Bonum Certa Men Certa

Whistleblowers from Open Labs Hackerspace, Albania in GNOME, Wikimedia, OpenStreetMap & Debian

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Jul 04, 2024

In some of my previous blogs, I've published the emails from the women who asked for support with harassment and abuse in Albania.

I was invited to go and spend weekend time as a speaker at the OSCAL conference. The request to support harassment victims was not something that was anticipated.

In April 2024, I published the internal email exchanges with Larissa Shapiro and Emma Irwin at Mozilla. In any serious organization these matters would have remained private but Debian has forced them into the open by spreading false rumors and even creating a falsified legal "judgment" purportedly from a Swiss judge. We can see the so called "judgment" is not plausible by checking the trademark registry as I explained last week.

The photos published below prove beyond any doubt that these women came to me for assistance and the problem lies entirely with the men who control the money.

The emails published in that blog post reveal that two of the whistleblowers were Kristi Progri and Anisa Kuci.

At the time I published those emails in April 2024, Kristi's profile on the GNOME web site told us that her job title was Program Manager (snapshot from April 2024). After her identity was revealed in the exposure of the people trafficking at Open Labs, GNOME foundation has changed her job title to Director of Program Management (snapshot from 1 June 2024).

At the same time, GNOME foundation's profile removed all references to the Open Labs hackerspace from the employee profile. That isn't a coincidence.

The former web sites and forums of Open Labs hacker space have been aggressively taken down.

This incident tells us a lot about what is wrong with running your community on the Discourse software. When people use Discourse through the web site, they don't get any local copies of the messages unless they explicitly opt-in to the email mode. Many of the members are now left without copies of evidence.

Usually when an open source project shuts down they find a way to keep a static copy of the web site running somewhere else. In the case of Albania, they are deleting evidence.

The Discourse web sites don't work well through the archive copies at the Wayback Machine.

The Albanians have used a Facebook post to tell us that Open Labs has closed down. They posted the message as a series of screenshots so the text can't be cut and pasted or indexed by search engines. The board members don't include their names in anything, despite having a manifesto boasting about transparency.

Open Labs, Albania, Tirana, Hackerspace

Open Labs, Albania, Tirana, Hackerspace

Open Labs, Albania, Tirana, Hackerspace

Why on earth did Chris Lamb & Debian people spend the last six years trying to protect these practices after Larissa Shapiro at Mozilla told us clearly that "kids are at risk"?

Women didn't receive compensation

The abuse in the Australian parliament allegedly took place in March 2019. She reported it to her employer very promptly.

Her male colleague was given a reference letter and went to work for a new employer in the tobacco industry. In the Albanian case, the man concerned resigned from his role as a Fedora ambassador and a short time later reappeared as an Ubuntu employee.

The Australian woman who made the complaint was moved from the office in Canberra to an office in Perth. She continued to be an employee of the parliament although she now had a different boss and her new workplace was 4,000km away from Canberra.

Kristi was given a trip to DebConf18 in Taiwan. People distributed a photograph where Lior Kaplan has his arm around her. A few months later she was given the job at GNOME. At the time GNOME was being run by Neil McGovern. McGovern was closely associated with the Debian Project Leader Chris Lamb and all the rest of the dirty politics.

The other whistleblower from 2017, Anisa Kuci, is the same woman who was subsequently pictured on a series of trips with Chris Lamb. Anisa Kuci and Kristi Progri are the same women seated next to Chris Lamb in the photos from the DebConf19 dinner in Brazil. Two months after that dinner and Anisa Kuci was selected for Outreachy. Anisa was subsequently relocated from Albania to Italy with a job at Wikimedia Italia, giving her a residence permit for the European Union via Italy.

All of this good luck came their way, to the exclusion of other candidates, after they made harassment complaints about men who controlled the flow of donations from Silicon Valley to their local hackerspace.

In the case from the Australian parliament, the woman subsequently decided that she wasn't happy being moved from place to place and she told the real story publicly in 2021. A new government was elected and they gave the woman a compensation payment of $3 million. That is a lot better than relocating her to do the same job in a different city.

Do any of the women who experienced harassment and abuse in the Open Labs Hackerspace have an equally valid claim for financial compensation?

Which organizations sponsored the hackerspace and why did they cover this up?

They told us that the Outreachy program was intended to promote diversity. What we see here is that an Outreachy internship was awarded to a whistleblower and it helped buy her silence. The sponsors may have avoided paying out millions in compensation to other victims, including the underage participants. That is the very opposite of promoting diversity.

The origins of the harassment complaint

2017: the FSFE fellowship elected me as their representative on April 24, the anniversary of the Easter Rising. Women began making reports to me about abuse in non-profit organizations receiving funds for the promotion of women in technology.

Here is the internal complaint about the harassment. The date is 12 October 2017 so the misfits publishing alternative statements about harassment are lying. I have redacted the section that identifies underage victims.

The next internal email from Larissa Shapiro at Mozilla admits that kids are at risk.

Emma Irwin from Mozilla admits this is a serious matter and asks me to speak to Marta, Mozilla's HR investigator.

2018: one of the women writes an email thanking me for my support to victims of harassment and abuse.

Whistleblower summit in Switzerland. Chris Lamb & Debian consumed by jealousy

The Albanian whistleblowers made a number of visits to Switzerland.

Chris Lamb was Debian Project Leader. The title really got to his head. He couldn't understand why the women spoke to another volunteer about their concerns rather than sending statements directly to him in formal emails at leader@debian.org

People have speculated that he was dating one of these women but that isn't completely clear. Rogue members of Debian may be spending all this time and money denouncing me to cover up their relationships with the women. Or maybe they are wasting all those resources because they don't want any other woman to do what these women did, to come and tell me about the real impact of "diversity" funds as a catalyst for exploitation in developing countries.

Anisa Kuci, motorbike

Anisa Kuci

Anisa Kuci

Anisa Kuci

Anisa Kuci

Anisa Kuci

Anisa Kuci, Kristi Progri

Anisa Kuci, Daniel Pocock, Kristi Progri

Anisa Kuci, Kristi Progri

Anisa Kuci, Kristi Progri

Anisa Kuci, Kristi Progri

Anisa Kuci, Kristi Progri

Anisa Kuci, Kristi Progri

Anisa Kuci, Kristi Progri

Anisa Kuci, Kristi Progri

Anisa Kuci, Kristi Progri

Anisa Kuci, Kristi Progri

Anisa Kuci, Kristi Progri

Anisa Kuci, Kristi Progri

Anisa Kuci, motorbike

After all they told me, exactly the same two women are taken to DebConf19 in Brazil and seated right beside the former Debian Project Leader Chris Lamb. Coincidence? Conspiracy? Or just jealousy?

Anisa Kuci, Kristi Progri, Chris Lamb, Holger Levson

Please see the chronological history of how the Debian harassment and abuse culture evolved.

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