[Osmf-talk] OSMF Membership Application Abnormality

Etienne treasurer at openstreetmap.org
Thu Aug 20 08:33:39 UTC 2009


The purpose of this email is to clarify some of the facts about the recent
abnormal membership pattern and our actions when it was noticed.

Yesterday there was an uncharacteristic peak in the number of membership
applications for the Foundation.

While it is normal for the number of new memberships to increase in the run
up to the election both Mike Collinson and I [1] noticed an abnormal number
of registrations.

Specifically there were 27 membership applications in the 19 hour period
between 17:15 on 18th August and 12:14 on 19th August.  Half of these were
received within the first 5 hours of that period and corresponded to a
pattern of highly coordinated activity.

Since we have a responsibility to ensure that membership applications are
legitimate we investigated this abnormality. We corresponded directly with
several of the applicants and also contacted the organisation involved who
confirmed that they were aware of it.

Our conclusion was that while many of these applications were from a closely
related source they were all legitimate applications from genuine
individuals.

Etienne and Mike

[1] Mike and I are the only board members with normal access to the
membership records.
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