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

John C Klensin <> Fri, 28 October 2022 19:43 UTC

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Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2022 15:42:46 -0400
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Pete Resnick <>
cc: Ted Lemon <>, Brian E Carpenter <>, IETF Chair <>,
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Subject: Re: [Last-Call] Change of position: Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins
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In the hope of winding this thread down, both generally and in
line with Bron's comment/ suggestion, one small comment at the
end rather than quibbling about details.  If this needs a
response, and I hope it does not, please direct it to the list.

--On Friday, October 28, 2022 10:21 -0500 Pete Resnick
<> wrote:

> 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 punishment.
>> 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.

Borrowing from one of your comments above, I don't believe that
confidence and trust in the IESG and the various moderators is
as high as I would like it to be nor that the discussions of the
last month has improved that situation.  At last some
non-trivial number of us definitely have something of a trust
problem.  So, after hundreds of messages went through to the
list in the last month, IMO disrupting the ability of many of us
to get work done, I see the possibility of a few (very few)
problematic messages getting through, followed by  complete and
effective ban if needed, as a comparatively low price to pay for
considerably improved transparency.   That is clearly a tradeoff
and, of course. YMMD.