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Re: [ox-en] Nazi in Debian Alert

On Tue, Jan 20, 2004 at 10:55:40AM [PHONE NUMBER REMOVED], Paul Bowman wrote:
The horrifying part was when I realised that Jonathan Walther (said
nazi in question) was a current member of the Debian development
team "in good standing" so to speak.

If you mean to alert us that there is at least one member of the 1000
official Debian Developers whose opinions on non-FOSS related subjects
you, myself, and the vast majority of people find objectionable then
I'm not surprised.

This is freedom 0 -- for better or worse. In this case, its clearly
for worse in the opinion of most.

Debian has a set of rules called the Debian Machine Usage
Guidelines. Among these are rules for using your Debian email
address. If a developer was promoting his non-FOSS related views on
Nazism (or anything else), Debian would be in a position to take
action because we are not a Nazi (or an anti-Nazi) organization.

I am also an anti-Fascist but I don't do my anti-Fascism work in any
way that can be associated with Debian. I use a different email
address for example.

Obviously as well as any political or ethical issues, there is a
personal security issue in that Walther may well be passing on
personal address and other security-sensitive details of folks
within the FLOSS movement to his "racial comrades".

Debian is a almost 100% transparent. It's in our social contract. We
have one private mailing list and it's used primarily for vacation
messages (so we don't publicly announce that our houses will be empty)
and for *some* pseudo-private security issues on a very temporary
basis. The list is mostly used for a lot of things that have no reason
being on any Debian list. There are orders of magnitude more
information (including security information) in fully public and
non-privileged places in Debian.

Since you have brought your actions and your emails to Bruce and
Richard and the follow-up on Debian private into the open I will
publicly say that *you* are directly and indirectly responsible for
more traffic on debian-private in the last two months than everything
else put together.

I can imagine ways that developers could abuse their privilege to
their own ends -- but they are not unique to Nazis or any other
group. If you have any evidence that any developer, Nazi or not, has
abused their privileges as a Debian developer, report this to the
Debian project and action will be taken.

Since that time, despite a fairly hostile attitude from Perens and
the Debian crowd ("Let's play shoot the messenger!") they have, from
what little I can see from the outside (I am not currently a Debian
developer), completely failed to deal with the issue in any serious

If you can provide evidence that Jonathan, or anyone else, abused
their position as a Debian developer or tried to draw associations
between personal positions and Debian positions in any way, it will be
dealt with. As I understand it, you haven't. Probably because this
never occurred.

Debian is a homogeneous political space because it explicitly
non-political. Freedom 0 again. There are a lot of people in Debian
who I disagree with strongly -- perhaps none more strongly than the
developer in question -- but I'm not willing to go down the road of
kicking out people with radical political beliefs I disagree with
because I feel I could be high on some other people lists.

I have never heard of Jonathan before you posted your message so I
hardly think I've been working with him. I felt that Debian was being
developed in such a way that it facilitate Nazi ideology I would not
be participating in the project. I'm confident that it does not.

Debian harbours Nazis and no they haven't mentioned it in the last
Debian Weekly News so I thought I'd pass it on.

You have announced publicly that Bruce forwarded a message to the
Debian private list. Any resulting conversations would have been on
the private list. If that constituted a breach of privacy between you
and Bruce (and I have every reason to believe it would have) that is
an issue between the two of you. Debian Weekly News has a policy of
not running stories about things from the -private mailing list.

yes, these cunts gave him my email address and my name

You mentioned yourself that Bruce forwarded it to the -private mailing
list which goes to all developers. He probably wasn't thinking. But
thanks for apply this breach of privacy to Debian at large -- and
calling us names at the same time.

email me off list and, so long as I can check your bona fides and
that you understand the concept of "personal security", then I am
happy to pass on the full record that I have.

Hah! You criticize Bruce for violating your privacy on non-public
emails and then, in the same breath, offer to do exactly the

BTW, if someone could pass on a summary of the relevant information to 
the German language list, I would be most grateful.

Please. Do not. This has gotten way too much attention already.

fucking Yanks!
style Californian rubbish
these cunts gave him my email address
there are days when I loathe Americans

I don't think it's any wonder you got negative responses to your
email. You have pretty successfully managed to alienate any US Debian
developer who might agree with you *and* every non-US Debian developer
who you lumped in with them! 

Your tone borders on the hysterical and your calls sound more like a
witch-hunt and a sling of insults than a productive discussion.

There are those of us working within Debian on projects specifically
designed for social change and social justice (which includes
anti-Fascist work) by creating projects specifically designed to serve
the needs of constituencies we want to work with. This seems like a
productive way to politicize Free Software development.

Yours for an open source and anti-nazi society,

Finally, we agree.


Benjamin Mako Hill

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