Policy on Public Communications and Archives

Page created on March 18, 2016 | Last modified on January 25, 2023

Public forums, which for example include all mailing lists, discussion forums, wikis, issue reporting systems, are essential to The Open Source Initiative (OSI). We strive to do our work in public forums in a spirit of transparency and openness. They are our preferred means of communication. It should be understood that communications sent to such forums may be available to the public for eternity.

Maintaining a publicly accessible archive of those communications is a vital component of the services we provide to our community. They serve as a both a public historical record and a searchable repository of our activities.

On very rare occasions it becomes necessary to make modifications to our own archives. This document describes the circumstances and procedures under which such modifications may be made. Please note that it is common practice for many others not affiliated with the OSI to provide archives of our public forums as well. This document pertains solely to the archives made directly available through hosts within the opensource.org domain.

You may also want to read the OSI’s Disclaimer regarding our public forums.

Circumstances for Archive Modifications

We generally only consider requests for editing or excising material contained in the archive when requested by the sender of the archived communication. We will consider each case on its individual merit, and weigh each modification against the damage done by altering the historical record. In general we deny many more requests than we approve in order to protect the integrity of the archives.

We will usually edit or remove information only in the event of an inadvertent disclosure of confidential information, such as a social security number; however, a sender’s contact information (name, email address, phone number, etc.) does not fall into that category. We most certainly do not edit the archives as a means of reducing one’s exposure to spam.

Even if we do modify the archives, nearly all of our public mailing lists are independently archived by numerous third parties. You will have to separately request those third parties to edit their archives, and they may or may not honor such requests. In other words, even if we were convinced to edit our archives, that wouldn’t be very effective.

Be aware that by requesting a modification to the archives you are drawing attention to whatever information you wish to be kept private. In most circumstances by far the most effective course of action is to change anything that genuinely needs to be changed (such as passwords) and move on.

To clarify, the following examples do not qualify as exceptional circumstances, and do not merit editing the OSI archives:

  • Posting from a wrong email address.
  • Posting login names and passwords.
  • Posting IP addresses, machine names and/or URLs not intended for public use.

Procedures for Archive Modifications.

Note: Editing the archives is an extremely rare event. Most requests are denied. Please read the above policy and make sure that you qualify for an exception.

The sender of the archived communication should submit a request to [email protected]. Each request should include the following:

  • A detailed justification, clearly indicating the requisite sense of urgency.
  • A precise description of the material to be edited. Please include specific urls wherever possible.
  • A statement indicating an understanding of this policy.

Each request will be handled confidentially and with appropriate care; however, please keep in mind that The Open Source Initiative is primarily a volunteer organization. We will do our best to handle each request as quickly as we can.

The above document was derived from the The Apache Foundation. Modifications limited to substitution of “Open Source Initiative” and “OSI” for “Apache Software Foundation” and “ASF” and other OSI specific references (e.g. links).