What about setting decentralization and transparency as a goal for SecureDrop in 2018 ? The project is doing well on both but there always is room for improvement. In 2017 there was a lot of progress:
- transparency: lively chat and forum, daily standups (7pm Paris/Berlin time, 10am San Francisco) and weekly engineering meetings open to everyone
- decentralization: community maintained infrastructure hosting translators, forum and git repositories
These are qualities expected from every Free Software project nowadays. But it is even more important for SecureDrop because it faces challenges that can only be addressed properly at the local level. Whistleblowers in a region where freedom of the press is not guaranteed by law and with a network heavily filtered and monitored state wide have different needs from those who benefit from legal protection and can hide among ten of thousands of anonymous web users.
Setting specific goals and a roadmap for transparency and decentralization does not strike me as a good idea. We are likely to deviate, miss the goals and end up disappointed about our inability to deliver what we promised. But it would be a good idea to clearly state that we are going in that direction.
It may not seem much but the benefits of declaring that SecureDrop wants to be a decentralized and transparent project will guide us as well as new contributors. When the time comes to choose between using a centralized resource such as transifex or a self-hosted resource such as weblate we will not only compare the two solutions on their technical merits, decentralization will be an important factor and not something that is nice to have. When new projects are born, such as the Qubes based journalist workstation, discussions will happen in public for transparency is necessary for new contributors to eventually engage and help.
What do you think ?