Jeff Hoogland, developer of Bodhi Linux, announced on June 3rd that he had closed the user forum and deleted all associated data along with it. He also announced that the distribution deleted all emails, names and comments associated with the Bodhi WordPress page and furthermore disabled comments.
He felt that recent legislative changes in the European Union could have caused issues for the distribution if it were held legally responsible for data provided by commentators with a physical presence in an EU member country. As Bodhi Linux is a small GNU/Linux implementation that’s largely managed by Hoogland, he felt that risking a possible fine due to GDPR regulations wasn’t worth it in the long run. He went on to say that Bodhi functionally makes no money after operating costs.
While the situation was handled in a way that certainly ensured that all penitent security protocols were followed and that everyone’s data was securely purged out of the system, it seemed that some ultimately offered baseless accusations that basic privacy and security standards weren’t being followed by the Linux distribution.
Hoogland has now taken the opportunity to defend his decision on social media, saying that some people had accused him of doing bad things with data that amounted to little more than hashed passwords, user names and email addresses. He pointed out that time spent working on making these legislatively compliant is time that could be spent on other things. This is especially important for smaller distros that have to work to plug vulnerabilities and provide updates while dealing with much smaller staffs than the major operating system players.
While the reaction from many people in the free and open-source software community was unfortunately less than constructive, it should come as a relief to those in the GNU/Linux community to know that all data in question was securely deleted.
In spite of any reports to the contrary, Bodhi still appears to be going strong as well. The distro is going to continue to use Reddit and Discord to keep in touch. Hoogland has also mentioned that the sub-Reddit will now be the distro’s primary support channel.