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Re: GR Proposal 2: Declassification of -private

On Fri, Nov 18, 2005 at 04:09:58PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
>Okay, incorporating Manoj's proposed changes, and some other ideas:
>On Tue, Nov 15, 2005 at 12:08:15PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
>>One of the issues Debian often stands for is transparency and openness
>>-- indeed, the openness of our bug tracking system is codified in the
>>Social Contract's statement "We will not hide problems". However, one
>>particular area of significance within the project is not open at all:
>>the debian-private mailing list.
>>This list has hosted a number of significant discussions over the years,
>>including most of the discussion inspiring the original statement
>>of Debian's Social Contract and the Debian Free Software Guidelines,
>>the reinvetion of the new-maintainer process, debate on the qmail to
>>exim/postfix transition for Debian mail servers and more. This trend
>>continues today, with the six months just past have averaged around 190
>>posts per month.
>>Especially given Debian is the focus of academic work (such as Biella
>>Coleman's paper), and has inspired other groups to emulate our commitment
>>to free software and our community (GenToo, Wikipedia, the Open Directory
>>Project and OpenSolaris), we should make our discussions on issues like
>>these and the reasoning behind the solutions we adopt accessible to the
>>rest of humanity.
>>I think the easiest way to do that is to adopt an approach similar to that
>>of governments that deal with classified documents; that is by setting a
>>specific time after which -private posts will be required to be considered
>>for declassification (ie, publication) and redacting only those posts (or
>>portions of posts) for which there's still a good reason to keep private.
>Thus, I propose that the Debian project resolve that:
>In accordance with principles of openness and transparency, Debian will
>seek to declassify and publish posts of historical or ongoing significance
>made to the Debian Private Mailing List.
>This process will be undertaken under the following constraints:
>  * The Debian Project Leader will delegate one or more volunteers
>    to form the "debian-private declassification team".
>  * The team will automatically declassify and publish posts made to
>    that list that are three or more years old, with the following
>    exceptions:
>    - the author and other individuals quoted in messages being reviewed
>      will be contacted, and allowed between four and eight weeks
>      to comment;
>    - posts that reveal financial information about individuals or
>      organisations other than Debian, will have that information
>      removed;
>    - requests by the author of a post for that post not to be published
>      will be honoured;
>    - posts of no historical or other relevance, such as vacation
>      announcements, or posts that have no content after personal
>      information is removed, will not be published, unless the author
>      requests they be published;
>    - comments by others who would be affected by the publication of
>      the post will also be taken into account by the declassification
>      team;
>    - the list of posts to be declassified will be made available to
>      developers two weeks before publication, so that the decisions
>      of the team may be overruled by the developer body by General
>      Resolution, if necessary -- in the event such a resolution is
>      introduced (ie, proposed and sponsored), the declassification
>      and publication of messages specified by the resolution will be
>      deferred until the resolution has been voted on.
>>According to the interweb, classified US government documents relating
>>to national security have to be released after at most ten years (unless
>>there're particular reasons to extend that); the oldest mail in the
>>-private archives turns ten on January 21st next year. I don't want to
>>see Debian be more secretive than the US military industrial complex :)
>>And beyond that, there really are a lot of good ideas stuck in the
>>-private archives that it'd be nice to be able to refer to properly.
>The changes since the original:
>   - authors have a veto over publication (Manoj's changes)
>   - people quoted in messages rather than other recipients should be
>     contacted
>   - security problems don't get special treatment; they can be vetoed
>     by the post's author though
>   - specific details for overriding the team's decisions by the
>     developers
>Seconds so far:
>   Don Armstrong (original or Manoj's changes)
>   Joey Hess (original only, no comment on Manoj's changes)
>   Wouter Verhelst (Manoj's changes, no comment on original)
>   Bas Zoetekouw (Manoj's changes, no comment on original)
>   Daniel Ruoso (original preferred over Manoj's changes)
>Five's enough to second a proposal, but only if they all second the same
>one :)
>>Comments, suggestions and seconds appreciated.

I second this proposal, "GR Proposal 2: Declassification of -private".


Aníbal Monsalve Salazar
 .''`. Debian GNU/Linux
: :' : Free Operating System
`. `'  http://debian.org/
  `-   http://v7w.com/anibal

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