[KI-LC] Revised DRAFT: Policy for Joining Groups and Group Discussion Lists

Roger Martin roger.martin at corp.aol.com
Tue Jul 14 06:40:34 PDT 2009


*********************************
**I'm resending because it may not have **
**gone out yesterday.  My apologies if   **
**this is duplicate spam.                         **
**                                  ...rogerM         **
*********************************


Trent and Eve,

I have attempted to articulate the issues that have been raised below, 
followed by my proposed resolution (see also the attached pdf file):
_*
Issues:*_

   1. In section 5, Joni proposed that the first bullet be changed to
      indicate that not only staff but leadership of a Group would have
      access to all mail sent to a List that is not posted (because the
      sender does not have permission to post to the List).  The reason
      for this was twofold: (1) ensure that Group Leadership was aware
      of unposted mail that is received, and (2) keep from placing an
      undue burden on staff.

   2. In attempting to resolve this, I proposed using the terms
      "administer" and "moderate" to describe the roles of staff and
      Group Leadership in this regard.

   3. The LC discussion pointed out that use of the terms "administer"
      and "moderate" have very specific technical meaning within the
      context of Mailman. As a result, "moderate" would be interpreted
      by many (especially the technically knowledgeable) to mean
      something other than what we intended and would run contrary to
      the goals of openness, transparency, and inclusiveness that
      Kantara Initiative is built on.

   4. How a List is managed (whatever that might mean) is not, IMO, a
      necessary part of the policy on who may Join a Group and who may
      Subscribe to a Group List.  Those are operational details that can
      be dealt with in other ways.  If this is not part of the policy we
      can modify exactly how we manage each List as the need arises
      without needing to revise the Policy.

      In some cases, or at certain times in the life cycle of a Group,
      the Group leadership may want to closely monitor the email that is
      sent to a list but not posted because the sender does not have
      posting rights.   In other cases the Group leadership may not need
      to see these messages and a simple reply mail to the poster that
      explains that one must be a Participant in the Group to post to
      this List will suffice.

   5. In an earlier draft of the Policy there was an unambiguous
      statement that "Group Lists are not moderated."  That statement
      should be restored.

   6. Sections (4) and (5) contain redundant content.  Some of Section
      (5) should be moved to Section (4) and Section (5) should be deleted.

_*Proposed Resolution:*_

   1. Combine Sections (4) and (5) and rename it  "Joining a Group List"

   2. Rename Section (3): "Joining a Group"

   3. Delete the first bullet in Section (5): "All Lists are
      administered by Staff and moderated by the Chair of the Group to
      which the List is associated."

   4. Reformat the  2nd, 3rd, and 4th bullets as sub-bullets of "Anyone
      may Subscribe to any Group List."

   5. Re-insert the last bullet: "Group Lists are not moderated"

   6. see the text for some other minor changes that I believe are
      self-explanatory.

   ...rogerM

J. Trent Adams wrote:
> Roger M. -
>
> On this week's LC call there was some push-back relating to the use of
> the term "moderate" in the email policy we're drafting.
>
> In short, there is concern that the term may imply a connotation we
> don't intend.  While the definition we'd proposed is technically
> accurate according to the mailing list software we use, the broader
> community has a slightly different interpretation of the term which
> might pose problems in our effort to communicate our intent.
>
> Basically, we want to make it clear in the policy that there are
> essentially two sets of people who can "manage" the list (i.e. have
> access to a set of management tools controlling the software).  One set
> is the KI Staff who are tasked with ensuring two things:
>
>  1. The software is correctly configured and running.
>  2. Checking to ensure Subscribers have signed the
>      appropriate IPR policy for the associated Group
>      and setting their posting permissions accordingly.
>
> The other set is comprised of those who (through delegation of the Group
> Leader) can perform only task 2 above.
>
> As I understand it, the problem is that the term "moderator" in common
> use also includes the notion of "reading queued messages and approving
> or denying the posting of the message based on the content."  Even if we
> define the term differently in our policy, it is highly likely that the
> common usage will cause confusion.
>
> What if we changed the first bullet in Section 5 to read:
>
> # All Lists are administered by Staff and by the Chair of the Group (or
> his/her delegate) to which the List is associated.
>
> I'm not sure this solves the conundrum, but it might help clarify that
> the tasks are clerical in nature, and in no way indicate a "censuring"
> of messages.
>
> What do you think?
>
> - Trent
>
>
> Roger Martin wrote:
>   
>> OK.  you are correct...I did reverse them.  It should be /"Moderate:
>> the same as "Administer"
>> with the exception that *a Moderator* cannot change List configuration
>> variables."
>>
>>
>> /configuration variable."
>>
>> J. Trent Adams wrote:
>>     
>>> Roger -
>>>
>>> Thanks for the quick turn-around.
>>>
>>> One nit in-line below.  Otherwise I'm good to go.
>>>
>>> - Trent
>>>
>>>
>>> Roger Martin wrote:
>>>   
>>>       
>>>> Trent,
>>>>
>>>> see inline below.
>>>>
>>>>    ....RogerM
>>>>
>>>> J. Trent Adams wrote:
>>>>     
>>>>         
>>>>> Roger -
>>>>>
>>>>> In order to present the policy to the LC for approval on Wednesday's
>>>>> call, I'm proof-reading the version on the wiki, and making sure it
>>>>> closed the open issues from the threads:
>>>>>
>>>>> http://kantarainitiative.org/confluence/x/BACh
>>>>>
>>>>> Assuming that this is the most up-to-date version (so we can simply
>>>>> point everyone at it rather than continuing to circulate docs), I do
>>>>> have a couple last-minute comments:
>>>>>   
>>>>>       
>>>>>           
>>>> [RM]  Yes,  http://kantarainitiative.org/confluence/x/BACh is the most
>>>> recent, up-to-date version.
>>>>
>>>>     
>>>>         
>>>>>  1. It looks like the term "Contributor" still shows up
>>>>>      in the second bullet of Section 4:
>>>>>
>>>>>      "Anyone may Subscribe to any List with the
>>>>>      provision that only Contributors may post to
>>>>>      the List."
>>>>>
>>>>>      Am I right in assuming that this should be
>>>>>      updated to read:
>>>>>
>>>>>      "Anyone may Subscribe to any List with the
>>>>>      provision that only Participants of the Group
>>>>>      may post to the List."
>>>>>   
>>>>>       
>>>>>           
>>>> [RM]  Yes, it should be "Participants".  I had that change in the
>>>> Word/PDF version but missed it when I updated the Wiki version. 
>>>> Thanks for catching it.
>>>>
>>>>     
>>>>         
>>>>>  2. As there is now a distinction between "administer"
>>>>>      and "moderate" called out in Section 5, can we
>>>>>      add the definitions for each that are based on what
>>>>>      Brett pulled from the mail software?  Here are my
>>>>>      suggestions:
>>>>>   
>>>>>       
>>>>>           
>>>> [RM]  I don't see the necessity of adding definitions for "administer"
>>>> and "moderate" but have no objection to doing do.
>>>>  
>>>>  Would it be correct to define "Moderate: the same as "Administer"
>>>> with the exception that an Administrator cannot change List
>>>> configuration variable."  (I am assuming that is correct.  Is it?)
>>>>     
>>>>         
>>> I think you've got 'em reversed, but essentially correct. "Administer"
>>> includes list config rights, while "Moderate" does not.
>>>
>>>   
>>>       
>>>>>      "Administer: Full control of the Group List
>>>>>      functionality /such as changing List configuration
>>>>>      variables, tend to pending requests, including the
>>>>>      approval or rejection of held subscription requests,
>>>>>      and disposing of held postings, etc."/
>>>>>
>>>>>      "Moderate: Limited control of the Group List
>>>>>      functionality /such as tending to pending requests,
>>>>>      including the approval or rejection of held
>>>>>      subscription requests, and disposing of held
>>>>>      postings, etc./ Changing List configuration variables
>>>>>      are not included."
>>>>>
>>>>>  3. Finally, how would you suggest addressing the issue
>>>>>      that Lucy raised:
>>>>>
>>>>>      "with this caveat, list administrators can and should
>>>>>      forward on the the list any announcements that would
>>>>>      be on interest. This should clearly be a forward (over
>>>>>      the admin's email address) and not an approved
>>>>>      posting over the original address."
>>>>>
>>>>>      I'm assuming that what she's talking about is the
>>>>>      forwarding of publicly-available information, and
>>>>>      thus isn't encumbered by some other IPR regime.
>>>>>      In this case, does this need to be called out in the
>>>>>      policy, or is it blatantly obvious this is OK to do?
>>>>>   
>>>>>       
>>>>>           
>>>> [RM]  I don't think this needs to be included in the "Policy for
>>>> Joining Groups and Group Discussion Lists."  It is, however, useful
>>>> operating guidance that perhaps could be articulated elsewhere.
>>>>
>>>>     
>>>>         
>>>>> Looking forward to resolution.
>>>>>
>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>> Trent
>>>>>     
>>>>>
>>>>> Roger Martin wrote:
>>>>>   
>>>>>       
>>>>>           
>>>>>> I don't believe that additional text is necessary since the Chair can
>>>>>> normally delegate any duty. 
>>>>>>
>>>>>> However, if you think it should be there, go ahead and add it to the
>>>>>> wiki text.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>    ..rogerM
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Brett McDowell wrote:
>>>>>>     
>>>>>>         
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>> How about we add a parenthetical modifier to your proposed text so it
>>>>>>> reads "moderated by the Chair of the Group (or his/her delegate)" ?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Brett McDowell | +1.413.652.1248 | http://info.brettmcdowell.com
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 3:09 PM, Roger Martin<roger.martin at corp.aol.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>   
>>>>>>>       
>>>>>>>           
>>>>>>>               
>>>>>>>> Based on this discussion it appears we have agreed to the following changes:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Reword the first bullet in Section (5) to read:
>>>>>>>> * All Lists are administered by Staff and moderated by the secretary Chair
>>>>>>>> of the Group to which the List is associated.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Delete the sixth bullet in section (5)
>>>>>>>> * Group Lists are not moderated.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> I have made these (and my original rewrite) changes to the wiki:
>>>>>>>> http://kantarainitiative.org/confluence/display/LC/Groups+Email+Discussion+List+Policy
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>    ...rogerM
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Brett McDowell wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> And I'd add to that... if someone attempts to post to the list and the
>>>>>>>> topic is appropriate/legitimate, I would hope/encourage the Chair to
>>>>>>>> forward it to community@ for a "real" discussion (not to mention
>>>>>>>> reaching out to that person and suggesting they actually join the
>>>>>>>> Group).
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Brett McDowell | +1.413.652.1248 | http://info.brettmcdowell.com
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 2:52 PM, Lucy Lynch<lynch at isoc.org> wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> +1 ,
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> with this caveat, list administrators can and should forward
>>>>>>>> on the the list any announcements that would be on interest.
>>>>>>>> This should clearly be a forward (over the admin's email address)
>>>>>>>> and not an approved posting over the original address.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Lucy Lynch
>>>>>>>> Director, Trust and Identity Initiatives
>>>>>>>> Internet Society (ISOC )
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Thu, 2 Jul 2009, Brett McDowell wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Given all the issues I've noticed being raised in the development of this
>>>>>>>> policy, it's probably best to simply not allow any posting to the lists
>>>>>>>> from
>>>>>>>> non-participants in the group.
>>>>>>>> How do folks feel about tightening this up to that level?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Brett McDowell | +1.413.652.1248 | http://info.brettmcdowell.com
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 1:57 PM, Joni Brennan <joni at ieee-isto.org> wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Thanks Brett.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> I believe it would benefit us to develop operational policies (similar to
>>>>>>>> what the LC has done) to explain the implications and responsibilities
>>>>>>>> associated with the WG/DG Roles.  This policy would answer questions like
>>>>>>>> -
>>>>>>>> When can I 'accept' a rejected message'?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Also, as there is no DG Secretary role this item would fall under the DG
>>>>>>>> Vice-chair or Chair responsibilties.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Finally, we should consider putting a requested change in the LC queue to
>>>>>>>> update the Operating Procedures to reflect this item under the
>>>>>>>> appropriate
>>>>>>>> role duties.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Joni
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 1:45 PM, Brett McDowell
>>>>>>>> <email at brettmcdowell.com>wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Here is what the MailMan software documentation says in this regard:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> *There are two ownership roles associated with each mailing list. The
>>>>>>>> **list
>>>>>>>> administrators** are the people who have ultimate control over all
>>>>>>>> parameters of this mailing list. They are able to change any list
>>>>>>>> configuration variable available through these administration web
>>>>>>>> pages.*
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> *The **list moderators** have more limited permissions; they are not
>>>>>>>> able
>>>>>>>> to change any list configuration variable, but they are allowed to tend
>>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>> pending administration requests, including approving or rejecting held
>>>>>>>> subscription requests, and disposing of held postings. Of course, the
>>>>>>>> **list
>>>>>>>> administrators** can also tend to pending requests.*
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Brett McDowell | +1.413.652.1248 | http://info.brettmcdowell.com
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 1:29 PM, Roger Martin
>>>>>>>> <roger.martin at corp.aol.com>wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  I'm out of my field when it comes to mail list administration and
>>>>>>>> standard terminology
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Would anyone on this thread care to enlighten me (us).
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Do we need to define those terms?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>    ....roger M
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> J. Trent Adams wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Roger -
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> In order to avoid any misunderstandings, would it make sense to define
>>>>>>>> "Moderate" and "Administer"?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> - Trent
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Roger Martin wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  Joni,
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> I had a conversation with Brett about this issue because I was not
>>>>>>>> understanding the motivations for proposing this change.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Based on that discussion, I understand the motivation for this change
>>>>>>>> to be that:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>    * Staff will administer all Lists, but there is a valid concern
>>>>>>>>      that a requirement to have Staff moderate all Lists will be a
>>>>>>>>      significant burden on Staff resources.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>    * We can configure each List so any email received from a
>>>>>>>>      non-Participant gets an auto-reply that says "You do not have
>>>>>>>>      permission to post to this List.  To do so, you must sign the
>>>>>>>>      Participation Agreement for this Group." (or something similar)
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>    * It may be helpful for the leadership of a Group to know (1) who
>>>>>>>>      joins and who leaves a list as an Observer, and (2) who attempts
>>>>>>>>      to post as an Observer.  As a result, you proposed that a member
>>>>>>>>      of the Group Leadership (Group secretary) be assigned moderator
>>>>>>>>      status in order to be able to track this.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Under the Kantara Initiative Bylaws, a Group is not required to have a
>>>>>>>> secretary.  However, the Bylaws do state that when "a WG does not have
>>>>>>>> a secretary it is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that those
>>>>>>>> duties."
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Given the above, I believe the following changes will be sufficient to
>>>>>>>> achieve what you are proposing:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>   1. Reword the first bullet in Section (5) to read:
>>>>>>>>      * All Lists are administered by Staff and moderated by the
>>>>>>>>      secretary of the Group to which the List is associated.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>   2. Delete the sixth bullet in section (5)
>>>>>>>>      * Group Lists are not moderated.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>   ...rogerM
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Joni Brennan wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  Hi Roger,
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> I have drafted the suggested addition below:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Section 5
>>>>>>>> * All Lists are administered and moderated by the Staff.  In addition
>>>>>>>> to the Staff moderator, each list will be moderated by the Secretary
>>>>>>>> officer responsible for that list's associated group.  The Secretary
>>>>>>>> moderator function provides an additional layer of operational
>>>>>>>> information to the officers of each group.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Please feel free to word smith my suggestion as you may see fit.
>>>>>>>> Also, as an FYI to the group, we did find the bug causing Rogers edit
>>>>>>>> access woes and have resolved the issue.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Joni
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 11:30 AM, Roger Martin
>>>>>>>> <roger.martin at corp.aol.com <mailto:roger.martin at corp.aol.com>
>>>>>>>> <roger.martin at corp.aol.com>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>    I have attached the revised draft of the "Policy for Joining
>>>>>>>>    Groups and Group Discussion Lists" based on the discussions of
>>>>>>>>    the past two days.  I still don't have edit permission on the
>>>>>>>>    wiki page, but will post the new draft there when I do.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>    Additional Discussion:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>    1.  Joni posted a proposal to one officer from each WG and DG a a
>>>>>>>>    moderator of any Lists associated with that WG or DG.  It's not
>>>>>>>>    clear from the email discussion what the resolution of this
>>>>>>>>    proposal is.  As a result I did not make any changes to the
>>>>>>>>    text.  If we need to make that change, would someone please post
>>>>>>>>    the specific text changes to be made?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>    2.  Are there any further edits needed before we move to adopt
>>>>>>>>    this as a Kantara Initiative policy?
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>       ...rogerM
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>    /--
>>>>>>>>    ******************************************
>>>>>>>>    Roger Martin, Director of Standards
>>>>>>>>         AOL
>>>>>>>>         22260 Pacific Blvd    41A:A03
>>>>>>>>         Dulles, VA 20166
>>>>>>>>    email: roger.martin at corp.aol.com <mailto:roger.martin at corp.aol.com>
>>>>>>>> <roger.martin at corp.aol.com>
>>>>>>>>             AIM:       rjmartin99
>>>>>>>>             phone:  703-265-6203
>>>>>>>>             mobile: 703-389-1547
>>>>>>>>    *******************************************/
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>    _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>    Trustees mailing list
>>>>>>>>    Trustees at kantarainitiative.org
>>>>>>>>    <mailto:Trustees at kantarainitiative.org>
>>>>>>>> <Trustees at kantarainitiative.org>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>  http://kantarainitiative.org/mailman/listinfo/trustees_kantarainitiative.org
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>> Joni Brennan
>>>>>>>> IEEE-ISTO
>>>>>>>> Liberty Alliance Project
>>>>>>>> Director of Operations
>>>>>>>> voice:+1 732-226-4223
>>>>>>>> email: joni @ projectliberty.org <http://projectliberty.org>
>>>>>>>> <http://projectliberty.org>
>>>>>>>> email: joni @ ieee-isto.org <http://ieee-isto.org>
>>>>>>>> <http://ieee-isto.org>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>> LC mailing
>>>>>>>> listLC at kantarainitiative.orghttp://kantarainitiative.org/mailman/listinfo/lc_kantarainitiative.org
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>> Trustees mailing list
>>>>>>>> Trustees at kantarainitiative.org
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> http://kantarainitiative.org/mailman/listinfo/trustees_kantarainitiative.org
>>>>>>>> ______________________________________________
>>>>>>>> LC mailing list
>>>>>>>> LC at kantarainitiative.org
>>>>>>>> http://kantarainitiative.org/mailman/listinfo/lc_kantarainitiative.org
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>> Joni Brennan
>>>>>>>> IEEE-ISTO
>>>>>>>> Liberty Alliance Project
>>>>>>>> Director of Operations
>>>>>>>> voice:+1 732-226-4223
>>>>>>>> email: joni @ projectliberty.org
>>>>>>>> email: joni @ ieee-isto.org
>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>> Trustees mailing list
>>>>>>>> Trustees at kantarainitiative.org
>>>>>>>> http://kantarainitiative.org/mailman/listinfo/trustees_kantarainitiative.          
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> LC mailing list
>>>>>> LC at kantarainitiative.org
>>>>>> http://kantarainitiative.org/mailman/listinfo/lc_kantarainitiative.org
>>>>>>             
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