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Ben asserted, “It's not reasonable or valid to disallow individuals who are, or who's employers or customers are members of such SIGs and alliances to disclose
information about their activities with those organizations”. You responded, “I disagree. It is perfectly reasonable to disallow what is illegal, even if it is not prosecuted.”. What I don’t understand is why you believe people and companies discussing
proposals for IEEE 802 standards outside of IEEE 802 is necessarily illegal. I agree that such discussions could stray into illegal territory, but my personal experience is that they very rarely do, and if they do then the participants quickly recognise the
inappropriate behaviour and stop. Could you explain?
Ben also asserted that “How an individual participant
forms their opinions is none of our business”. You responded, “That position is quite contrary to my understanding of the rules of IEEE and 802 (and
I believe that I have been more thoroughly instructed in that than you have)”. Could you point out the rules that require IEEE 802 participants to explain the process of how they came to opinion? And why is the “how” relevant anyway. Isn’t it more important
to understand what the opinion is and technical justification of that opinion?
From: Geoff Thompson [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, 13 April 2017 3:19 AM
To: Benjamin Rolfe
Cc: Geoff Thompson; Andrew Myles (amyles); STDS-802-SEC@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Possible Signs of Dominance action
Most of the SIGs and Alliances I've had experience with are not "open" as they require confidentiality agreements between the alliance and members. It's not reasonable or valid to disallow
individuals who are, or who's employers or customers are members of such SIGs and alliances to disclose information about their activities with those organizations.
I disagree. It is perfectly reasonable to disallow what is illegal, even if it is not prosecuted.
This seems to have gone from a slippery slope to a cliff. What may be discussed by individuals outside of meetings is not within our scope. We present
clearly the rules for what can be discussed in our meetings. That is our responsibility.
How an individual participant forms their opinions is none of our business.
That position is quite contrary to my understanding of the rules of IEEE and 802
(and I believe that I have been more thoroughly instructed in that than you have)
The role of 802 leadership is to protect the opportunity for open debate of various opinions in our meetings through proper application of our rules for
conducting meetings, preparing drafts and conducting ballots. It is in this process that the result of any collaboration becomes open and transparent, if we are following our rules and processes correctly.
On 4/11/2017 10:55 PM, Andrew Myles (amyles) wrote:
I agree that the existence of the SIGs should be made known, in the same way as we require the existence of affiliations to be made
known. So we agree that there should be no secret formal SIGs. The issue of informal SIGs is more complex. I suspect we can’t do much about them in the same way we don’t bother trying to require bilateral private conversations between people at IEEE meetings
I was arguing that it was unreasonable and impractical to impose any rules that require the activities of the formal SIGs to be open,
in the same way it would be unreasonable and impractical to require companies to reveal intra-company conversations or inter-company conversations. Companies should have the right to keep such conversation private if they choose to do so. Do you agree?
Of course, regardless of what we decide, companies will always need to satisfy anti-trust laws.
Adrian, thanks for drafting this document. They highlight how difficult it is to recognise dominance and differentiate it from reasonable behaviour
Paul, you commented, "In my opinion, as long as the group of individuals working on building consensus are open and transparent in their activities,
it probably is OK".
you proposing that anyone participating in a formal (or informal) SIG be required to declare that in the same way we require company affiliations to be declared? If so then I agree because it is just as important to know SIG affiliations as company affiliations.
Indeed, possibly more so because SIGs have the potential of being much bigger than companies in terms of voting members.
you proposing that the activities of the SIG be open and transparent? If so then I disagree because this would deny free association. If you went down this path then you would also need to require intra company discussions be made open and transparent. I think
you will agree that is impractical, as well as unacceptable.
The purpose is not to deny "free association" but to deny secret collusion which constitutes or gets suspiciously close to restraint of trade/monopolistic behavior.
Outside free association is fine (whether or not it has to be documented I will leave to the lawyers), secret SIGs are not.
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