privacy on Freenode IRC

Patrick Frank paddy.frank at
Mon May 28 21:17:12 UTC 2007

Hello Ubuntu Developers, hello Linux Fans,

you might wonder why I address this mailing list with my problem.
And on first sight my points are off-topic on a developer mailing list.
But since I try to do work for the Linux and Ubuntu Community,
and since care a lot for freedom _and_ privacy I want to address
all you people out there on this mailing list to have a look at my

Because the Ubuntu Project uses Freenode IRC as their official
communication platform.

I cant speak for my own reputation on this list. Some people want
to see me as a troll. Some people want to spread stories about my
person. And I cant prevent them from doing that.

Especially if they are female and leading a chat network.

And I also dont want to achieve that I am able to visit Freenode
again after private conflicts with a few people.

What I do want is to express one serious problem with privacy.

Before private conflicts happened on Freenode IRC I had plans
to run a project channel and to be able to register it I had to add
my phone number to my nickserv record. This phone number is
secret. It is not listed in any directory service. Only my parents,
my doctor and my boss at work know this number.

To keep this phone number secret I used the nickserv settings
to hide it. Only senior staff members are able to look it up.

On #freenode-social I ran into an argue with a person called
"trelane". This person got my secret phone number via private
message by Christel Dahlskjaer, the head of Freenode Staff.

You think this is not real?

I also had the feeling that I am part of a movie when I was called
on the phone at 4 am by trelane, because he thought christel
gave him _her_ number.

You think christel accidently looked up my secret phone number
and accidently pasted it into the private chat window of that person
who attacked me before on IRC?


But here is the result when you try to contact Freenode Staff:

22:30 -!- Irssi: Starting query in freenode with RichiH
22:30 <RichiH> hi
22:31 <RichiH> are you still here?
22:32 <noria> hello
22:35 <RichiH> hi :)
22:35 <RichiH> i wanted to talk about the kline
22:35 <noria> ah
22:36 <RichiH> we do not discuss reasons for klines with third parties, so i
can't tell you anything about the reasons why the other user was klined
22:37 <RichiH> you were klined because from what you said and how you said
it, it was very similar to the other user
22:37 <RichiH> the other one has been banned from using the network. a fact
which he does not accept and tries to circumvent
22:38 <noria> okay
22:38 <noria> but what he said is pretty scary
22:38 <noria> and he said he has proof
22:39 <RichiH> we do not give out private information
22:39 <RichiH> that applies to him as well as everyone else
22:39 <noria> how can he have proof then that private information like his
phone number was given out by christel?
22:40 <RichiH> i do not know and do not wish to speculate why he would claim
such a thing
22:40 <noria> somebody could have asked him instead of booting his arse
22:41 <noria> at least that is what i would do if i run a network like this
22:41 <noria> touching privacy is definetly a no go
22:42 <RichiH> as i said, we do not give out private information
22:43 <noria> dude
22:43 <noria> trelane who attacked paddy has a private message in his chat
log from christel with the phone number of paddy. and you are trying to tell
me a story this is not reality?
22:44 <noria> this phone number is secret and it is in no directory service
22:44 <noria> only added to nickserv
22:44 <noria> and only senior staff members can look it up
22:45 <noria> what kind of game are you trying to play here?
22:49 <RichiH> Please do not contact freenode staff directly, but direct all
correspondence to Elyssa M. Schnurr - Law Offices of Elyssa M. Schnurr -
6750 West Loop South - Suite 500, Bellaire, Texas, 77401.
22:49 -!- You may not connect to this server:  Clones, exploits and flooding
          are offtopic on freenode. Please contact staff at
          (2007/05/28 20.46 )
22:49 -!- ERROR Closing Link: (K-lined)
22:49 -!- Irssi: Connection lost to


This looks to me like conflict management on any other IRC network out
Even some warez networks have a more trustable policy.

And I wonder why people like me have to deal with abusive staff members on
IRC networks if they want to get involved with Free and Open Source Projects
like Ubuntu.

I wonder why privacy does not count.

I wonder why people with special priviledges are unable to live proper
management and why they mix private interests with moderation.

Patrick Frank
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