Bonum Certa Men Certa

Debian GNU/Linux is a Fine Operating System, But What if People Die Making It for Somebody's Corporate/Personal Gain?

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Sep 24, 2023


LAST week Daniel Pocock et al looked at Chris Rutter as part of a series of articles about "cover-ups after deaths, accidents, suicides" [1-2] in Debian. Rutter "was seen to be working up to 3am doing unpaid voluntary work for ARM Ltd & Debian at the same time he started his undergraduate studies in Cambridge."

There seems to be a vicious campaign of censorship, attempting to suppress any discussion or publication related to such issues -- to the point where we too were repeatedly threatened.

Being passionate about Debian is OK. Days ago one person wrote about minidlna running on Allwinner hardware over at a blog syndicated in Planet Debian. To quote: "Of course from the time it entered our home it has always been running Debian." [3]

Well, using it is one thing, but being pressured to develop it for free (for personal gain by the likes of Mark Shuttleworth) is not. We're probably going to cover this issue a lot more, as threats of reprisal are less likely.

Debian's official sites, Project Leader, and some prominent developers have issued reports from DebConf23 [4-6], but those merely serve to distract from controversies and scandals. Will companies that exploited unpaid volunteers ever be held accountable for loss of life, caused by burnout, excessive work, or poverty?

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Debian Disguised Work: Chris Rutter, ARM Ltd IPO, Winchester College & Debian

    ARM Ltd finally went public on 14 September, the stock jumping 25% on its first day of trading.

    Volunteers have recently started picking over the story of Chris Rutter, who was seen to be working up to 3am doing unpaid voluntary work for ARM Ltd & Debian at the same time he started his undergraduate studies in Cambridge.

  2. Debian Disguised Work: Abraham Raji, Jens Schmalzing & debian-private cover-ups after deaths, accidents, suicides

    Volunteers have noticed that news reports about the DebConf23 death of Abraham Raji in Kochi, India contain far more information than the official Debian report. This is all we got from Debian: [..]

  3. Valhalla's Things: Installing minidlna

    I’ve found the draft of this article I almost completely wrote (checks) more than 3 months ago, and I guess it’s time to finish and publish it.

    The very first A10 based device that entered our home, before they started to use it for SBCs, was a Chinese media server with a slot for a 3.5" hard disk and a few analogue audio outputs.

    Of course from the time it entered our home it has always been running Debian.

  4. Bits from Debian: DebConf23 closes in Kochi and DebConf24 announced

    On Sunday 17 September 2023, the annual Debian Developers and Contributors Conference came to a close.

  5. Jonathan McDowell: DebConf23 Writeup

    (I wrote this up for an internal work post, but I figure it’s worth sharing more publicly too.)

    I spent last week at DebConf23, this years instance of the annual Debian conference, which was held in Kochi, India. As usual, DebConf provides a good reason to see a new part of the world; I’ve been going since 2004 (Porto Alegre, Brazil), and while I’ve missed a few (Mexico, Bosnia, and Switzerland) I’ve still managed to make it to instances on 5 continents.

  6. Jonathan Carter: DebConf23

    I very, very nearly didn’t make it to DebConf this year, I had a bad cold/flu for a few days before I left, and after a negative covid-19 test just minutes before my flight, I decided to take the plunge and travel.

    This is just everything in chronological order, more or less, it’s the only way I could write it.

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