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[Video] Debian's Newfound Love of Censorship Has Become a Threat to the Entire Internet

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Apr 25, 2024

Video download link | md5sum 1e9df3366740c68a66a9a39fb2c75f1b
Debian and SPI Attack the Whole Internet to Silence One Person
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Preview for Debian and SPI Attack the Whole Internet to Silence One Person

THE previous video discussed some pressing issues inside Debian. This newer video focuses on how Debian's leadership is attempting to prevent access to information about these issues, which can make Debian and DebConf "sponsor-unfriendly".

The gist of the story, as per the latest WIPO case, Debian's leadership (the unelected part) decided to take the "bait" and simply try to censor a whole bunch of domains, not just one, by taking over them (hostile takeover). The domains are debian.chat, debiancommunity.org, debian.day, debian.family, debian.finance, debian.giving, debiangnulinux.org, debian.guide, debian.news, debian.plus, debianproject.community, debianproject.org, debian.team, and debian.video.

Attempts to enforce the trademark against some of these domains is extremely problematic and would set a horrendous precedent (threatening many activists worldwide). The video explains which ones and why.

My personal assessment is, SPI (fronting for Debian) should suspend the case and entirely withdraw these proceedings. It must recognise the wider implications/consequences. To have the project associated with this would only stain the brand "Debian" among activists.

One more observation I can make is, this sort of "bulk action" is utterly foolish and overzealous. SPI/Debian might end up with rotten tomatoes in the face, like IBM/Red Hat after trying to hijack WeMakeFedora.org. Is Gentoo aware of this? As a new SPI associated project, what would Gentoo say about trademark maximalism?

There's meanwhile an open letter to DPL Andreas Tille which asks him to "withdraw or suspend" this "complaint". To quote:

Attn: Andreas Tille Debian Project Leader [redacted]

Herr Tille,

As of 20 April 2024, you have been elected into the role of Debian Project Leader.

As the Debian project is not incorporated, you and your family are now personally responsible for all the offensive acts conducted against my family in the name of Debian and using Debian controlled resources.

There are a number of records published in the Debian web site and source code that are offensive, violating the privacy of my family and inciting aggression and retaliation against me. Most notable of these is the commit on 23 September 2018 removing my key from the Debian keyring:

https://salsa.debian.org/debian-keyring/keyring/-/commit/bd8346472644ec07c028a2b4b295b0151cb6544e

The implication is that I am less trustworthy than other developers. This record was created at a very painful time for my family. Therefore, this commit is a violation of privacy, criminal defamation, incitement for people to harass me and an act of intimidation/cyberbullying.

This is part of a pattern of extreme cyberbullying that has had an adverse impact on other volunteers including Dr Norbert Preining and Dr Richard Stallman.

You have 7 days to:

a) remove this offensive commit, using the Git Rebase mechanism

b) remove all other criminally offensive incitement from debian.org web sites, mailing list archives, social media accounts and other platforms

c) withdraw or suspend all procedures that are currently in progress, such as the WIPO UDRP complaint D2024-0770

d) issue a public apology to my family and I for the comments made by your predecessors Jonathan Carter, Sam Hartman and Chris Lamb

Should you fail to comply, I will have no choice other than to use all possible mechanisms to seek justice.

Daniel Pocock

I can only comment on or agree on (c) above. Why? Because "WIPO UDRP complaint D2024-0770" is incredibly dangerous. Debian's lust for censorship may mean sites/domains like botcottnovell.com could be hijacked though a 'kangaroo court', leaving corrupt people to carry on doing corrupt things.

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