Proposed legal guidelines change re "illegal" packages

Behdad Esfahbod behdad at
Thu Nov 11 21:26:02 UTC 2010

Hi board,

I read the lwn coverage of the discussion going on re packaging of software
that is illegal.  In particular, the proposed change:

"Where, objectively speaking, the package has essentially no useful
foreseeable purposes other than those that are highly likely to be
illegal or unlawful in one or more major jurisdictions in which Fedora
is distributed or used, such that distributors of Fedora will face
heightened legal risk if Fedora were to include the package, then the
Fedora Project Board has discretion to deny inclusion of the package for
that reason alone."

I just want to make a note that in many oppressing countries, say, Iran,
China, etc, many filtering circumvention and privacy tools may be illegal.  It
would be wrong to exclude such tools from Fedora.

Plus, the whole discussion reminds me of security-by-obscurity reasonings.  If
the software is out there, not packaging it in Fedora sure is not going to
stop any determined person from using it...  And there are so many dedicated
"security oriented" bootable CD / distors out there that it just makes Fedora
less useful by not having a spin for such stuff.

My 0.02CAD

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