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Everything *else* aside, having a government account hosted on a community server seems an awful lot like having a government website hosted at something like

bobspersonalpage.com/users/~InternalRevenueService

if you like websites that have the energy of, say,

anissas-world.com/CatsILove/FuzzyEars.htm

you should check out wiby.me , my favorite search engine

@chickamora @darius @zundan ok this has some helpful leads in it that I'll want to follow up on later; I wonder if this Wojciech Wiewiórowski person has a personal account, too...

@egallager I hope you find a way to include this in your policy 🤞

@darius @zundan

I think the EU is explicitly angry at US tech companies and is intentionally trying to create alternatives.

So it'd make sense they'd have their own mastodon servers long before the US, which has a pretty cozy relationship with the local tech near monopolies.

@zundan do you know how they went about setting that up? Their profile says it's "part of an EU pilot for supporting and using social media platforms based on open-source software"; do you have the language for establishing that pilot program?

@egallager I'm sorry I don't know any further than what is publicly available. I guess they are still trying Mastodon out and may stop running it.

@zundan @darius
There is even German Government, run by Germany DPO
social.bund.de/about

Meanwhile rumors are that VW is on mastodon.social
europe.autonews.com/automakers
@VWGroup
@cariad_tech

Nowhere there is notice that they are on mastodon.social. Just "Mastodon". So I guess someone at brands.town might appear more legit if they start with content.

@darius I think of it as similar to the government putting up a poster in a privately owned public meeting place (with permission), which doesn't strike me as that strange.

Edit: Or maybe like a booth at a private conference, that's probably a bit better analogy wise because it involves interaction.

@darius it is like they are going about this in a way to hit every single item on "checklist of flags we train people to look for in spotting fakes for phishing attempts" and i'm not even remotely in the field, yet i keep needing to stare into the middle distance about it

@darius but what if they can read my public posts? What then?!

@darius Though ...

Like the government is normally really slow at being allowed to do anything, so it's quite possible it'll take them a few months to actually get approval to host an instance.

So maybe letting neutral or better entities on somewhere as test case, and then saying after the trial period is over and if this works out for your group you should host your own thing elsewhere?

(Like I thought who ever was running the IRStaxsecurity feed on twitter was doing a good job with their PSAs. nitter.nl/IRStaxsecurity/ )

@darius German government has its own instance and hosts all their pages

@darius but on the other hand, i would feel a lot safer interacting with a government account if i knew it didn't have immediate database access

@nightpool i think it's reasonable to want oversight before a government is able to read every post an instance has received regardless of visibility's setting

personally i would not knowingly federate with any government-run fediverse instance that had jurisdiction over my users for this reason, which means the only way a government account would EVER be able to reach us would be if it was on an instance whose administration i trusted to not allow that

@Lady I guess i'm not really sure what posts a government-run instance would receive besides ones like, directed to them? What posts are you imagining people sending to the EU instance besides like, people the EU orgs follow?

@darius i didn't bookmark it, but i surfed the web sites of many municipalities in western PA and i'm pretty at least one of them was hosted on Tripod.

@darius I think its more like a rebel inside trying to drag the #bureaucracy into the real world but having to make the "case" to justify the government actually doing it

@darius@friend.camp Or a government agency emailing you using a hotmail account.

@SuperDicq @darius That’s actually the norm in #Belgium. The /government/ actually uses outlook.com for official business. Most people don’t realize it because they mask it with a vanity domain. If you do an MX lookup you’ll find most Belgian gov agencies use MS #Outlook. Even the Belgian data protection office! But they are a bit more sneaky-- you only see MS in the headers if they email you.

@expat@mamot.fr @darius@friend.camp Yeah well I mean I wish they didn't take services from Microsoft, but at least the address that shows up in the email client isn't outlook.com so it at least looks trustworthy.

@SuperDicq@minidisc.tokyo @expat@mamot.fr @darius@friend.camp
Dear FIRSTNAME LASTNAME,
We hope our mail finds you well. We are the official Belgian tax agency, and we require you to send us €1000. Thank you.
Sincerely,
Your pals at the government
from: belgiangovernmenttotallyreal@outlook.com

@duc@nyaaa.jeder.pl @expat@mamot.fr @darius@friend.camp The worst part about these types of scams is that no matter how obviously fake they look to 99.9% of the population, as long as you send it to enough people someone will fall for it.

@SuperDicq @darius It’s not favorable that they mask the email server. Government should be transparent. People dealing with the gov should be made well aware that their possibly sensitive email is being handled by #Microsoft Corporation. Most of the population is blind to that sharing with tech giants.

@darius how would a government go about setting up its own server? I'm filing a bunch of FOSS-related legislation here in NH and am wondering if maybe I should add something about social media services...

@egallager excellent question and I imagine it would be related to the process for setting up a web server! and clearly very different in different countries, states, and local jurisdictions

@egallager @darius (how do you do fellow NHer?)
i’ve had good convos w the folks who run the gencourt site, i can give you emails to reach out to if you don’t have them. they would probably have thoughts on the logistics side of things.

@codex oh hey have we met? It's a small enough state that even if we haven't met, we're probably only separated by 2 degrees of separation...

@egallager I don’t think in person but we were twitter mutual, and i was pretty involved with NHYD a couple years back :)

@darius this is slander against Bob, who is clearly a trustworthy guy

HM Treasury's Discord Moderation Fiasco, including the announcement tweet and rude emoji reactions they neglected to prevent. 

@darius Or like that time that H.M. Treasury set up a discord.

@darius this is also how I feel about celebrities joining general-purpose instances. Like an actor coming to town for a star-studded film festival and staying on someone's couch.

@darius
Its just a stopgap until they can give Lockheed a $77m contract to stand up a mastodon instance

@smadin I am glad I was able to click and learn more about the MeowJin Boo lifestyle

@darius it does seem like ol' MeowJin had a long and happy life, 17 years is a very respectable old age for a cat.

@darius I do have wiby.me/surprise bookmarked for that quick fix of internet.

@darius
true, but the alternative is elorgmushmelonspersonalpage.com/users/~InternalRevenueService

@darius in all seriousnessness, that is entirely correct; I'm just too prone to impulsive easy jokes. Sorry.

@llewelly oh! sorry, didn't catch it as a joke (I am getting a lot of earnest response here)

@darius yeah, my fault for not including some kind of tell.

@darius Agreed, but I think it's understandable in the short run: getting permission to create an official account on a 3rd-party site is probably pretty straightforward; getting permission to stand up a server (or server-like container), obtain a subdomain, update DNS, get the application STIG'd and approved, and deploy the application to the Internet… I bet that's at least 6-12 months, easy.

Mastodon makes it fairly easy to migrate accounts in the future, so it seems reasonable.

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Hometown is adapted from Mastodon, a decentralized social network with no ads, no corporate surveillance, and ethical design.