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Transparent funding declarations (was Re: [Agenda] W3C Credentials CG Call Tues, Aug 10, 9am PT, 12pm ET, 5pm GMT, 6pm CET / 6AM+1 NZDT)

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2021 10:20:59 -0400
To: public-credentials@w3.org
Message-ID: <45f3076a-afd8-5a00-cc49-2c103d58fa23@digitalbazaar.com>
On 8/8/21 6:54 PM, Michael Herman (Trusted Digital Web) wrote:
> RE: As tax payers, we've had our representatives pass laws that require 
> funding disclosures when public sector money is used to fund research, 
> standards, etc. (because tax payers like to know where their money is
> going and most governments like to be transparent about what they're
> funding) ...
> 
> "As tax payers" is an interesting and confusing/conflating term Manu. ...of
> course, you really mean "As American tax payers" correct?

No, I meant what I typed. Your assumption is incorrect.

The W3C CCG contains many participants from many nations. Almost everyone on
this mailing list, I would assume, is a tax payer. I meant "As tax payers".

> I'm not American; I don't live in the US. Ditto for many 
> members/contributors. For many members of the W3C, the USA is a foreign 
> government and DHS is a foreign entity.

Secure Key and Mavennet are Canadian corporations and have received funding
from the Canadian government to work on open standards. They've also received
money from DHS to work on open standards. There are also European companies
participating in this work that received European Funding to work on open
standards. So, I fail to see your point -- there is funding coming from
multiple nations' tax payer base to work on these technologies. That a very
good thing. We're being transparent about when public funds are being directly
used to work on open standards.

... and your argument is to not be so transparent about it?

> Second, the W3C is not an American organization, Quoting from W3C.org...

So? There are funding sources listed from non-US organizations as well... we
call out EU funding, support from RWoT, W3C CCG as well:

https://w3c.github.io/did-core/#acknowledgements

> Third, Manu, I believe you're conflating the concepts of DHS funding your 
> company's (and other companies') project work for DHS with community-based
>  development of W3C specifications.

No, I am not conflating those concepts. There is some open standards work that
we do that is funded by some government contracts, and there is the vast
majority of the work that we do that is not funded. Much of our work in the
CCG has come out of our own pockets, literally, over many years. It's a mix;
that's just a reality.

> (If they are the same, you sounds more like paid lobbying on DHS's
> part...a stronger than necessary term perhaps but it makes my point.)

It's not the same, so we can stop that line of thinking right there.

To be crystal clear, no one is paying Digital Bazaar or me to respond to your
right now. I'm taking time out of my day, using my own money and time, to help
you understand the nuances here.

> Like the IPR requirements/conditions, IMO, contributions to W3C 
> specifications should not be paid for directly/indirectly/wholely/partly
> by foreign government entities like DHS. It simply shouldn't be allowed.

I... just... don't... even...

https://www.internetsociety.org/internet/history-internet/brief-history-internet-related-networks/

> If attribution is required by DHS on a DHS partner, this incumberance is 
> between DHS and that partner IMO. The W3C community isn't/shouldn't, by 
> extension, be incumbered by a private contract between DHS (or any 
> governmental agency) and one or more of its partners ... IMO.

If you would like to convince the community of that, by all means, please put
your effort into that and let's see where that conversation goes.

I think it'll be distracting to the work we're doing here... but, the
wonderful thing about this group is no one can stop anyone else from trying to
do whatever it is that they want to do. You just have to put in the effort and
convince others to join your cause.

-- manu

-- 
Manu Sporny - https://www.linkedin.com/in/manusporny/
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
News: Digital Bazaar Announces New Case Studies (2021)
https://www.digitalbazaar.com/
Received on Monday, 9 August 2021 14:21:17 UTC

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