Re: [Last-Call] Change of position: Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins

Pete Resnick <> Fri, 28 October 2022 15:21 UTC

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From: Pete Resnick <>
To: John C Klensin <>
Cc: Ted Lemon <>, Brian E Carpenter <>,, IETF Chair <>
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2022 10:21:25 -0500
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Subject: Re: [Last-Call] Change of position: Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins
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On 27 Oct 2022, at 22:24, John C Klensin wrote:

> I do have two concerns from what I remember of
> BCP 83 and some of the recent discussion.   One is that BCP 83
> does, IIR rather clearly, say that a PR-action cannot be
> reviewed in less than a year.  So, if the "time of someone's
> liking", were significantly shorter than that, I'm not sure the
> above is possible.

It's a SHOULD, not a MUST:

    Once taken, this action remains in force until explicitly nullified
    and SHOULD remain in force for at least one year.

> The other is that, if we are trying to
> avoid being punitive, giving Dan the "award" of being one of the
> very few PR-actions we have used does sound a bit like
> punishment.

Giving chairs and list moderators the ability to control unrestricted 
posting by someone with a track record is a way to reduce disruptions. 
If non-disruptive postings were blocked, that would seem like 

> In the light of some of the disagreements we've seen over the
> last month, I would also be a bit concerned about adding to the
> burdens on the moderators to try to make decisions in this case
> consistent with community consensus (rough or otherwise).  The
> arrangement I think you are proposing might also set Dan up for
> a fall if the moderators decided to reject something he
> submitted for posting and he thought, after consideration, that
> the posting was appropriate and the decision inappropriate.

I would hope that someone subject to a PR-Action would do their best to 
keep their posts well within the lines, and if something approached but 
did not cross the line but was nonetheless held, I would hope that 
moderators (or the IESG) would quickly review and correct the decision.

Again, this does put some trust in moderators and the IESG to do the 
right thing, something I know others in this discussion do not trust 
them to do. But if we have lost that trust, we really have a different 
sort of problem than this one PR-Action.

> The
> model I proposed would carry much the same risk, but would
> encourage immediate IESG review and, if needed, decisive action.
> But, again, your suggestion and mine don't seem very different
> in practice, especially if there are no further inappropriate
> postings.

But your proposal would default to messages going through to everybody 
on the list and potentially causing disruption. If the behavior has in 
fact changed, there is very little difference between the outcomes. If 
the behavior has not changed, there is a big difference.

Pete Resnick
All connections to the world are tenuous at best