Proposing a GR to repeal the 2005 vote for declassification of the debian-private mailing list
For the non-Debian people among my readers: The following post presents bits of the decision-taking process in the Debian project. You might find it interesting, or terribly dull and boring :-) Proceed at your own risk.
My reason for posting this entry is to get more people to read the accompanying options for my proposed General Resolution (GR), and have as full a ballot as possible.
Some weeks ago, Nicolas Dandrimont proposed a GR for declassifying debian-private. In the course of the following discussion, he accepted Don Armstrong's amendment, which intended to clarify the meaning and implementation regarding the work of our delegates and the powers of the DPL, and recognizing the historical value that could lie within said list.  https://www.debian.org/vote/2016/vote_002  https://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2016/07/msg00108.html  https://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2016/07/msg00078.html In the process of the discussion, several people objected to the amended wording, particularly to the fact that "sufficient time and opportunity" might not be sufficiently bound and defined. I am, as some of its initial seconders, a strong believer in Nicolas' original proposal; repealing a GR that was never implemented in the slightest way basically means the Debian project should stop lying, both to itself and to the whole free software community within which it exists, about something that would be nice but is effectively not implementable. While Don's proposal is a good contribution, given that in the aforementioned GR "Further Discussion" won 134 votes against 118, I hereby propose the following General Resolution: === BEGIN GR TEXT === Title: Acknowledge that the debian-private list will remain private. 1. The 2005 General Resolution titled "Declassification of debian-private list archives" is repealed. 2. In keeping with paragraph 3 of the Debian Social Contract, Debian Developers are strongly encouraged to use the debian-private mailing list only for discussions that should not be disclosed. === END GR TEXT === Thanks for your consideration, -- Gunnar Wolf (with thanks to Nicolas for writing the entirety of the GR text ;-) )
Yesterday, I spoke with the Debian project secretary, who confirmed my proposal has reached enough Seconds (that is, we have reached five people wanting the vote to happen), so I could now formally do a call for votes. Thing is, there are two other proposals I feel are interesting, and should be part of the same ballot, and both address part of the reasons why the GR initially proposed by Nicolas didn't succeed:
- Ian Jackson's Acknowledge difficulty of declassifying debian-private makes explicit the role of the listmasters and allows for a formal declassification process to take place, as long as the privacy guarantees we had after the 2005 GR are not diminished.
- Iain Lane's reply to Ian is not yet formally proposed, but makes it spelt out that no declassification should ever occur unless all of the involved authors have explicitly consented
So, once more (and finally!), why am I posting this?
- To invite Iain to formally propose his text as an option to mine
- To invite more DDs to second the available options
- To publicize the ongoing discussion
I plan to do the formal call for votes by Friday 23.
[update] Kurt informed me that the discussion period started yesterday, when I received the 5th second. The minimum discussion period is two weeks, so I will be doing a call for votes at or after 2016-10-03.