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Re: [ga] Final draft of proposed mailing list rules
>Enclosed please find my proposal for mailing list rules for the GA list,
>and the suggested timeline for the further work on this proposal.
>It is now time for an opinion poll on the proposed ruleset. By the end of
>the week, we hope that we can have a decision.
While mailing list rules may quell the disruptions of several participants,
I would like to express my concerns about the Final draft (Version 0.2) and
my reasons for voting against it.
First, the call for a vote is contained in a message that does not even
bear proper description in the subject header
Second, we do not know what percentage of member votes should be considered
a "consensus" that results in adoption of these rules. Should the
prevailing recommendation be imposed on the entire membership if only a
small percentage of GA members vote?
Third, the Rights to Post are subjective as to content, cumbersome and
vague; they place sole discretion in the hands of a Sergeants at Arms, who
may a) unilaterally impose posting limits; b) determine what constitutes
decorum and relevant business of the GA, and c) moderate content. These
rights do not describe an "open forum".
Fourth, under Technical Matters, addresses are removed from the mailing
list if delivery of mail causes disruptive automatic behaviour (such as
bounce messages sent to the mailing list, causing loops. Routing problems
happen due to no fault of the list members. In the past year, my ISP
upgraded hardware, encountered a MAE-WEST system failure in San Jose, and
had a smurf attack, all of which caused routing problems and bounced
messages for all the email accounts. Why should membership in the GA be put
at risk when these situations occur? If messages bounce, a first effort
should be made to contact the GA member through another means. In one of
the situations described above, I was not aware messages were bouncing
until I received a phone call.
There are, however, two objective (not content-related) behaviors that
should be explicitly prohibited: mailing attachments without permission
and spoofing of email addresses. A large, unsolicited attachment can
effectively shut down email access. That has happened to me on several
occasions, and I think it should be a courtesy to ask before documents or
images are sent.
I would hope that a technical means could be found for identifying those
who spoof email messages. I feel the requirement for proof of identity if
"the identity behind some email address set is challenged," is open to
abuse. Other mechanisms for dealing with disruptive participation should
be explored. For example, if a certain threshhold of complaints about a
member's list participation is reached,the member's rights to post could be
revoked for a set period. In such cases, wouldn't certified identity be
immaterial? The sanctions suggested in the draft are 2 weeks for a first
offense, 4 weeks for a second, 8 weeks for a third, but the decision is
left to the Sergeant at Arms. Sanctions should be pre-determined by the GA
members andimposed in consistent manner.
Finally, and most disturbing, I feel the Rights to Post represent the
camel's nose under the mailing rules tent, with the following declaration:
It [the mailing list] is not itself a decision-making body.
By declaring that the mailing list cannot be used as a decision-making
body, you have removed any meaningful voice that its collective members
may have. In fact, with that requirement in place, the GA cannot even
nominate persons to serve on the Board in those seats reserved for the
DNSO. This represents a fundamental change in policy, and it is improper
to sneak it into a casual draft on Rights to Post.
Sometimes the proposed cure is more dangerous than the cold itself. Rights
to Post should focus on behavior, not content, since the latter makes it
too easy to err to the side of censorship. I prefer to route around the
damage caused by disruptors by using the Delete key. Admittedly, this is a
nuisance. I have learned never, ever, to respond to the disruptors, and
my email life has been much more pleasant since establishing that personal
Ellen Rony ____ The Domain Name Handbook
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