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Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2008 21:53:35 +0400
From: Solar Designer <>
Subject: tool announcements (was: ARP handler Inspection tool released)

Nico, Jonathan -

> Nico Golde wrote:
> | I don't think that the nth
> | cross-post of software announces belong to this list.

OK, maybe not (although I am not sure) - but how are the list moderators
supposed to detect cross-posting (if we decide that it should be
relevant to approval of a message)?  We receive moderation requests
almost instantly - before the message has a chance to arrive via
full-disclosure (large list) or Bugtraq (extra-large list with long
moderation delays).  Are we supposed to delay decision just to see if a
message is possibly a cross-post?  Also, I am not on full-disclosure -
should this prevent me from being a moderator for oss-security, or do I
have to subscribe to full-disclosure?  Of course, in some cases
cross-posting is obvious from the headers, but in many cases it is not.

On Mon, Jun 02, 2008 at 02:41:48PM -0800, Jonathan Smith wrote:
> I wholeheartedly agree.

Thank you for commenting on this.  Your opinion is appreciated and may
affect our moderation policy.  At this point, I am not sure if it is the
prevailing opinion of this group, though.

> Announcements of this kind belong on bugtraq/FD

Maybe.  However, many topics are valid on Bugtraq - not only Open Source
ones.  I imagine that someone could be interested in security tool
announcements relevant to Open Source software only.  Also, Bugtraq is
so large that few of us would dare to bother its readers with
announcements of new versions of a tool, even fairly major ones.

As to full-disclosure, we all know that there's a lot of noise on that
list.  I'd rather not join it, although I like to receive occasional
announcements of security tools.

Maybe we need to setup a new oss-sectools list, but I'd rather not go
for it until we start to receive a substantial number of security tool
announcements in here.  This implies that we let those announcements
through moderation - or people will stop sending them.  At a later time,
I'd start rejecting them with requests to repost to oss-sectools - but
this is not an option yet.

> or per-software announce lists like nmap-announce.

Indeed, but that does not eliminate the need for a shared list.

> I think this list is,
> or should be, for discussion only. If the post isn't designed to spark
> discussion (other than "does this belong here" discussion :-) it should
> be somewhere else.

I mostly agree, but please see above re: "something else".

As to "sparking discussion", it is impossible to know that in advance.
Yes, you wrote "designed to ..." - does ending a post with "comments,
please?" qualify?  If so, that could be used on any announcement - even
on a mostly-PR one.

Also, what about those CVE requests - is a single response, assigning
the CVE number, "discussion"?  OK, in some cases people actually have

> Announcements are intended either for existing end-users or as a PR
> ploy. Existing users are probably subscribed to the project-specific
> list (or don't care) and this isn't the place for PR.

Of the existing lists, Bugtraq is probably the place for PR.

However, some tools could be of specific relevance to oss-security
members - e.g., source code analysis tools and fuzzers.  Do you agree?
Is a moderator supposed to decide whether or not this is the case?

> So, was this message, and "SQL_injection detection tool released" held
> for moderation?

Yes, they were.

> If so, why were they approved? Presumably whoever did so
> has some reason not-yet-mentioned, since the SQL_injection one didn't
> contain a query about testing and code review.

I was the one to approve both messages.  So far, the only messages that
were not approved were spam.

I don't regret approving these messages - I think that we're having
useful discussion as a result, and I think that it was important for
this group's members to be aware of what was coming to the list (except
for spam).  Let's say that these two messages are "samples" of content
that we might or might not want in here.

My opinion is that moderators are not supposed to define the list's
policy on their own - and we did not (and still do not) have this bit of
policy fully defined.  So let's try to take care of that now, or I would
not know what to do if more messages like these two arrive to the list.

> If they were not held for moderation, why not? I thought everything not
> coming from a limited whitelist of people was held...

They were held for moderation, and your understanding was/is correct.



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