[cabfpub] CAB Forum Draft Code of Conduct

Robin Alden robin at comodo.com
Tue Apr 25 17:27:42 UTC 2017

Hi Virginia, Tarah,
                I support the idea of having a code of conduct.
> I.  Conduct.  The Forum is committed to providing a friendly, … environment
> In connection with Forum activities, all Forum participants shall: • Be .. kind ..
You use the words ‘friendly’ and ‘kind’.  I think that it is reasonable in terms of the way we should treat each other as human beings, offering assistance when it is asked, etc., but the forum passes majority ballots because the outcome is good for the ecosystem, or sometimes just because it is expedient.  I think it is challenging to think that the activities of the forum will change to avoid ‘unkindness’ to a member in such scenarios.
I absolutely support the idea of an amicable environment on a human level and I expect to be able to greet any member representative in a cordial manner regardless of whether they are trying to (commercially) eat my lunch or whether they privately or publicly wish me and my ilk to hell in order to achieve (in their opinion) a positive step-change improvement to internet security, however there are exchanges in the forum, typically at face to face meetings but sometimes online, where some pretty stiff messages are put across.  Occasionally that’s someone speaking truth to power, but perhaps more often it’s someone speaking from a position of power to give unwelcome news of changes to another member.  
For someone to hear they have transgressed an (as far as they knew) unwritten rule is one thing, but following it up by telling them that their earth is to be salted and that their iniquity is to be visited on their children and their children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation is, at the least, straining at the bounds of friendship.
Perhaps the distinction is that these properties of friendliness and kindness are applicable to, and expected of, member representatives to each other in their personal capacities, but are not absolute requirements of member organizations or of the forum itself.
Perhaps this was your intention with the use of the words ‘Forum participants’.  
I think these two epithets stand out as ones applicable only at the personal level.
> refraining from comments on the perceived .. ability of others.
I wish you luck with this one.  We are not a gathering of equals and there will be member organizations represented at the table who are in active dispute, albeit usually outside our forum, and judgements and decisions are made based on the perceived ability of one member by another.
Here too I can see that at the personal level this works fine, and I wouldn’t expect to comment on the level of ability of another member representative or have him or her comment on my level of ability, but some of our member organizations do hold and express opinions about the capabilities of other of our member organizations, and insisting that they pretend otherwise while participating in the forum may not obviously be the gain one might hope for.
> Treat others with respect, professionalism, fairness and sensitivity to our many differences and strengths.  
‘Respect’, yes, whatever I might privately think about my opponent, I should treat them respectfully.
‘Professionalism’, yes, that.  Definitely.
‘Fairness’, well, maybe.  Fairness sounds good but is not a universal given.  Life isn’t fair.  Business isn’t fair.  In debate, should I shut up from time to time to let another speak, yes, that is a fair and reasonable (although hardly universal) way to debate.
‘sensitivity to our many differences and strengths’ – I’m not sure where you’re coming from here.  
What consequences of a lack of sensitivity are not covered elsewhere in this document?  Can we really characterize a lack of sensitivity in and of itself, without regard to a particular element of the code of conduct that has been ignored?
> II.  Moderation.  …..
>   In particular, avoid engaging in … sensitive issues,
I think ‘sensitive issues’ could be too vague and wide.  
If it was a matter of passing an opinion on the suitability for high office of people with moustaches, or of member representatives with fewer than the average number of legs then I see this absolutely fails to meet the expectation of behaviour and is unacceptable, but wars have been fought over ‘correct’ ASN.1 representations of things or ‘correct’ choices of OID and some of these things could be described as sensitive issues in the absence of a definition to the contrary.  I would nonetheless see them as in-scope for our discussions.
Robin Alden
From: Public [mailto:public-bounces at cabforum.org] On Behalf Of Virginia Fournier via Public
Sent: 22 April 2017 01:56
To: CA/Browser Forum Public Discussion List <public at cabforum.org>
Cc: Virginia Fournier <vfournier at apple.com>
Subject: [cabfpub] CAB Forum Draft Code of Conduct
Hello all,
A couple of weeks ago we talked about adopting a “Code of Conduct” for the CAB Forum.  We noted that all other standards organizations have a code of conduct, and CAB Forum should have one too.  We heard that members were on board with having a Code of Conduct for the Forum. 
Tarah and I worked on the following draft together, and are presenting it in our individual capacities.  Please note that this does not represent a corporate position of either of our employers.  This draft is based on the codes of conduct from WhatWG and W3C, and the Citizen Code of Conduct.  Many members have already agreed to substantially similar terms by virtue of being members of those groups.
We’re proposing adding the Code of Conduct to the Bylaws through a Ballot, to make sure it’s enforceable and everyone takes it seriously.
We’d like to discuss this at the CAB Forum meeting next week.  Thanks!
CAB Forum Code of Conduct (the “Code”)
The CAB Forum (the “Forum”) is comprised of a global group of professionals with differences in language, skills, expertise, experience, and backgrounds.  To maintain a professional and productive environment, it is necessary for Members of the Forum to follow the letter and spirit of this Code.  This Code applies to all Forum activities, such as meetings, teleconferences, mailing lists, conferences, and other functions.  The Forum is committed to maintaining a professional and positive environment.
All Member representatives are expected to behave in a collegial and professional manner in accordance with this Code.  Members will familiarize their representatives with this Code, require them to behave accordingly, and agree to suspend, remove or replace a Member representative who violates the Code, as appropriate. 
I.  Conduct.  The Forum is committed to providing a friendly, safe, and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, personal appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, religion, nationality, or other similar characteristic.  The Forum recognizes and appreciates that its members have diverse languages, backgrounds, experience, and expertise, and expects that all members will be treated with respect by all other members.
In connection with Forum activities, all Forum participants shall:
*	Be polite, kind, and courteous, refraining from comments on the perceived intelligence or ability of others.
*	Treat others with respect, professionalism, fairness and sensitivity to our many differences and strengths.  
*	Respect that people have differences of opinion, and that there is seldom unanimous agreement on a single “correct” answer.  Be willing to compromise and agree to disagree.  
*	Refrain from conduct such as:  
*	Threatening violence towards any person.  
*	Discriminating against anyone on the basis of personal characteristics or group membership.
*	Harassing or bullying anyone verbally, physically, or sexually.
*	Directly insulting or demeaning another person.
*	Touching another person in a physically inappropriate way. 
*	Deliberately intimidating, stalking or following (online or in person) another person.
*	Disrupting Forum events, including meetings, talks, and presentations.
*	Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.
*	Avoid all spamming, trolling, flaming, baiting, and other attention-stealing behavior.
*	Inform the Chair, Vice Chair, and/or a Working Group Chair immediately if participants feel they have been or are being harassed or made uncomfortable by a Forum member. Intimidation, personal attacks, and retaliation of any kind will not be tolerated. 
*	Promote the rules of this Code and take action to bring discussions back to a more civil level whenever violations are observed. 
II.  Moderation.  These are the policies for upholding the Code.
*	The Forum Chair and Vice Chair may moderate all Forum activities.  In addition, Working Group Chairs may moderate their Working Group activities.
*	If a participant thinks an action of a moderator was unjustified, the participant should take it up with that moderator, or with a different moderator, in private. Complaints about moderators and actions taken under this Code are not to be aired publicly, as such complaints would not comply with the letter and spirit of this Code. 
*	Moderators are held to a higher standard than other Forum members. If a moderator creates an inappropriate situation, they should expect less leeway than others.
*	Don't just aim to be technically unimpeachable, try to be your best self. In particular, avoid engaging in offensive or sensitive issues, particularly if they're off-topic; this all too often leads to unnecessary arguments, hurt feelings, and damaged trust; worse, it can drive people away from the Forum entirely.
*	If someone takes issue with something you said or did, resist the urge to be defensive. Just stop doing what it was they complained about and apologize. Even if you feel you were misinterpreted or unfairly accused, chances are good there was something you could've communicated better — remember that it's your responsibility to make your fellow participants comfortable. Everyone wants to get along and we are all here first and foremost because we want to talk about standards and everything that involves. You will find that people will be eager to assume good intent and forgive as long as you earn their trust.
*	Violations of the Code on the part of a Member representative may ultimately result in the representative being asked to leave a meeting, be removed from a mailing list, be suspended from some or all Forum activities, or the Member may be asked to remove the representative from further involvement with the Forum and/or replace such representative with another qualified individual from Member’s organization. 
Adapted from the WHATWG Code of Conduct (https://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/Code_of_Conduct), with reference to the W3C Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct ( <https://www.w3.org/Consortium/cepc/> https://www.w3.org/Consortium/cepc/) and the Citizen Code of Conduct ( <http://citizencodeofconduct.org/> http://citizencodeofconduct.org).
Best regards,
Virginia Fournier
Senior Standards Counsel
 Apple Inc.
☏ 669-227-9595
✉︎ vmf at apple.com <mailto:vmf at apple.com> 
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