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Re: Proposed GR: Repeal the 2005 vote for declassification of the debian-private mailing list

Gunnar Wolf writes ("Re: Proposed GR: Repeal the 2005 vote for declassification of the debian-private mailing list"):
> I would agree to something like this. However, Point #2 has shown to
> be not implementable in practice for eight years already.

Point #2 is my "In case volunteers should come forward: Permission

> I sat with
> Nicolas and we thought about this when he drafted his original GR,
> which I am attempting now to resurrect — I (we, but I'm not putting
> words in his mouth) want Debian to stop lying.

I don't follow you.

I agree that Debian should stop lying.  I don't see that my point #2
amounts to Debian lying.  It explicitly recognises that this is a
possibility, rather than a probability.

Perhaps I have misunderstood.

> So, as the 2005 GR *compels* us to create a declassification team
> that never came to light, even with the DPL's explicit call in
> 2010¹, I hold it's only fair to first and foremost say "we failed at
> that task, we are not going to pursue it". So, my reintroduced GR
> proposal covers your point #1.

Your proposal is basically just my #1 ("sorry we didn't") and 2nd#5
("please try not to use -private").

The question is about #2 ("permission remains"), #3 (listmaster can
make new rules), #4 (not retrospective), and 1st#5 (be explicit about
"this message never").

>    ¹ https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2010/05/msg00105.html
> Points 3, 5 and 5 (☺), it's just making explicit and re-stating the
> status quo.

One thing that struck me about the discussion and disagreements is
that people had very different views about the status quo.

Thus people had different ideas about the effect of the different
proposed GR texts.  I think making the implications clear, and
restating parts that may or may not be the status quo, is helpful.

In particular my points 3 and 4 (listmaster can make changes, but
only prospectively) do not seem to be universally agreed.

I supported the change to add the "listmaster" part to the failed GR,
because I thought it made no practical difference for controversial
changes, but would explicitly enable reasonably uncontroversial ones.

But many people seemed to feel that it made a big difference -
specifically, that there was a concern that that listmaster clause
entitled listmaster to make retrospective changes, without enough

That is addressed by my #4 (no retrospective weakening of privacy) and
1st#5 (be explicit about "this message never").

> Points 2 and 4 remain, so, the only contentious part here (and their
> expression is the reason, I believe, Nicolas' amended GR failed): They
> are implementation details. I'd rather leave implementation details to
> be discussed if they ever need to be. I agree with your #4, but it
> would hamper many studies that could be hypothetically carried out to
> the list archives. So, I'd rather think about it if need arises later
> on.

Point 2 is "permission remains".  Point 4 is "listmaster may make only
prospective, not retrospective, changes".

Do you disagree with the notion that if some volunteers came forward,
and wanted to do something similar to the 2005 GR process, they should
be permitted to go ahead ?  I agree that this doesn't seem likely.
But I think it is better not to forbid it.  Without my point 2, there
is no permission at all any more for declassifying anything.

Or do you really intend for listmaster to retrospectively set up a
declassification process which is more vigorous than the 2005 GR ?
(Or for listmaster to be able to do so?)  If so I disagree quite
strongly.  Any such change should *at the very least* be approved by a
further GR - and I would probably vote "no".

The only reason I was content with the "listmaster" clause in failed
GR was because it seemed clear to me that listmaster would not propose
retrospective changes, and that if listmaster did, there would be a GR
to stop that.


Ian Jackson <ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk>   These opinions are my own.

If I emailed you from an address @fyvzl.net or @evade.org.uk, that is
a private address which bypasses my fierce spamfilter.

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