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RE: 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: Michael Herman (Trusted Digital Web) <mwherman@parallelspace.net>
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2021 15:07:58 +0000
To: "Michael Herman (Trusted Digital Web)" <mwherman@parallelspace.net>, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, "public-credentials@w3.org" <public-credentials@w3.org>
Message-ID: <MWHPR1301MB20947A7A64E5635CE2EDBED6C3F69@MWHPR1301MB2094.namprd13.prod.outlook.com>
RE: We're being transparent about when public funds are being directly used to work on open standards.

Manu, there is a fine distinction but a distinction nether the less about DHS funding internal DHS partner projects that create internal partner knowledge/expertise/software assets - that enable partner employees to contribute elsewhere (e.g. community-based standards discussions) vs. DHS actually supporting community-based standards efforts.  There is a distinction and conflict here.  

This is the issue I'll be asking W3C to resolve.

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Herman (Trusted Digital Web) <mwherman@parallelspace.net> 
Sent: August 9, 2021 8:59 AM
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>; public-credentials@w3.org
Subject: RE: Transparent funding declarations (was Re: [Agenda] W3C Credentials CG Call Tues, Aug 10, 9am PT, 12pm ET, 5pm GMT, 6pm CET / 6AM+1 NZDT)

Manu, I wished I could directly express to you what I'm thinking now.  My original issue is why is DHS receiving special attribution in the spec.  Very specifically here: https://w3c-ccg.github.io/vc-http-api/#acknowledgements

Manu, your continued conflation and confusion of the issue with #cliquespeak is frustrating ...at least to me.

I don't see Secure Key or Mavennet passing on their involvement and incumbrances with the Canadian government by needing to add their specific attributions to the specification.

I'm ending this CCG discussion here and escalating it to the W3C at a consortium level.  Nothing constructive appears to be happening here.  Here's some data to start with: https://www.w3.org/2017/05/external-funding.html

Over and out (for now),

-----Original Message-----
From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Sent: August 9, 2021 8:21 AM
To: public-credentials@w3.org
Subject: Transparent funding declarations (was Re: [Agenda] W3C Credentials CG Call Tues, Aug 10, 9am PT, 12pm ET, 5pm GMT, 6pm CET / 6AM+1 NZDT)

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:


> 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...


> 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 15:08:29 UTC

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