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Re: [Repo-criteria-discuss] Resolving the C2 question

From: Ivan Shmakov
Subject: Re: [Repo-criteria-discuss] Resolving the C2 question
Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2017 07:55:41 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.1 (gnu/linux)

>>>>> Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:

        I see I’m about a year late to this discussion, but still…

 >> The concern revolves around situations in which repos are compelled
 >> to discriminate against certain users by governments.

 > That's why we need this criterion.

 >> When they are truly compelled to do it, it doesn't seem like we
 >> should downscore repositories for discriminating/censoring content,
 >> right?

 > Yes, we must!  This is very important.

 > To raise the question of whether the repo operators are "compelled"
 > is to misunderstand the purpose of these ratings.

 > We are judging the _conduct_ of the repository for how it affects the
 > community.  Judging whether the operators are good people or bad
 > people is not the purpose.  If the repo mistreats people, people
 > should not put their programs there, because it will be bad for other
 > people who want to access the programs' repositories.

 > There are plenty of repositories that _are not compelled_ to
 > discriminate, and don't discriminate.  Developers should move code to
 > those repos.


        I’m afraid I still do not quite understand the point.

        The problem at hand is that, for instance, Russian Federation
        asserts jurisdiction over all the communications that happen on
        its territory; and I find it hard to argue that they should not.

        It’s not unlike passing the customs office: you try to pass the
        goods that are forbidden in a country over its borders, and
        these goods are either turned around or destroyed by the
        authorities.  Similarly, trying to transmit information that
        violates the law through the public networks may result in your
        access to said networks being blocked.

        I gather that in the US the most common reason for such a legal
        action is violation of the copyright law (or its close friend
        DMCA, which may apply even where there’s no infringement of
        copyright proper.)  In Russia, that would be “drugs” and
        “incitement of violence”, I suppose.  But whatever the reason,
        while the operators of the Internet service in question may be
        safe from the laws of some distant country, the information they
        distribute may still be illegal in one country or another.

        Now, back at the customs office, they may let you pass the legal
        goods and reject the rest.  But if you use some kind of sealed
        containers that the authorities cannot feasibly inspect, it’s
        likely to be rejected outright.  Well, the same applies to the
        communications in Russia: if they can block some specific Web
        page’s (illegal) data from being transmitted over public
        networks in Russia, they’ll happily do just that.  But if you
        use HTTPS – they can and will block your IP address(es) instead.

        So, in the end, my question is probably like this: suppose that
        one day Savannah ends up hosting, say, some advanced chemistry
        software that makes it easy to get a recipe for synthesizing
        meth.  Hence, Savannah becomes censored in Russia†.

        What will be pro’s and cons. – to the community – of Savannah
        remaining censored in its entirety by the Russian government,
        and similarly for the case it’s decided to apply self-censorship
        (to avoid governmental censorship) instead?

        As a data point, at the last year’s elections’ The Party gained
        over 75% seats in the national parliament.  There will be no
        public pressure to speak of upon the government to lift said

     †  To the average Joe, that is: as far as I can tell, no law
        prohibits one from /gaining/ access to such information; only
        the /distribution/ is denied.  So one can safely use Tor, or
        some other form of VPN solution.

PS.  I’m not at all a fan of GitHub (with it running non-free software
        and all that), but I believe that with them clearly documenting
        all the governmental requests they honor they’re doing a good
        job for the community at least in this respect.

FSF associate member #7257  np. Undivided Horizons — HMage 3013 B6A0 230E 334A

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