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

Dan Harkins <> Thu, 06 October 2022 04:34 UTC

Return-Path: <>
Received: from localhost (localhost []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id EADDAC14CF0B; Wed, 5 Oct 2022 21:34:06 -0700 (PDT)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at
X-Spam-Flag: NO
X-Spam-Score: -1.909
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-1.909 tagged_above=-999 required=5 tests=[BAYES_00=-1.9, NICE_REPLY_A=-0.001, RCVD_IN_ZEN_BLOCKED_OPENDNS=0.001, SPF_PASS=-0.001, T_SCC_BODY_TEXT_LINE=-0.01, URIBL_DBL_BLOCKED_OPENDNS=0.001, URIBL_ZEN_BLOCKED_OPENDNS=0.001] autolearn=ham autolearn_force=no
Received: from ([]) by localhost ( []) (amavisd-new, port 10024) with ESMTP id ZM4bwO0ZWnWE; Wed, 5 Oct 2022 21:34:04 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from ( []) (using TLSv1.3 with cipher TLS_AES_256_GCM_SHA384 (256/256 bits) key-exchange X25519 server-signature RSA-PSS (2048 bits) server-digest SHA256) (No client certificate requested) by (Postfix) with ESMTPS id ACB5BC14F75F; Wed, 5 Oct 2022 21:34:04 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from ( []) by (PMDF V6.8 #2433) with ESMTP id <>; Wed, 05 Oct 2022 23:34:04 -0500 (CDT)
Received: from [] ( []) by (PMDF V6.8 #2433) with ESMTPSA id <>; Wed, 05 Oct 2022 21:34:03 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from ([] EXTERNAL) (EHLO []) with TLS/SSL by ([]) (PreciseMail V3.3); Wed, 05 Oct 2022 21:34:03 -0700
Date: Wed, 05 Oct 2022 21:34:02 -0700
From: Dan Harkins <>
In-reply-to: <>
To:, IETF Chair <>, "" <>
Message-id: <>
MIME-version: 1.0
Content-type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"; format="flowed"
Content-language: en-US
Content-transfer-encoding: 8bit
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.15; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/91.13.0
X-PMAS-SPF: SPF check skipped for authenticated session (, send-ip=
X-PMAS-External-Auth: [] (EHLO [])
References: <>
X-PMAS-Software: PreciseMail V3.3 [221003a] (
X-PMAS-Allowed: system rule (rule allow header:X-PMAS-External noexists)
Archived-At: <>
Subject: Re: [Last-Call] Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.39
Precedence: list
List-Id: IETF Last Calls <>
List-Unsubscribe: <>, <>
List-Archive: <>
List-Post: <>
List-Help: <>
List-Subscribe: <>, <>
X-List-Received-Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2022 04:34:07 -0000


   I take issue with your PR Action against me. It refers to
community feedback yet there is none noted in the complaint.
Also, BCP 83 apparently is only concerned with the general ietf
list (section 2) but allows for those who maintain other lists
to deny me posting rights. So not only is your action not
consistent with BCP 83 (in that it includes other lists) it
is extra-judicial because I could have my posting rights to
various technical lists at the IETF denied (at the discretion
of the maintainer of the list) and have no recourse. This is
outrageous. I could be denied a voice in a technical discussion
because I ruffled feathers in a non-technical process group
and there would be no defined way of addressing it. Such a
situation is ripe for abuse and I don't think the IESG wants
to place people in such a situation. Technical input on technical
issues is clearly an employment related activity and the IESG
does not want to be responsible for denying me the ability to
perform my job. Yet that could happen if someone else who might
not even be on the IESG decides to deny me posting rights using
this PR Action as justification. This is a large club that can
be irresponsibly wielded. Let's not go there.

   Some of these supposed "problematic" emails are not even
problematic, something that has been noticed by others in this
thread. For example:

What's the problem? Saying that people are hyper-sensitive and
search for reasons to be offended? That seems self-evident.

   Or this:

in which I ask straightforward questions about what people mean
by certain loaded words. How do they see these goals being
achieved? Yet people take offense (see above-- divining for offense).

   Furthermore, this PR Action is unfair. Many of my "problematic"
emails were in response to others' emails which were themselves
quite problematic. And there has been plenty of other "problematic"
activity on these lists that someone is never admonished for.

   Here is an example of our executive director expressing opinions
about the character of other people-- namely that he worries they are
racists, sympathize with racists, or want to diminish the historic
impact of racism-- simply because they do not wish to devote time
and energy to an endeavor he views as important:

This is "unprofessional commentary" and it characterizes individuals.
Let's observe that no one has called out Jay for this. Yet I was called
out for using the same wording here (this was in Lars' list):

   Here there are more personal attacks in which it is claimed, without
evidence, that I am "captive to a political ideology and world view
that is antithetical to the objective of creating an Internet that is
for everyone":

This is highly unprofessional and is a personal characterization as
well as a libelous falsehood. Again, nothing was done to admonish the
sender. So naturally he invented a wild conspiracy theory:

Again, without evidence, he characterizes me with unprofessional allegations
about regurgitating tropes in the service of the mistress of some Russian
diplomat! It is unhinged from reality. Yet nothing was ever said to him
regarding this behavior that is clearly inconsistent with the IETF
Guidelines for Conduct (RFC 7154). (And what does he do? Start ranting
about crypto-ponzi schemes, as if that had any bearing on anything,
more irrelevant and unprofessional conduct that is ignored by the

   There are other examples (check out the context in which my "problematic"
emails were made) but these should suffice. The PR Action against me is
unfair. I am being made an example of as a warning to others to get in line
or else. Well, certain people need to get in line, others apparently
get to continue their unprofessional activities on these mailing lists
without fear of reprisal-- "rules for thee but not for me".

   Quite a few on this thread have said something to the effect of "what
took you so long?" which is interesting. My posts to gendispatch and
terminology are being highlighted but I haven't posted to terminology
for over a year and it's been 3/4 of a year since I posted to gendispatch.
Aside from my email about masking to admin-discuss there have been no
"problematic" emails for quite some time, as shown by Lars' list. "What
took you so long?" is a statement that the problem was in the past. Another
way of stating that is "why now?" And that's a good question. There have
been no attempts by SAAs or the IESG to discuss the content of my posts.
It's been a very long time since anyone said, "you gotta stop doing that."
So after all this time of not "doing that" I get this PR action. Why?

   Why is this happening now and why is it only happening to me given that
unprofessional commentary, rudeness, personal characterization, and wild
unsubstantiated conspiracies have been made to these lists without comment?
I think the IESG owes me an explanation. And this PR Action needs to be


On 9/29/22 9:15 AM, IETF Chair wrote:
> Following community feedback after various incidents, as documented below, the
> IESG has initiated a posting rights (PR) action that would restrict the posting
> rights of Dan Harkins, as per the procedures found in BCP 83 (RFC 3683).
> Specifically, his posting privileges to these lists would be suspended:
> * admin-discuss
> * gendispatch
> * ietf
> * terminology
> In the IESG's opinion, this individual has a history of sending emails that are
> inconsistent with the IETF Guidelines for Conduct (RFC 7154) and thereby
> "disrupt the consensus-driven process" (RFC 3683). Among these are contributions
> that:
> * Express racism in the form of denying, belittling, and ridiculing anti-racist
>    sentiment and efforts
> * Are rude and abusive, and often amount to insulting ridicule
> (Links to examples of such emails sent to the lists above during the last two
> years are provided at the end of this email.)
> Multiple attempts have been made to enter into a private discussion with this
> individual, both by IESG and community members, to communicate disquiet with his
> conduct on the lists. These attempts to restore respectful and courteous conduct
> on the lists have been rebuffed with communication that can be considered both
> antagonistic and hostile, and the pattern of behavior observed has continued.
> The IESG also notes that the following actions have already been taken in
> response to the individual's actions:
> * Two I-Ds were removed from the public archive due to their offensive nature:
>    (following these links displays the tombstone notice explaining their removal)
> * His posting rights were restricted on the admin-discuss mailing list:
> * A final public warning was issued on the gendispatch mailing list:
> None of the attempts to discuss his participation style or warn the individual
> have led to any improvements. The IESG therefore believes that a PR action is
> the correct response to his continued problematic behavior across a number of
> different lists.
> The IESG plans to make a decision in the next few weeks, and solicits final
> comments on this action. Please send substantive comments to the
> mailing lists by 27 October 2022. Exceptionally, comments may
> be sent to instead. If sending private feedback to the IESG,
> please indicate if you would be open to having your comments anonymized and
> shared in a summary.
> Please note: Comments should be limited to the criteria described in BCP 83,
> notably on whether the individual in question has engaged in postings that are
> "unprofessional commentary, regardless of the general subject" in a manner
> disruptive enough to warrant this action.
> Lars Eggert
> IETF Chair, on behalf of the IESG
> –-
> Examples of problematic emails during the last two years include:
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to
escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius