EM 20010524

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Minutes of the Society Executive Meeting Thursday 24 May 2001

Chair: Gabriela Marcionetti

Attending: Gabriela Marcionetti, Christian Kent, Melody Ng, Mendel Monteiro, Murray Grant

Apologies: NONE

Meeting commenced at 19:20.

Account Locking

  • Process of locking of accounts for a reason other than the non-payment of registration fee discussed. Christian outlined his understanding of the processes for account locking: The Computer Systems Officer (CSO) is the ultimate controller of the accounts. Administrators are selected by him or are from the year before. They work on behalf of the CSO; therefore they report to the CSO, when necessary. When an account is locked, a report is sent to the CSO and locking scripts send a messsage to the Lockee and a report goes to the CSO and a couple of other people.
  • Gabby expressed concern over the current process as the President nor any of the Executive are informed of account locking. She thought that it was important that the Executive know - in the event that they are contacted by the lockee about the matter, they are able to inform the lockee what the situation is and whom they should be referred to.
  • [at 19:30] It was decided that the locking script should send a report to the psexec@progsoc.org email. Motion - Gabriela. Seconded - Christian.
  • Procedures of unlocking accounts discussed as it is not in the constitution. Question of whether it is the CSO's prerogative to unlock the account discussed. Currently as it stands it is the CSO's prerogative to unlock the account. As the ultimate controller of accounts, this implies a final judgement on the issue behind the locking. Possible procedures of unlocking accounts discussed.
  • [at 19:55] It was decided that the the Executive's policy for itself regarding procedure to unlock the account shall be as follows:
  1. CSO reports to the executive the matter in question and his recommendations.
  2. Executive to make decision on unlocking the account based on the CSO's recommendations. Motion - Christian. Seconded - Murray
  • Christian Kent will email this recommendation to Roland Turner for guidance on this decision and send his response to the executive.
  • Procedures in handling account once it is locked discussed. Current message sent to lockee provides for approximatley 10 words for an explanation. Whether such an explanation is adequate. Whether lockee needs to get a copy of the administrator's report to the CSO.
  • [at 20.10] It was decided that upon notification of locked account, the the Executive's policy for itself regarding CSO will forward the Administrator's report to the alternate email address of the lockee. Motion - Christian. Seconded - Mendel.
  • Christian Kent will email this policy to Roland Turner for guidance and recommendations for changes to on this decision and send his response to the executive.

CSO's Report to the Executive re: Locking of Secretary's Account

  • Murray (CSO) gave his findings on the issue, following representations from Anand Kumria and Melody Ng during the week. The CSO's report can be found here:
  • Discussion of events after account had been unlocked. Issues of whether privacy had been breached.
  • Matter to investigate by the CSO:
  1. Whether Anand read the Secretary's actual email after the account was unlocked.
  2. Whether he was following up on the original matter rather than investigating a new threat to the Society.
  3. Whether he knew who had unlocked the account, namely the CSO.
  • If and only if all three questions are answered in the affirmative, the executive will consider whether disciplinary action should commence in light of the CSO's judgement of the original matter and because the Secretary's privacy has been breached.
  • Melody (Secretary) leaves meeting for rest of executive to discuss matter behind locking of her account and whether disciplinary action shall be taken.
  • Remaining members of the executive consider the findings presented to them and are satisfied that the Secretary's actions were not a threat to the Society and commit to rectify the situation as reported by the CSO. The remaining executive do not recommend resignation of Secretary.
  • Mendel noted no breach of AUP but was bad practice to allow for 2 accounts for one person even though it had been done before in the society. Executive to undertake action to rectify procedures regarding multiple accounts and groups.
  • Christian commits to deprecating UTSLSS unix account.
  • Discussion of Anand deferred until further clarification of facts to CSO and thence to Executive. Secretary is not to be a party to considerations over this matter.
  • Melody admitted back into meeting.


  • The Society is now in possession additional of DAT tapes, courtesy of Christian's co-worker, to store backups. There are enough tapes to back up - an entire 10-tape set with a few leftover; with the spanning that will be necessary, over 5 complete sets can be stored. With regular tape interchange, this will typically allow a backup history of 3-4 weeks. Backup to take place when an executive member is in the office (every 2/3 days).

Accounts of Deceased Members

  • One of the Society's members, Colin Heah passed away in January 2001. His family's and friends' wishes are for his page to remain up on the Progsoc server.
  • Handling of deceased members' accounts discussed.
  • It was decided that as a mark of respect, the tradition of having /export/XXXX (4 letter plural animal directory name) to be broken. It was decided that accounts of deceased members should be moved to /export/deceased. Deceased members' account are never to be deleted; mail to be deactivated; logins to be disabled.
  • It was decided that Colin's friends be contacted to arrange for a suitable person to download and appropriately dispose of Colin's mail before it is removed from the system.
  • Christian suggested that all members who desire reasonable alternative arrangements for their accounts after their death, create a .will file in their home directory to deal with issues such as, but not limited to, final modifications to the web site, automatic email replies, alternative locations for the relocation of the account, and requests for disposal of the account if desired.

New Room

  • UTS Faculty of Information Technology will move to the Fairfax building. Since the current Progsoc room was given to Progsoc by the head of School of Computing Sciences, Progsoc will have to be given a new room in the new building. Secretary to look into the matter of getting a room in the new building.

Web Page Updates to Executive Details

  • It was decided to update the public and private Executive information pages immediately following the meeting.

Meeting closes at 22.15 PM.

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