08.23.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

When You Say the Truth They Call You “Toxic” (Inconvenient to Big Corporations/Sponsors?)

Posted in Debian, Deception, GNU/Linux at 3:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gas mask: They called me 'toxic' but I was being sincere and polite

Summary: We hereby reproduce a couple of publicly-accessible E-mail messages; those shed light on the censorious atmosphere which can tarnish Free software projects and discourage productive contributors

Censorship in Debian






Hi all,

I was recently at the UN forum on business and human rights,
listening to an Iranian dissident talk[1] about the extremes that
his country goes to in censoring and silencing people who don’t
agree with their rulers.  I would encourage people to watch the
video.

At that very same moment, the anti-harassment team were
censoring[2] a Debian Developer’s blog from Planet Debian. 
Chilling.

I actually looked at Planet shortly after attending that panel
discussion and immediately noticed that Norbert Preining[3] had
been censored.  Disappearances of Khashoggi[4] and Kamphuis[5]
came to mind.

At that moment, being surrounded by experts on human rights and
freedom of _expression_ who may have far more experience than most
of us in Debian, I did a quick survey.  I couldn’t find one person
who supported the actions of the censors.

Some of Norbert’s blogs make people think, but they appear to be
overwhelmingly motivated by legitimate issues and his recent blog
thanking[6] Lars[7] appeared to end in an upbeat and sincere
manner.  Whether I agree with either of them or not, I’d like to
take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank both Lars and
Norbert for their contributions as fellow Debian Developers and
fellow bloggers.

Norbert had also made political statements[8] concerning the way
codes of conduct are used in our communities.  People who speak up
like this are frequent targets for political plots, protecting
these people is imperative.

Looking at Debian’s code of conduct[9], there is no compelling
violation of the code in Norbert’s writing.  Indeed, the only
violation of the code of conduct may be the act of censorship
itself: the very first point tells us “inevitably there will be
people with whom you may disagree, or find it difficult to
cooperate. Accept that, but even so, remain respectful.”

Even without contemplating the code of conduct, censorship has a
sinister effect on discussion.  People notice when somebody
disappears and they become hesitant to speak about problems,
whether they are technical issues or social issues.  I feel
compelled to speak up but as I write this, I contemplate the risk
that some people will try the same tactics as the Iranians,
censoring me, threatening me or dragging my name through the mud. 
If they try that, they may give each other a pat on the back but
they don’t fool our community at large.

Nonetheless, article 30 of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights[10] clearly states that no institution should act in any
way to destroy the rights enshrined in the UDHR.  The definition
of an “institution” there clearly applies to a group with the
influence of Debian, it is not only for states and courts.

Wake up, people.  If we are repressing members of our own
organization like this, we haven’t got a hope in hell of achieving
our mission[11] for society at large.

The UN calls on us to “stand up 4 human rights” on this 70th
anniversary of that declaration.  You can do that now by standing
up for Norbert.  It takes minutes for anybody, Developer or not,
to submit a merge request in Salsa[12] to uncomment his blog.  You
can also email the Debian Project Leader, leader@debian.org

If you know people in other organizations concerned with human
rights, discuss Norbert’s case with them and get their opinion,
just as I did.

You can’t pick and choose human rights, having some freedoms and
not others, the declaration even implies this too.  Anybody who
tries to do that is on a very slippery slope indeed.

In my role as a representative in another organization and in my
extensive work with Debian, various people have approached me
about incidents of censorship and overbearing efforts to control
participation in the free software community.  It is far more
widespread than many people realize.  It only happens because
people fail to speak up.  For example, an FSFE volunteer was
censored at 34C3 after distributing leaflets questioning Google’s
funding to FSFE.  There is increasing fear that “anti-harassment”
efforts are being used as cover for political agendas, they are
operating in a bubble and diverging significantly from what would
be acceptable in any other organization or field of endeavour. 
They post big newsletters to debian-devel-announce boasting about
their work but many people feel those reports reek of gloating and
one-upmanship.

On a technical level, we may want to consider whether Planet is
fit for purpose: if we want to showcase best practice in creating
a platform where freedom of _expression_ can thrive and remain
immune to abuses, should we simply make more efforts to migrate to
a decentralized tool, eliminating the risk that any subgroup or
faction within Debian will be able to carry on like that now or in
future?

As somebody more famous once said, “I Disapprove of What You Say,
But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It”.  I welcome
responses to this topic whether you share my concerns or not but
if nobody cares about this stuff, please tell me, so I can stop
contributing to Debian and go elsewhere.

Regards,

Daniel

1. http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/human-rights-council/forum-on-business-and-human-rights/watch/panel-on-safeguarding-human-rights-defenders-forum-on-business-and-human-rights-2018/5972123912001/?term=
2. https://salsa.debian.org/planet-team/config/commit/99662c1548fac57813e5288002e3c6eeccf25ec6
3. https://preining.info/
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamal_Khashoggi
5. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/sep/14/speculation-over-fate-of-missing-dutchman-linked-to-wikileaks
6. https://www.preining.info/blog/2018/11/on-lars-wirzenius-fun-and-debian/
7. https://blog.liw.fi/posts/2018/11/18/retiring_from_debian/
8. https://www.preining.info/blog/2018/09/sharp-did-it-again/
9. https://www.debian.org/code_of_conduct
10. http://standup4humanrights.org/en/article.html?article=30
11. https://www.debian.org/social_contract
12. https://salsa.debian.org/planet-team/config


Re: Censorship in Debian






Hi everyone,

(please Cc me, I am not subscribed to d-p)

first of all thanks to Daniel for bringing this up and standing up for
me, this is very much appreciated.

For those not aware of the issue, here is *my* view onto the events.
AH and DAM can answer and provide their own interpretation. I will try
to stay as objective as it is possible for me.

2018/09/21
	I published the post "Sharp did it again" [1] using "it" as pronoun
-same day-
	Chris Lamb disabled my blog on Planet based on "it"
2018/09/22
	based on suggestions and explanations from others but Lamb I 
	update the blog to use "they"
2018/09/24
	Chris Lamb re-enables my blog on Planet
2018/11/26
	I published the post "On Lars Wirzenius, Fun, and Debian" [2]
2018/11/27
	Laura Arjona Reina disables my blog on Planet
2018/11/28
	I respond to Laura Arjona Reina's email asking for clarification
	due to the explanation being unclear to me (see attached email 1)
2018/12/04
	Due to absence of any answer at all, I enable my blog on Planet,
	but remove the post about Lars Wirzenius from the respective
	RSS feed
2018/12/17
	The DAM sends me an email about demotion to Debian Maintainer 
	based on a set of emails mostly from 2012-2014 during the
	discussions on systemd and coc:
		2012: 1 email
		2013: 7 emails
		2014: 5 emails
		2015: 1 email
		2016: 0 emails
		2017: 2 emails
		2018: 2 emails
	some of these emails are actually not from me, but these are the
	emails used as argumentation (see attached email 2)

Points I consider disturbing:
* AH never answered my questions, and above that I assume that the
  email the called out in their recent "bit from the anti harassement team"
  about being "a harassment of the team" is my email.
  I ask everyone to judge by himself whether my email as attached is to 
  be considered harassment.
* The demotion to Debian Maintainer is - as far as I read the
  consitution [3], the delegation of DAM [4], and the DAM Wiki page 
  about their rights and powers [5], not legit since besides expulsion
  there is not procedure laid out for demotion, but I refrained from
  raising this for the sake of peace.

There are more disturbing things going on where I suspect that members
of Debian have taken unduly influence on procedures concerning me, but
since I don't have proofs I cannot raise them here.


Coming back to the argumentation of DAM, I agree that back in 2012-2014
I have written a few strong emails during the systemd and coc
discussion. Not to defense myself, but I have the feeling that I was not
the only one. Furthermore, most of the emails cited by DAM clearly
predate the CoC, and the emails after installment of the CoC are, in my
opinion just simply frank and staight.

Anyway, this is the status. I invite everyone to form his/her own
opinion. As I posted on the Debian TeX ML, I will not be doing an awful
lot of work for Debian due to this demotion. I still think that Debian
is the best Linux distribution - but *only* due to the excellent work of
its developers.

Best

Norbert

[1] https://www.preining.info/blog/2018/09/sharp-did-it-again/
[2] https://www.preining.info/blog/2018/11/on-lars-wirzenius-fun-and-debian/
[3] https://www.debian.org/devel/constitution
[4] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2018/03/msg00001.html
[5] https://wiki.debian.org/DAManager
--
PREINING Norbert                               http://www.preining.info
Accelia Inc.     +    JAIST     +    TeX Live     +    Debian Developer
GPG: 0x860CDC13   fp: F7D8 A928 26E3 16A1 9FA0 ACF0 6CAC A448 860C DC13

— Begin Message —

Dear Laura,

thanks for your email.

To make things clear from the start: Unless explicitely stated below,
I do not consider this email communication private and will publicize it
if need arises. Thanks for your understanding.

Now to the matter at hand. I am a bit surprised that without even one
word of notice you have disabled by blog on Planet Debian. Furthermore,
I consider the explanation of your verdict unclear and bare of any
argumentation, and thus ask you to answer the following questions:

Question 1: persistent pattern of disrespectful communication
-------------------------------------------------------------

You state that
	... evaluate your long term behaviour, ...
	... persistent pattern of disrespectful communication towards
	other members of the community.
without providing any evidence. I have been contacted once by Chris Lamb
(in Cc in case you want to verify my statements) about my blog
	Sharp did it again [1]
where I used the incorrect pronoun. Within 24h I have updated the blog
  original email by Chris: Fri, 21 Sep 2018 17:20:22 +0100
  mail about update by me: Sat, 22 Sep 2018 05:09:42 +0900
  second update by me:     Sat, 22 Sep 2018 08:29:47 +0900
Besides this, please point me to other instances of
	disrespectful communication towards other members
(besides, Sharp is not a member of Debian).

I have published about 400 or more posts on my site. Please explain me
what your definition is of
	persistent pattern
even if you take the above one into account, and how your definition
applies to me.


Question 2: tone that is inappropriate for Planet Debian
--------------------------------------------------------
My post consists mostly of quotes from blogs aggregated on Debian
Planet. Where in specific is the "inappropriate tone"?

Furthermore, this post is modeled after Lars Wirzenius original post
	On Norbert Preining, Sarah Sharp, and Debian [2]
Please explain why his post is not considered "inappropriate" and he has
not been banished from Debian Planet!


Question 3: not to harm
-----------------------
I clearly stated my gratitude for his long work for Debian, despite our
obvious differences in opinions. I honor his work, even if I disagree
with some things Lars has proposed and forwarded within Debian.
Please explain why you feel like this post is harming, in particular
who, how, and why?



References
[1] https://www.preining.info/blog/2018/09/sharp-did-it-again/
[2] https://blog.liw.fi/posts/preining/

On Tue, 27 Nov 2018, Laura Arjona Reina wrote:
> Hello Norbert,
> 
> I'm writing to you on behalf of the Debian anti-harassment team.
> We had been asked to evaluate your long term behaviour,
> after one high-visibility instance of disrespect on Planet Debian.
> 
> We notice that there is a persistent pattern of disrespectful communication
> towards other members of the community.
> 
> In addition to this, we believe the recently published post
> https://www.preining.info/blog/2018/11/on-lars-wirzenius-fun-and-debian/
> has a tone that is inappropriate for Planet Debian.
> 
> Maybe it's written with no intention to do harm, but it seems it's not written
> to *not do harm* either. The result is several people feeling uncomfortable
> and undermining of efforts to improve the health of the community.
> 
> Therefore, regardless of other actions that may be taken, I have removed
> your blog from Planet Debian.
> 
> Regards,
> Laura Arjona Reina
> https://wiki.debian.org/LauraArjona

--
PREINING Norbert                               http://www.preining.info
Accelia Inc.     +    JAIST     +    TeX Live     +    Debian Developer
GPG: 0x860CDC13   fp: F7D8 A928 26E3 16A1 9FA0 ACF0 6CAC A448 860C DC13

— End Message —

— Begin Message —

Hello,

recently we got contacted with complaints about your attitude and
behaviour in Debian. Looking deeper into this, it appears to be a long
history and our impression is that you seem to ignore the issues raised
while attacking the people who raise them.

This appears on both, planet and mailing lists, with some posts
calling[1] you[2] out, and you being temporarily[3] removed from planet.

Not that other[4] posts[5] from you seem to be respectful or
constructive, nor does it appear to be the[6] case[7] with[8] loads[9]
of[10] mailing[11] list[12] posts[13]. This is damaging the working
environment in the project, with people needing to step[14] in[15] to
restore a decent working environmet after one of your interventions.

These issues have[16] been[17] raised[18] to you[19] several[20]
times[21] over[22] the years, and you have normally responded by denying
the issues and attacking the people who tried to raise them. See for
example[23].

On nov 27, the antiharassment team removed your blog post from Planet
again, because of yet another reiteration of these problems. Your
response, even though it was framed like asking questions, again it read
as an accusation to the people, a delegated team in this case, who, once
again, called you out.

On dec 4, you have unilaterally readded yourself to Planet Debian.

This has gone on for long enough. We do not believe that you currently
have any intention of being a constructive member of Debian, and we see
little hope for improvement as it is.

Therefore, we are revoking your status as a Debian Developer with
immediate effect. You remain a Debian Maintainer for a minimum of 6
months, after which you can apply for getting your Debian Developer
status back.

All packages in which you are currently listed as maintainer or uploader
will be added to your Debian Maintainer whitelist as soon as possible.

Your blog has been removed again from Planet Debian, and will remain so
for 3 months. After 3 months you can ask any DD or the Planet admins to
readd your feed.

After a minimum of 6 months you can apply to get your Debian Developer
status back by mailing da-manager@debian.org

We are sending this email privately, leaving its disclosure as your
decision (although traces in public databases are unavoidable).


The Debian Account Managers,

Enrico Zini
Joerg Jaspert
Jonathan Wiltshire


Footnotes:
[1] https://blog.liw.fi/posts/preining/
[2] https://blog.tincho.org/posts/Pining_for_the_good_ol__39___days/
[3] https://salsa.debian.org/planet-team/config/commit/216930f1f3f906ef4cc28457b94d10ba844e3074
[4] https://www.preining.info/blog/2018/08/perl-policy/
[5] https://www.preining.info/blog/2017/04/systemd-again/
[6] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2013/10/msg00486.html
[7] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/07/msg01014.html
[8] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/12/msg00003.html
[9] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2017/10/msg00425.html
[10] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2015/09/msg00039.html
[11] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/01/msg00270.html
[12] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2013/09/msg00104.html
[13] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2012/11/msg00747.html
[14] https://lists.debian.org/debconf-discuss/2018/08/msg00134.html
[15] https://lists.debian.org/debconf-discuss/2018/08/msg00148.html
[16] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/07/msg00841.html
[17] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/07/msg00856.html
[18] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2013/05/msg00070.html
[19] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2013/05/msg00081.html
[20] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2013/05/msg00085.html
[21] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2017/10/msg00438.html
[22] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2013/05/msg00079.html
[23] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2013/05/msg00080.html

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: PGP signature

— End Message —

Come on, kids; We're going to a community that respects free speech as much as it respects free software

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Becoming Robust to Censorship is a Technical Challenge for Web Sites That Publish Suppressed Information and Supportive Material

    Being at the mercy of third parties indebted to corporate patrons (or banks), sometimes in "reputation" or "political correctness" or "safety" clothing, is a topological issue; we need to teach more people to self-host and exercise full control over speech and information (never let those with money and power decide who can speak and who cannot)



  2. Links 28/10/2021: Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W Released and Mesa 21.3 Reaches RC3

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] The EPO's “New Normal”

    The rule of law is being thrown out the window/door, people send rude letters, and we’re meant to think that this is the “new normal” (laws and regulations ceasing to exist); brought by the same people who try to force-feed people all around Europe the unlawful UPC



  4. [ES] Spanish: Richard Stallman's Speech From This Past Saturday

    The new bits (in Spanish) start at 14m:42s from the start



  5. This New Edward Snowden Video is Relevant to Media Cover-up in Service of EPO Management

    We’re long mentioned the 'conspiracy of silence' regarding EPO corruption (bribes and threats from Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos contribute to this silence), so the above video, which is new, seems relevant to us



  6. EPO Home-Working (or 'Remote' Working or 'Teleworking') Isn't an Act of Generosity But of Exploitation

    Contrary to what staff may be led to believe, allowing folks to work from home is just a workaround (as the law forbids some human-to-human contact/interaction) and pretext for screwing the workers a little bit more while crushing basic rights, such as strike and protest abilities (exercising or expressing dissent)



  7. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 27, 2021



  8. [Meme] False Choices and False Dichotomy Designed for Self-Harm

    The self-serving EPO surveys, which Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos design to justify their own policies, have severe flaws in them



  9. Links 27/10/2021: XOrg Server 21.1 and Makulu Shift Ubuntu Variant Released

    Links for the day



  10. Links 27/10/2021: Murena for /e/ and Red Hat Condemned for Its Nationalism/Racism

    Links for the day



  11. [Meme] EPO Presidential Surveys

    The 'social democracy' of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos as demonstrated by a controlled survey (controlled by the subject of the survey, EPO governance)



  12. 'Shaping the New Normal' Survey at the EPO Got 5,554 EPO Staff to Participate, But It Was Controlled by Liars With an Agenda

    Last year’s EPO ‘study’ (hogwash about “quality” and other unscientific junk) was likely biased by virtue of autocrats controlling it and exploiting it for nefarious agenda and brainwashing of national delegates. The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) has a new survey in the making.



  13. Many of the National Delegations (or Delegates) in the EPO's Administrative Council Have No Understanding of What They Vote on

    One must consider the possibility that ignorance or gullibility (which lack of qualifications may entail) possibly became a contributing factor — malice and bribery aside — in systemic failure of the EPO’s governance



  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXV: The Balkan League - Fresh Blood or Same Old, Same Old?

    We take stock of "captured states" that voted in favour of unlawful "Strike Regulations"



  15. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 26, 2021



  16. Beatriz Busaniche Speaks Up in Defense of Richard Stallman

    Beatriz Busaniche sent us this comment in July 2021. She wrote it originally in Spanish. Here are both the original text and our translation to English.



  17. Links 26/10/2021: SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 and Multi-Distro Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  18. Links 26/10/2021: Vulkan 1.1 Conformance for Raspberry Pi 4 and Tor Browser 10.5.10

    Links for the day



  19. [Meme] Sounds Legit

    When not cheating on the wife, the EPO‘s “doyen” cheats in the exams and makes it into the epi Council, in effect working “[t]owards a common understanding [sic] of quality” with “patent attorneys nominated as “assessors” by the EPO, epi and BusinessEurope” (notorious lobbyists for dictators, litigation, and monopolies, neither business nor science)



  20. [Meme] Mayoral Patent Office Chief

    As it turns out, political 'double-dipping' isn't just a thing in North Macedonia, Austria, and EPOnia



  21. Romania's Patent Office (OSIM): Nine Different Chiefs in Just Eight Years

    The Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM), being the equivalent of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the sense that it covers both patents and trademarks, is a very flaky institution with no shortage of scandals; for our English-reading audiences we now have a summary of a decade’s worth of blunders and leadership changes



  22. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League - Romania

    Romania’s patent office has been in flux this past decade, occasionally led by people with no relevant experience, but rather political connections (like EPO President António Campinos) and sometimes forged documents and fake degrees



  23. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 25, 2021



  24. [Meme] “Social Democracy” at the EPO

    Some comments on the current situation at the European Patent Office from Goran Gerasimovski, the new EPO Administrative Council delegate for North Macedonia and Social Democratic candidate for mayor of Centar (a municipality of Skopje)



  25. [Meme] António Campinos Visits the OSIM

    António Campinos visits OSIM Director-General Ionel Muscalu in February 2014



  26. [Meme] [Teaser] Meet the President

    Later today we shall see what Romania did for Battistelli



  27. Links 26/10/2021: Latte Dock 0.10.3 and Linux 5.15 RC7

    Links for the day



  28. Gemini Protocol's Originator: “I Continue to Care About This Project and I Care About the Community That Has Formed Around It.”

    'Solderpunk' is back from a long hiatus; this bodes well for Geminispace, which grew fast in spite of the conspicuous absence



  29. Bulgarian Like Bavarian Serfdom

    Bulgarian politics seem to have played a big role in selecting chiefs and delegates who backed Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful proposals, which treat workers almost like slaves and ordinary citizens as disposable ‘collaterals’



  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League - Bulgaria

    Today we examine the role of Bulgaria in Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO (as well as under António Campinos, from 2018 to present) with particular focus on political machinations


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts