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[gNewSense-users] privacy and responsibility on Freenode

From: Patrick Frank
Subject: [gNewSense-users] privacy and responsibility on Freenode
Date: Thu, 31 May 2007 23:54:36 +0200

Precautious first statement:

the motivation to try to discuss a serious problem on this mailing list
is not a negative one. I dont aim to cause trouble nor do I plan to deface
a person.

And in my culture it is something positive if somebody tries to have a
controversial debate.

People who feel like I am trolling should enlarge their point of view,
before they make assumptions about the motivations of people.

Second statement:

In my first mails I addressed Paul O'Malley and this mailing list,
because he is part of the Freenode Staff Team on the one side, and on
the other side I see that gNewSense has strong philosophy and ethics
regarding multiple topics that affect our society.

This posting here I do as a reply to my private conversation with Chris
Andrew. He asked me to take it back to the list, because other people
might benefit from this debate.

My origin question for Chris was:

I would be curious to have a feedback from people like you, regarding
my mailing list posting about the privacy issues on Freenode IRC.

And I would like to know what you personally think about such conflict
situations, where conflict management obviously fails, because people in
a moderating role have colliding personal interests.

And his reply was:

Should people want to use "open source" (as in intelligence tools
available to the public) tools, such as Google searches, then they will
be able to put together a profile of me.  Whilst this is of some concern,
I feel that it is a risk that can be managed.

The GNU/Linux community would struggle to progress without IRC and email,
so I feel that people should be careful with the information they give
out, but carry-out a risk analysis to assess whether the risk can be
offset against the benefits that the masses can gain from "more-free"
software, and the inherent security benefits that this software delivers.

Now back to my points:

I think Chris Andrew makes a very good point that privacy is a complex
topic and that you leave traces everywhere when you use the Internet.
Some communities dedicate a lot of time for projects, articles and other
interesting material on these topics.

Ironically, some of these projects that aim to improve privacy on the
Internet are using Freenode as their communication platform.

My main point is, that I was forced to offer my secret phone number to
be able to register an open source project on Freenode. They require it.
Of course it was my choice. But we dont talk about some random website
or some small community here. Freenode is platform for many big projects
and Freenode has many trustable sponsors. Peer Directed Projects Center
that runs Freenode is a tax exempt organization.

Christel Dahlskjaer is board member of PDPC aswell as head of staff of
Freenode. And she gave my secret phone number to that person who attacked
me before on Freenode channels.

I want to spare on assumptions why she did that. She had her reasons.
And other people have their reasons to attack me for some IRC drama from
1,5 years ago. As a few debian developers have their reason to call me
a troll. As do people have lots of reasons to talk bad about others.

But I have strong believes that people in a priviledged position and
role should be a good example regarding positive morals and ethics.

And I think that PDPC and Freenode should have a better system for
conflict management than random chat networks.

Patrick Frank

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