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Thursday, 25 March 2021 09:09

Debian ponders vote as an organisation on backing Stallman's ouster

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Debian ponders vote as an organisation on backing Stallman's ouster Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The Debian GNU/Linux Project, a prominent community Linux distribution that has more than a thousand developers spread over the globe, is set to vote on a general resolution to sign, as a project, a letter calling for Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman to leave the board and for all FSF board members to also quit en masse.

More than 80 Debian developers have already signed the letter as of this writing, which, as iTWire reported on Wednesday, was a reaction to Stallman reinstating himself on the board on 19 March, during the FSF's annual LibrePlanet conference.

Stallman stepped down from the post of FSF president in 2019, following controversy over remarks he made about the victims of the late Jeffrey Epstein, an American financier and convicted sex offender.

The Debian resolution, proposed by Steve Langasek, who codes for both Debian and Ubuntu, calls for the project to sign the letter as one unit.

In a preface, Langasek said: "[This] is a statement [the letter] which I believe Debian as a project, and not just individual Debian developers, should consider signing on to.

"This is a proposal for Debian to sign on to the statement, by adopting the text from that open letter via general resolution."

Another developer, Louis-Philippe Véronneau, said he was happy to sponsor the resolution, and was seconded by Joerg Jaspert. Also seconding the resolution were former Debian leaders Steve McIntyre and Sam Hartman, and developers Nicolas Dandrimont, Colin Tuckley and Paul Tagliamonte.

A number of organisations have already signed on as such, including the GNOME Foundation, Mozilla, the Tor Project and the X.org Foundation.

At the time of writing, a total of 1708 individuals have also signed the letter in their individual capacities.

Well-known security practitioner Katie Moussouris, the chief executive and founder of Luta Security, was one of the first to call out Stallman on Tuesday.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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