[Linux-aus] Authorised Members (was: Nomination for Ordinary Committee Members)

Jonathan Oxer jon at oxer.com.au
Fri Jan 6 12:24:02 UTC 2006

On 1/6/06, Steve Walsh <steve at nerdvana.org.au> wrote:

> Not meaning to point out the obvious, but we do....
> Nearly every LCA has a Key signing, and nearly every LUG has a Keysigning.
> Unless that's what you mean by "the Web of trust".

Yep, that's exactly what I meant. FWIW, I ran the keysigning at the
last couple of LCAs and run www.keysigning.org, so I'm not exactly
averse to using GPG to verify identities. In fact the WoT is
*technically* a great solution to this problem. Buuut...

> Personally I don't see it
> as overly onerous to have to attend a LUG meeting to be verified.

...it may be fine for you and me, but many people would find it too
onerous. If we wanted to restrict LA membership to people who take the
time to learn how to drive GPG and meet up f2f with a current member
to be verified, then cool, the WoT would solve the identity problem
just like it does for Debian and other groups.

However, I see Linux Australia as an inclusive organisation, not an
exclusive one. Even many geeks think GPG is too hard-core for them: in
a typical LUG only a small percentage will actually have a GPG key and
be integrated into the global WoT. It's not a matter of it being too
hard to work out: most people, even highly technically competent ones,
just aren't interested.

This becomes even more of an issue as Linux becomes more mainstream,
of course, and LA gains more members of the "GP-wha?" variety.
Personally I think they have as much right to be a part of LA and have
a say as anyone else.

It's a pity that we can't use GPG in this scenario: it would be the
ideal technical solution to the problem. Unfortunately being
technically ideal doesn't make it socially acceptable.

Cheers   :-)


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