Bonum Certa Men Certa

Outreachy, GSoC-mentors & Debian-Private may soon become public records in federal court

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Feb 29, 2024

Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock.

In November 2021, Donald Norwood spammed a lot of the Debian "community" with more attacks on my family and I. It appears that he has done this from Brooklyn, NY in the United States. Software in the Public Interest, Inc, is located in the same jurisdiction.

You've got to be an incredibly arrogant bully to defame a volunteer at a time when they lost two family members.

16 August 2023 will be the 30th anniversary of Debian. It is being promoted as Debian Day and it is also the anniversary of the Debian Day Volunteer Suicide. There has never been any independent inquiry into the death.

One of the closest courthouses for Norwood and SPI is the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Donald Trump is asking the same court to take over his prosecution for hush money payments to Stormy Daniels. This is a bizarre coincidence because one of the issues in the Outreachy & Debian drama is the $6,000 Outreachy internship, residence permit and numerous free trips acquired by an Albanian woman after she blow the whistle on abuse by a Fedora ambassador.

The rules of the US federal court system require that parties pro-actively file their evidence with the court. All documents filed in court become public records.

Donald Norwood has specified that both Google Summer of Code (GSoC) and Outreachy are part of this drama. Therefore, the documents to be filed are likely to include the entire history of the google-summer-of-code-mentors-list@googlegroups.com mailing list, the mentors@lists.outreachy.org archives and also debian-private@lists.debian.org.

We are talking about well over 80,000 messages, maybe more. I haven't even had time to read them all.

Over the years, there have been thousands of email exchanges covering everything from the intern applications to arguments about who will go on the free trips to the mentor summits.

Photos and videos from the mentor summit after-parties may even be in scope.

Some of the first years of debian-private have already appeared in the IPFS world. People can find them easily online.

Given that Norwood and SPI are based in the United States, they are bound by the rules of the US federal court system, in particular:

Rule 26. Duty to Disclose; General Provisions Governing Discovery
(a) REQUIRED DISCLOSURES.
(1) Initial Disclosure.
(A) In General. Except as exempted by Rule 26(a)(1)(B) or as otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, a party must, without awaiting a discovery request, provide to the other parties:


...

(ii) a copy—or a description by category and location—of all documents, electronically stored information, and tangible things that the disclosing party has in its possession, custody, or control and may use to support its claims or defenses, unless the use would be solely for impeachment;

To understand the broken promises made to volunteers over the last 30 years, the culture of the group as a whole and the manner in which some people are being treated differently, every email is relevant.

Not only that, but volunteers can make demands for Norwood and SPI to release any further documents, for example, the discussions about the second expulsion of Dr Norbert Preining in 2022.

Federal rules of civil procedure, rule 26, discovery

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