> - or maintain a list of bans with reasons in a text file on a Debian machine
>>>  where DDs can read this info.
>> Simply obfuscating the name on the list of banned users (or not posting
>> any names at all, only links to the posts that led to the ban) would
>> eliminate most reputational damage. Ie, random searches for that
>> person would not turn up a high pagerank debian.org page listing their
>> youthful indiscretions.
>> Using eg "J. Hess" would probably be fine in most cases.
> This also seems like a good compromise to me.  Do the other folks who object
> to publishing information that could damage the poster's reputation (e.g.,
> Bart, Ingo) think this is ok?

Hmmm... difficult. 

I can understand the reasons to make bans public. It's a way of checks and balances for the listmasters and the public, which is good. 

On the other hand, making such a ban publically known is like a pillory for that person and might violate the persons fundamental rights, especially the right of informational self-determination (EN: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informational_self-determination, DE: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informationelle_Selbstbestimmung) in Germany, which has its counter part in Article 8, 1 European Convention on Human Rights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_8_of_the_European_Convention_on_Human_Rights).

The name of a person is, of course, a personal data and thus proteced under privacy rights. When that person writes to a mailing list, s/he is granting the right to publish that mail to others - because in most cases people are aware of the fact that the willingly write to a public and open mailing list. But listing the name in a different context that it was intended by the author itself, namely on list of ML bans, might violate this basic right. Also keep in mind that a General Data Protection Regulation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation) in the Eruopean Union is on its way, where a "Right to be Forgotten" is mentioned in Article 17, which could be applied in this case as well. 

Obfuscating the name by shorten it will not work for rare family names like mine for example, so I don't think this could be an option at all. 
Conducting a webpage with links to the posts in question that led to the ban seems to break the direct connection between the ban and the name when doing some easy websearchs for the name, but I don't know the detials of search algorithms, so maybe the ban page will pop up quickly when searching for the name. 

Currently I see no good way of making the ban public - except to get the consent of the banned person. 
For example when a person gets banned s/he can be asked whether s/he is ok with taking this ban to the mailing list to get input from other users and start a discussion whether this ban should stand or get removed again. When the person agrees the issue can be made publically known and discussed. 

I'm aware of the fact that privacy standards are lower or seen in a more relaxed way that do not match the high standards we have in the EU and especially in Germany and that our high german standard causes shaking the head in most other countries. But, well, I'm a German and can't ignore basic rights and when asked what's more important to me, Debians reputation or peoples fundamental rights, I'll always stand and fight for the fundamental rights. Sorry. :)

Ciao...            //      Fon: 0381-2744150
      Ingo       \X/       http://blog.windfluechter.net

gpg pubkey:  http://www.juergensmann.de/ij_public_key.asc

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