Samba list archive editing policy
This document outlines the conditions, requirements, and considerations for processing archival edit requests. After you have read the complete document, you may send any comments to the address listed in this document.
This document is based on the W3C Archive Editing Policy, but please do not contact W3C about samba.org's policy.
Outline of the need for a policy
The effectiveness with which the Samba project attains its objectives centers on a trust between participants.
Participants in samba.org activities, and subscribers to its lists, where much of the day-to-day discussion of technical, operational, and communications issues occurs, rely on the mailing lists and archives to be persistently accessible repositories of e-mail communications regarding the various activities and operations of contributors.
Accordingly, it is paramount that the archives are maintained at a consistent level of integrity: they should rarely be edited.
If a sender posts to a public forum, it should be understood the information will be publicly available in perpetuity.
On the rare occasions that need arises to edit information contained in archived messages, careful examination will be given to the particular circumstances of the request, in order to ensure a fair and balanced disposition.
Conditions for its application
The need for editing or excising material contained in an archived message is addressed only when the sender of the archived message requests it. Carefully documented exceptions may be considered.
A request for an archival edit is not a remedy for indiscriminate handling of personal privacy information. It is the sole responsibility of each user of the archives to exercise care in the disposition of privacy information. Neither is the editing of the archives an appropriate palliative for decreasing one's exposure to spam or email viruses.
While we are sensitive to the need for protecting personal information from exploitation by spammers, we cannot engage in the revision of the archives for the sole purpose of decreasing one's vulnerability to spam. Neither can we revise archival material for the purpose of updating personal contact information within posts: archives are historical documents, not personal records.
Editing of the archives is also not a solution for accidental or careless transmission of security-sensitive information. If you do disclose a password or similarly sensitive information, you should change the password immediately. Editing the archive will not regain the security lost by broadcasting your password to hundreds or thousands of readers.
If a poster wishes to correct, clarify or withdraw a statement made on a public list, they should post another mail to do so. List archives will generally not be edited for these purposes.
Once information has been distributed through the samba.org mailing lists it is no longer under our control. Third parties can and do run public or private list archives. Even when a message is removed from the archives on samba.org, it may still be retained elsewhere.
It is the nature of the archives to house, and make available, the records of discussion in each of the individual fora. Any request for editing of the archives entails a change in these records, and is very carefully scrutinized.
Specific request components
All requests should include detailed justification that will give evaluating staff a clear sense of the urgency and needs of the requestor.
All requests will be examined by samba.org managers to ensure careful and efficient processing of each request, and will receive either positive or negative acknowledgment.
A request for an archival edit should include the following:
- A complete detailed rationale for the request.
- A precise description of the material to be edited.
- A statement indicating an understanding of this policy.
Evaluation of requests
Timeliness is paramount for effectively countering any adverse circumstances resulting from posted material in samba.org archives. Mail sent to a list is immediately distributed to all subscribers of the list. Therefore, requests should be submitted as soon as the need for the action is identified.
It is difficult, at best, to account for the wide variety of circumstances that might warrant favorable consideration for an archival edit. Some of those which may be favorably considered are:
- The post is made to a public list and contains information intended for an audience with more restrictive access controls.
- The sender inadvertently divulges sensitive project-related or security vulnerability information.
The Samba community provides the list and answers questions on the list not for the sole benefit of the original poster. By working on mailing lists, and making the list archives public, we build an ongoing body of knowledge. The archive may be directly referred to as a reference of history, may be searched for answers to similar problems, and referenced in other ways.
The request should demonstrate an ongoing harm that would be reduced by editing of the archive, and that outweighs the need for an accurate record.
Method of request
The request should be submitted by the sender of the archived post via email to the team-only list, mailman.at.samba.org, in order to assure that the issue is carefully tracked and archived for future reference.