Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Fall of Sirius Open Source: How a Leader and FSF Sponsor (for Multiple Years) Became an Abject Failure

Sirius Open Source xmas tree



Summary: Statement on SIRIUS OPEN SOURCE LTD Compiled for Roy and Rianne Schestowitz, Sirius Staff since 2011 and 2013, respectively

TODAY we begin to share a document circulated internally regarding the company where I worked for nearly 12 years. The document can help highlight phenomena found across companies, not limited to this one. The subject will be covered on a daily basis throughout December.



Introduction



Roy is a computer scientist based in Manchester, UK. He has been advocating digital security, autonomy and freedom in computing for over 20 years. He has given lectures on a number of topics including computer security since his early 20s and his experience writing about labour and legal rights spans well over 15 years (Roy's only uncle -- and he has no more uncles -- is a court judge). Roy is passionate about the Rule of Law and morality.

"All statements herein are backed by verifiable material and all evidence is readily available upon demand."Rianne is a computer scientist and the wife of Roy, her loving husband who had joined Sirius 2 years prior to her joining the company as well. The role of Roy and Rianne inside the company is similar if not identical (only the time slots are different), so their grievances are inherently similar. The bosses and colleagues are the same. Hence, this document shares many overlapping observations. They will be presented in tandem.

Privacy Notice



Sirius Open Source watersideThe document does not infringe privacy. Roy has extensive experience writing about privacy-sensitive issues, including whistle-blowers, so names of clients and colleagues will not be mentioned (even excessively redacted in some cases). Evidence, where ample paper space is needed, won't be shared unless demanded. All statements herein are backed by verifiable material and all evidence is readily available upon demand. Do not assume anything here constitutes mere gossip (we reject weak levels of evidence like hearsay) and provided that all statements are true and any inaccuracies may be unintentional, nothing provided in this text could be defamatory.

Company Overview (Quick Facts)



Sirius Open Source wineThe main subject of this document is Sirius, a company registered under several different IDs in the Companies House (depending on the range of years of operation). Currently it is not registered under the same name as it had been registered when Roy and Rianne joined the company. Directors also changed a bit (this typically happens when this company rolls on from one ID to the next). It's possible to also learn a chain of cliques and friends (possible cases of nepotism and favouritism) by studying connections between and across organisations, e.g. Open Source Consortium. The reasons for the change are not known, leaving us speculating at best. When asked about that in person, the company declined to provide an explanation. Another 'branch' of the company is based in the US, i.e. outside the UK and largely unknown to us (e.g. its financial state). This document won't speculate on these issues and confidential material circulated within the company earlier this year will not be cited (in the interest of confidentiality). Careful attention was paid to confidentiality laws.

Structure of This Document



The main sections of this document deal with 1) the company when Roy joined it. 2) the company when managerial bullying turned more institutionalised. 3) the company in what seems like its last gasp (heavy debt that grows rapidly).

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