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RE: Ballot Group Confidentiality

During my "tenure" whenever a discussion about openness occurred, relative
to sponsor balloting or any other standards development activity, it was my
expressed personal opinion that participants in standards development should
be accessible to the public at large.  However, I have been and continue to
be opposed to the commercial use of the of any standards group membership
list -- to which end I opposed the sale of the 802 membership list for
commercial use.  It can be argued with persuasion that the name,
affiliation, and contact information of all Standards Committee participants
is public information; the Computer Society SAB Policies and Procedures
require the publication of this information within 30 days of each meeting
event in the minutes of that event.

What is at issue here (or at least the only circumstance to which my
original comment applies) is the public disclosure of information about
participants in the Sponsor Ballot process.  This is a unique event in the
standards development process, as stated in my original comment.  "All
material affiliations" should be read with emphasis on "material" -- in this
context your reference to "clubs" is frivolous if not flippant.  What is
material could have several interpretations.  In my opinion it is all those
company and/or organizational affiliations that are the basis for
classifying the balloter's interest group (Vendor/Supplier, Consumer/User,
General Interest).  If the balloter was an active participant in the
development of the proposed standard, that involvement, including any
leadership role, should also be disclosed.  It would also be reasonable to
add the basis for claiming to be qualified to comment on the technical
merits of the proposed standard.

That IEEE membership is individual is not material to the sponsor ballot
process.  Standards development committee voting rights may be based on
individual or organizational participation, but this too is not material to
the sponsor ballot process.  The sponsor ballot is the IEEE's means of
providing the required public review of a proposed standard, i.e., open
public review.  The standards development process is dominated far too much
by a relatively small number of persons ("person" in the legal sense and as
used in the Standards Association bylaws, i.e., a legal entity).  This
cliquishness should not flow into the sponsor ballot process.

I stand by my original short statement in every detail.  Please reread it.
Complete openness and public access to sponsor ballot participants in not
only the obvious default answer, in my opinion it is the only answer.  Your
opinion appears contrary.  I respect that but choose to disagree.


John Montague

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent:	Wednesday, April 14, 1999 1:49 PM
> To:	Montague, John (Exchange)
> Cc:;; Michael J. Binder
> Subject:	RE: Ballot Group Confidentiality
> John-
> If this is your position then how is it that under your tenure only the
> names of members of the Sponsor Ballot Group were put in the standards.
> >From what you say below it sounds like the standard should publish full
> contact and employment affiliation information.
> In particular I take issue with your thesis that "all material
> affiliations, company and organizational" should be provided. IEEE
> membership is by individual. The person is ultimately responsible for
> their
> vote, not the clubs and companies they are affiliated with.
> The issue under discussion is whether, in this age of the web, information
> that was previously classed as public but only lived on a piece of paper
> in
> a file drawer should now be put up on the web. I don't believe that the
> default answer is yes to this question.
> Geoff
> At 09:05 AM 4/14/99 -0400, Montague, John (Exchange) wrote:
> >The Sponsor Ballot is the mechanism by which public review of IEEE's
> >proposed standards occurs.  A case can be made for limited
> confidentiality
> >for those involved in the development of a standard.  Any right to
> isolation
> >(constraint of full public exposure) ends when the proposed standard is
> >complete enough for public review.  There is no legitimacy for anonymity
> or
> >confidentiality among those who choose to act as surrogates for the
> general
> >public during the Sponsor Ballot process.  Every member of the Sponsor
> >Ballot list should be publicly identified together with all material
> >affiliations, company and organizational, etc.; contact information
> should
> >be provided -- at least e-mail addresses and postal addresses.  The IEEE
> >Standards process is fatally flawed if the final public review of a
> proposed
> >standard is not completely public and open.
> >
> >John Montague
> >
> |=========================================|
> | Geoffrey O. Thompson                    |
> | Chair IEEE 802.3                        |
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