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10.02.19

Increasing Transparency (Operational and Technical) at Techrights

Posted in Site News at 12:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Code and IRC logs

Enter the IRC channels now

Transparency

Summary: Publication of IRC logs to return to being a daily occurrence (that used to be done on a daily basis more than a decade ago, then weekly, monthly, 3 times per year); there’s more time-sensitive information which may or may not be useful for non-lurkers

TECHRIGHTS turns 13 next month. The IRC channels are almost as old as that. They’ve always been logged and transcripts published (sometimes sans IP addresses) because we choose a maximal — provided it’s safe — level of transparency. A lot is included in these logs and they can be searched.

“They’ve always been logged and transcripts published (sometimes sans IP addresses) because we choose a maximal — provided it’s safe — level of transparency.”In 2015 or thereabouts we published almost no logs for over a year. That was due to the intense atmosphere at the European Patent Office (EPO); Office spies were trying to identify sources of ours (whistle-blowers), but as far as we know they always failed. Over a year later we caught up with all the logs; on very rare occasions when something very sensitive gets published we redact. It’s extremely rare and it typically involves just rubbing out a name or address. It happens at most once or twice a year.

Back in the early days we published logs every single day (or night); even if that meant bring groggy late at night just to get it ‘out there’. Over time these releases became less frequent because the process is time-consuming. Some of the discussions that we nowadays have in IRC are important and if they age they become less relevant. So Techrights will try to get back to 2009/2010 and post logs on a daily basis again (as it had done since the very beginning). We’ll try our best to publish IRC logs on a daily basis, not 3 times a year. This requires some coding and a daily routine. Somebody also volunteered to help.

“So Techrights will try to get back to 2009/2010 and post logs on a daily basis again (as it had done since the very beginning)”The coding isn’t particularly sophisticated; it’s mostly automation of processing and workflow. There may be some bugs (yet to be discovered) at first. At one point we’ll put together the code and post it online, perhaps weeks after we resume Techrights IRC logs’ publication on a daily basis; we want to iron out some bugs. There are other bits of code that we developed to help write and run Techrights; there may be a public repository for it some time soon.

There are many new regulars in the IRC channels. Some (but not all) of that is related to recent events, notably the witch hunt against Richard Stallman (RMS)

“We believe that increased transparency can reduce the chance of misunderstandings and suspicion.”“As someone else rather recently alluded to,” an associate of ours wrote, “and as mentioned in the other message, CoC == Malleus Hackerum [based upon Malleus Maleficarum by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger]. The goal is not to help anyone but simply to shutdown any and all proponents of Software Freedom under the false mask of helping someone else because the CoCs always have been applied very selectively. This has been shown again and again where ever CoCs have been forced into projects. But as we see with both RMS and Guido Van Rossum, it is possible to kick out the leader without a CoC.”

We believe that increased transparency can reduce the chance of misunderstandings and suspicion. For those wishing to know what goes on behind the scenes these logs offer insight.

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