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

Hi David,

On Fri, Sep 09, 2016 at 01:20:58PM +0200, David Kalnischkies wrote:
> [...] no official document defines d-private (beside the GR2005 maybe
> implicitly), [...]

This is not entirely true. The Debian Developers Reference, section 4.1.3
"Special lists" contains this paragraph:

> [d-private] is a special mailing list for private discussions amongst Debian
> developers. It is meant to be used for posts which for whatever reason should
> not be published publicly. As such, it is a low volume list, and users are
> urged not to use <debian-private@lists.debian.org> unless it is really
> necessary. Moreover, do not forward email from that list to anyone. Archives
> of this list are not available on the web for obvious reasons, but you can
> see them using your shell account on master.debian.org and looking in the
> ~debian/archive/debian-private/ directory.
Source: https://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/developers-reference/ch04.en.html#mailing-lists-special

On Fri, Sep 09, 2016 at 01:20:58PM +0200, David Kalnischkies wrote:
> My personal idea of declassification (I might or might not help with)
> was an archive with thread-view just like for the other lists, but
> everything (sender, subject, …) is classified by default. Then you can
> add little labels on the archive tagging VAC, never/maybe/always-
> declassify, expulsions, … messages as such (see also Enricos enhanced
> posting rules for future posts). Mislabeling has basically zero cost, so
> those could be done by tools. If you find volunteers publishing the
> subject lines could be attempt (volunteers as you would need to exclude
> expulsion/VAC messages and an error here has a cost). Perhaps we rule
> that for future posts the sender is auto-declassified (after a month
> perhaps – thinking of VAC messages here mostly). Maybe run an opt-in for
> past messages.  Messages copied/forwarded to public lists could be
> declassified in full.  And then, perhaps someday someone really tries to
> declassify a thread in full… all that is an implementation detail of
> a declassification through and don't really belong in a GR text nor in
> the discussion, but as many seem to be stuck in all or nothing…

The underlying problem your automated declassification approach tries to solve
is that we use a single mailing list way too often for content that should not
be sent to debian-private in the first place.  So, before we try to
automatically declassify future d-private mails, I would suggest to get a clear
understanding of why non-private mails are being sent to d-private. If these
messages were sent elsewere more public, we could get rid of the need for a
declasification of future mails to d-private entirely.

One reason for non-private mails sometimes being sent to d-private seems to be
that the sender intends a topic to be discussed with DDs only (or at least with
DDs preferred). Such discussions could even happen in the public. The challenge
with this idea is to ensure that only DDs can participate (or are preferred).
As sender based mail filtering isn't spoofing proof (and GPG signing would be
to big a hurdle), I wonder whether it would be possible (for an imaginary
entirely new mailing list "debian-internal", all DDs subscribed by default) to
simply delay the delivery only for non DD recipients and the mail archive. E.g.
inspired by how the LWN.net subscription works, let's say for a week. This
would allow externals to subscribe and even participate in such discussions
after the delay is over, but would not hinder immediate discussion amongst DDs.

The last two paragraphs might be off-topic on d-vote already, so let's better
not discuss further technical/implementation details here. Is there a better
place where I should bring this idea up for discussion?

Best regards,

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