[OpenStack Foundation] forwarding private emails should be the last resort (was Re: Fwd: [Foundation Board] March 3 Board meeting; call for agenda items.)

Tristan Goode tristan at aptira.com
Fri Feb 27 00:12:47 UTC 2015

Thanks Stef, we've have been through this on the board list quite a few times before, so I really can't accept that anyone is "correct" to have a crack at me about addressing what just simply should never happen. The default is meant to be the public list for all but real confidential issues such as personal privacy.

Without any help from me, people have been exchanging emails in private channels. Austin?

> On 25 Feb 2015, at 6:35 am, Stefano Maffulli <stefano at openstack.org> wrote:
> On Tue, 2015-02-24 at 09:13 +0000, Tristan Goode wrote:
> And when you say "protocol", do you mean something like top/bottom
> posting? Where is this protocol documented that you speak of? This is
> OPENSTACK mate, where the overriding protocol is OPEN.

Tristan, please, Rob is correct: you should have asked Alan to resubmit
to the public list because there is nothing really confidential here.
But as Alan said, he would have crafted the message differently if he
thought he was going to talk to a different audience.

Since Alan is the author of the message and it's up to him to decide
whether he wants to share something or not, and in which form. 

You're doing a good job at reminding people to respect transparency but
if you keep on forwarding messages from a private list to a public one
you're likely to do the opposite and force more secrecy: people will
start exchanging emails in private channels and exclude you, afraid that
you won't respect their choices. I have seen this happen in other groups
and I just wanted to say this.

I am grateful that you're trying to educate the board members about the
necessity to be more open and I would hate to see your efforts backfire.
Education requires patience and empathy (the story of catching flies
with honey, not vinegar comes to mind). 

A simple, non aggressive approach I'd suggest to try is to respond to
messages that you think should be public with one line: "does this
message have to be private? I don't think so. Please repost on
foundation at lists.openstack.org where I'll gladly follow up." When this
message is ignored, the next step would probably be to send a message to
the public foundation@ list giving a summary *with your own words* of
what that private message is about. This is a more aggressive move and
may upset someone; use with caution. 

Maybe others in the transparency committee can take a more proactive
role in this and help you out in this effort to educate board members to
use the public list first?


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