09.10.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

The FSFE General Assembly’s Stasi Policies

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software at 2:41 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from the Free Software Fellowship

This Saturday, 9 November 2019, is the 30th anniversary of the end of the Berlin Wall.

There has been a lot of news this week about the techniques the Stasi used to oppress people. Consider this article in The Guardian:

A 1976 directive by the head of the Stasi, Erich Mielke, proposes a catalogue of methods of psychological warfare called Zersetzung – a pseudo-scientific term for psychological warfare, literally meaning “biodegradation”. Enemies of the state, Mielke instructed, should have their reputation “systematically discredited” by spreading “untrue” but “credible, non-refutable” rumours. To destroy their enemies’ self-confidence, the Stasi would “systematically organise professional and social disappointments”.

When we read the (defamation redacted by satire) minutes of the 2019 FSFE annual meeting, we see the same thing: a motion has been passed deciding that the community elected representative has to be blamed for everything that is wrong in the world. The text of the motion is irrelevant: the key point is that bunch of supposedly grown-up German males are getting together to whine about a volunteer who resigned over a year ago. This is no accidental slip of gaslighting: the minutes show that 11 people travelled to Essen on 12 October 2019, meeting at the LinuxHotel and making a formal resolution to continue in the footsteps of the GDR’s secret police. The minutes do not include any positive plans for the next 12 months: just some administrative changes and the resolution to pursue a vendetta. Would Stasi predecessors feel a tingle of pride reading the unredacted version of the document, dripping with character assassination?

This is even more despicable because the volunteer in question resigned at a time of personal tragedy and asserted that he is grieving for the loss of a family member. Hounding a volunteer who resigned at a time like that shows an utter lack of humanity.

Corrupt elements of the FSFE management were already running evil campaigns like this in private emails before the Fellowship migrated to the fsfellowship.eu mailing list in May. In a #MeToo moment for Free Software, the former community representative called them out, leaking this quote from Herr Matthias Kirschner, FSFE president. Kirschner describes a conspiracy with former Debian Project Leader (DPL) Chris Lamb:

One general wish — which I agreed with — from Debian was to better share information about people

Chilling. Can we put the Stasi back in their box for another 30 years please?

Debian was just receiving that secret $300,000 from Google and FSFE had secretly received EUR 75,000 from Google. Is it any coincidence they both simultaneously decide to betray and snitch on volunteers who questioned Google’s dirty influence in free and open source software?

Rather than correcting their behaviour, Herr Kirschner has simply gone from private attacks on volunteers to public attacks on volunteers.

If you are concerned about governance standards in the Free Software community, please join the independent Free Software Fellowship mailing list and follow our RSS news feed.

FSFE’s resolution to formally adopt Stasi tactics to abuse this volunteer is particularly ironic as the day the Berlin Wall came down is also the volunteer’s birthday.

Matthias Kirschner, FSFE

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. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

    Links for the day



  2. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities



  3. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens



  4. Links 16/1/2022: Tsunami and Patents

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 15, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 15, 2022



  6. Links 16/1/2022: Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop and Catch-up With Patent Misinformation

    Links for the day



  7. Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law

    A longtime critic of EPO abuses (under both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos leadership), as well as a vocal critic of software patents, steps in to point out the very obvious



  8. Links 15/1/2022: Flameshot 11.0 and Libvirt 8.0

    Links for the day



  9. Blogging and Microblogging in Geminispace With Gemini Protocol

    Writing one’s thoughts and other things in Geminispace — even without setting up a Gemini server — is totally possible; gateways and services do exist for this purpose



  10. Links 15/1/2022: Raspberry Pi in Business

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 14, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 14, 2022



  12. Gemini Clients: Comparing Moonlander, Telescope, Amfora, Kristall, and Lagrange (Newer and Older)

    There are many independent implementations of clients (similar to Web browsers) that deal with Gemini protocol and today we compare them visually, using Techrights as a test case/capsule



  13. 2022 Starts With Censorship of Christmas and Other Greetings at the EPO

    The nihilists who run the EPO want a monopoly on holiday greetings; to make matters worse, they’re censoring staff representatives in their intranet whilst inconsistently applying said policies



  14. Links 14/1/2022: FFmpeg 5.0 and Wine 7.0 RC6

    Links for the day



  15. White House Asking Proprietary Software Companies That Add NSA Back Doors About Their Views on 'Open Source' Security

    The US government wants us to think that in order to tackle security issues we need to reach out to the collective 'wisdom' of the very culprits who created the security mess in the first place (even by intention, for imperialistic objectives)



  16. Links 14/1/2022: EasyOS 3.2.1 and Qt 6.3 Alpha

    Links for the day



  17. Scientific Excellence and the Debian Social Contract

    The Debian Project turns 30 next year; in spite of it being so ubiquitous (most of the important distros of GNU/Linux are based on Debian) it is suffering growing pains and some of that boils down to corporate cash and toxic, deeply divisive politics



  18. Links 14/1/2022: openSUSE Leap 15.2 EoL, VFX Designers Are Using GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 13, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 13, 2022



  20. 2022 Commences With Microsoft-Themed (and Microsoft-Connected) FUD Against GNU/Linux

    A psychopathic Microsoft, aided by operatives inside the mainstream and so-called 'tech' media, keeps spreading old and invalid stigma about "Linux" and Free software; few people still bother responding to these fact-free FUD campaigns, which boil down to ‘perception management’ PR/propaganda



  21. Between January 2021 and January 2022 the Number of Active Gemini Capsules Nearly Quadrupled Based on Publicly-Available Catalogue of Capsules

    Geminispace has grown to about 2,000 known capsules and 1,600 of them are active, permanently online, fully accessible; in January last year these numbers were about 4 times smaller



  22. Links 13/1/2022: NetworkManager 1.34 and Everett 3.0.0

    Links for the day



  23. Links 13/1/2022: Sparky 5.16, Fwupd 1.7.4, and KDE Plasma 5.24 Beta Released

    Links for the day



  24. Call a Spade a Spade (Microsoft 'Contributions' to Linux)

    Call a spade a spade; Microsoft does not love Linux and doesn’t try to help Linux, as it’s still all about Windows and proprietary software with surveillance, back doors, and worse things



  25. No Excuses for Using GitHub Anymore

    Software developers become living witnesses to more and more reasons to abandon Microsoft for good



  26. Links 13/1/2022: Slackware Linux 15.0 RC3 and More Microsoft Aggression Against Linux

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 12, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 12, 2022



  28. Links 12/1/2022: IPython 8.0, Iranian Attacks on Microsoft Windows

    Links for the day



  29. Non-Fungible Membership in OSI

    The OSI tells us that it got over a thousand members, but that boils down to just people clicking a URL or a button



  30. Computing Security is Being Redefined as 'Controlled by NSA' (and Microsoft)

    The ascent of fake security or the concept that outsourcing trust to Pentagon-connected monopolies is the same as "security" is a real problem because the mindset creeps into new legislation, in effect cementing monopolies and centralisation


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