Re: Next steps and note to mailing list about Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

Harry, I thought I had left this thread behind, but I recently read an
article about the government in the UK pushing to make what they called
"trolling" punishable as a crime, literally as a matter which would result
in the victims (here I refer to victims as those who are the targets of
legal prosecution) being put in prison in the UK for several years, if I
read the proposals correctly.

You mentioned "trolling" in your email as well and seemed to imply that
those of us with divergent views in past threads have been "trolling" the
list. Good thing I don't live in the UK, I can express myself without fear,
and say to you I certainly was not, but I suspect such statements whether
made from W3C staff as to imply that participants are "trolling," or from
some in the UK government who propose laws that would imprison people for
speaking in a manner that they don't like, are certainly against all
aspects of free speech and, as one could also argue, undermining the
pillars of a free society.

How else are we to collaborate and respect each others' ideas, if not

I was going to quote something from Kennedy here about having no fear to
have our ideas of democracy meet communism in the open marketplace of
ideas, but I will stop, I will stop. For if my ideas cannot be heard here,
keep it simple. Keep it simple. Just tell me to go away and I will happily

On Feb 19, 2015 6:00 PM, "Harry Halpin" <> wrote:

> On 02/20/2015 01:44 AM, Colin Gallagher wrote:
> > Harry, I know you know this, but does everyone realize that the
> Netiquette
> > document linked within as part of the document Procedures, is from 1995?
> >
> > In light of some of the remarks I've made to the list, and my criticisms
> of
> > web wallets and the information collection that can result from them, and
> > comparisons I've made to today's information 'management' to the
> > information collection and group labeling conducted by Nazi Germany in
> > WWII, I may as well continue in this vein, risking what may be viewed as
> > further unproductive remarks... to say that a Netiquette document made in
> > 1995 that is being used in 2015 (twenty years later) is itself worthy of
> > questioning and review by any participants who may use it or be subjected
> > to it, for example.
> After internal discussion, W3C still operates by that code of ethics and
> professional conduct and currently sees no reason to change it.
> >
> > Of course, civility is well and good and should be welcomed in any
> > conversation, but censorship in any form (and indeed much of society is
> > already there) should surely not be.  This very subject is also being
> > debated on a completely different forum
> > <
> >
> > for those interested in it.
> After a certain number of participants complain that trolling behavior
> is not only counter-productive but making people feel personally
> uncomfortable,  we had an internal discussion and decided that we'd like
> to remind people that we at W3C do have a code of ethics and
> professional conduct which applies to all lists. If you feel your
> behavior may be questionable, please review it.
> We generally don't bring it up, but we do understand that some people
> may not be aware of it. If anyone thinks that a code of ethics and
> professional conduct is unnecessary, you may simply either leave the
> list or take it up with the ombudsman if you feel it is being applied
> unfairly.
>     cheers,
>           harry
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 3:28 PM, Harry Halpin <> wrote:
> >
> >> I'd like to remind everyone that while we at W3C are not responding in
> >> detail to every email, we are carefully watching the conversation evolve
> >> and eagerly looking forward to technical proposals that can build
> >> consensus. We know discussions can be fraught with disagreement and  can
> >> be difficult, but we believe the use-cases that motivate improved
> >> authentication, cryptography, and the use of hardware tokens on the Web
> >> are crucial to the future of the Open Web.
> >>
> >> However, several times on this mailing list we've had behavior, both
> >> onlist and even off-list, that some are viewing as not particularly
> >> constructive. In response to these complaints, we'd like to draw the
> >> attention of everyone to the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct:
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> We understand that e-mails are often sent in haste and emotions can run
> >> high, but we must remember to treat each other with respect,
> >> professionalism, fairness, and sensitivity to our many differences and
> >> strengths. While we have perhaps been lax in this, from now on we will
> >> enforce our Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct:  patterns of
> >> behavior that systematically violate the code of conduct will be
> >> referred to an ombudsman for determination of next steps, and a personal
> >> note will be sent beforehand. However, we believe that we can overcome
> >> our differences and reach consensus on the next steps for securing the
> Web.
> >>
> >>    yours,
> >>          harry
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >

Received on Monday, 23 February 2015 03:17:20 UTC