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

Phillip Hallam-Baker <> Mon, 03 October 2022 16:17 UTC

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From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <>
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2022 12:17:27 -0400
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To: "Murray S. Kucherawy" <>
Cc: Keith Moore <>, Adam Roach <>, Ted Lemon <>,
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Subject: Re: [Last-Call] Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins
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A rejection of the IESG recommendation is not necessarily a repudiation of
it. The facts might have changed as a result of the PR proposal. They have
not but Dan could have chosen to react differently.

I don't for a moment imagine that Dan is going to believe it, but together
with some colleagues I have been following the emergence of some of the
tropes he is regurgitating. At each point, there are agents of a nation
state actor that have worked to amplify and extend the reach of ideas that
would have otherwise quickly died.

Nor are these agents particularly difficult to spot. One was part of
Occupy, anonymous, BLM, the Sanders campaign, the Stein campaign, the
Sanders campaign again and finally the Trump campaign in an 18 month
period. She was also the mistress of a Russian diplomat, or at least his
name was on the lease of her flat. These are the worst spies ever, they
constantly tweet their activities and their meetings and they are the
people that the 10-20,000 paid trolls work to direct attention towards.

What these people are doing is working a tactic originally developed by
David Irving who originally rose to fame on the back of 'Hitler's War'
which in the first edition claims the holocaust happend but Hitler himself
was not aware of it. As the subsequent libel action demonstrated, the claim
itself was pure bad faith and obviously anti-Semitic in intent, but it was
not anti-Semitic on its face.

And these information engagement operations have frequently targeted both
sides because the end goal is division, not (say) the removal or
preservation of statues raised to honor the cause of slavery.

The desire to be a part of a social group can be very powerful, so powerful
in fact that some people are willing to sacrifice their principles, their
reason or both. And we have created this vast communication engine which
allows the unprincipled to exploit those desires on an unprecedented scale.
And certain social media actors have chosen to enable those operations.

On Mon, Oct 3, 2022 at 10:21 AM Murray S. Kucherawy <>

> On Sun, Oct 2, 2022 at 9:24 PM Keith Moore <>
> wrote:
>> On 10/2/22 21:16, Timothy Mcsweeney wrote:
>> > I have less trust now too, but for a completely different reason.  The
>> originating email to this thread states that the IESG has already formed an
>> opinion, (Dan is bad) thereby tainting the results of the poll, even if
>> only subconsciously, so that those who may want to be seen in a favorable
>> light by the IESG would naturally back up their previously expoused
>> decision and respond accordingly.
>> >
>> > Where the originating email goes on to describe that the IESG does not
>> like to be rebuffed with communication that can be considered both
>> > antagonistic and hostile, it puts the poll responder on notice to get
>> in line.
>> +1.
>> In a normal Last Call, anyone is free to object without significant
>> reprisal.    In this case, anyone can see that by objecting they'd be
>> courting disfavor from those in power.   That's not a consensus call at
>> all.
> I don't agree with the premise.  Any Last Call is in essence a statement
> that the IESG is preparing to take some action it believes is appropriate
> and justified, and wants (or, if you prefer, is required) to test community
> consensus on that decision.  That could be a WG being chartered, a document
> approaching readiness for publication as an RFC, or a PR action for which
> supporting evidence appears to exist.  This is no different.
> I also don't particularly care for the insinuation that there might be
> reprisals ("disfavor") if the community decides the IESG got it wrong.  If
> the consensus goes against this action, then we'll just end up having to
> figure out where we go from here.  That presumes a lack of integrity.  Were
> I to engage in such reprisals, I would expect to be recalled.
> -MSK
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