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

Anthony Towns writes ("Re: Proposed GR: Repeal the 2005 vote for declassification of the debian-private mailing list"):
> Since then there have been other important discussions [examples]

It seems to me that most of those conversations are excellent examples
of using -private properly, for its intended purpose.  For many of
them I would be extremely unhappy if I thought it likely that
participants' messages would be nonconsensually published.

Evidently you disagree.  You are entitled to do so.  But, speaking
frankly: I will be amongst those who oppose any attempt to put such
views into practice, and I think you will find that we will be in the

> It's obviously hard to give specific reasons why any of that is important
> without violating people's increasingly restrictive presumptions of
> secrecy,

I'm afraid I have to take issue with "people's increasingly
restrictive presumptions of secrecy".  It makes me feel that you are
(perhaps unwittingly) accusing people of goalpost-shifting.

It seems that your opinion about the best balance of privacy
vs. transparency tends towards the transparency end of the spectrum.
You're entitled to hold that view.  But others are entitled to
disagree; and recasting their views as departures from a previous norm
seems unfair to me.

The question of debian-private has always been contentious and
contested.  The 2005 GR's onerous and impractical conditions for
declassification are the result of an attempt to cater to the views of
those participants who have a strong expectation of privacy.

If you see an apparent increase in the prevalance of strong-privacy
views, that might be for a number of reasons.  (For the record: I
don't see such an increase.)  Perhaps people who have such a strong
expectation of privacy have become more numerous; or perhaps
individual people have changed their minds and value privacy more than
they did (and who is to say they're wrong?).  Certainly the recent
moves in this area have made some people feel their privacy is under
threat, which will make them motivated to defend it (and to bring
others into the conversation to do the same).

Thanks for your understanding.


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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