Integrity Fail & Debian Social Contract

Various "Debian" branded insults and character attacks have appeared during the recent European Elections.

To weigh the relevance of Internet community gossip, we need to fact check.

Fact 1: the original Debian Developers adopted the Debian Social Contract (version 1.0) on 5 July 1997.

Fact 2: the original version of the contract and the subsequent version 1.1 and 1.2 both include the promise We won't hide problems. This has always been point 3 in the Debian Social Contract (DSC).

Fact 3: the Shaya Potter affair occured in 1998 and it was totally hidden in the debian-private secret cubby-house. Within a year of adopting the Debian Social Contract, people were already violating it.

Fact 4: the mysterious Edward Brocklesby affair occurrd in early 2000 and it was totally hidden in the debian-private secret cubby-house. Within three years of adopting the Debian Social Contract, the most serious security incidents involving the SSH2 package maintainer were being swept under the carpet.

Fact 5: the email from Andreas Tille tells us that the Debian Social Contract is not being respected.

Subject: We are hiding problems
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 08:16:09 +0100 (CET)
From: Andreas Tille <>
To: Debian Private List <>


I do not want to spread other flame wars to debian-private.
   [ debian-private is the secret cubby-house that has been leaked ]
So please do
not missunderstand this as an intent to discuss the "dropping some archs from
etch" thread here.  I just want to point out that we either have to reword
our social contract item 3:

    We Won't Hide Problems
    We Won't Hide Bugs

or we should provide more relevant information.  I will not argue that we
really have to open all problems.  I want to present a neutral point of view
here.  But the current wording of the social contract does not reflect the
current situation - at least to my knowledge of English language.

Some facts we hide:

[ ... snip ... ]

Fact 6: the rumors about Jacob Appelbaum were proven to be lies when I published the internal discussions from the debian-private secret cubby house.

Fact 7: the financial disclosures published on the SPI web site show that at least $120,000 has been spent paying lawyers to create lies. If you are telling the truth you don't need to pay so much money to a lawyer. You only pay $120,000 if you need help making lies look credible.

Fact 8: Andreas Tille, who wrote that email about the Debian Social Contract being a sham, was subsequently elected as the Debian Project Leader on 20 April 2024, the birthday of Adolf Hitler.