Resolution 2007-02-15.jrk.1: Openness of Board Discussions

Ian Jackson ijackson at
Thu Feb 15 15:18:12 UTC 2007

Jimmy Kaplowitz writes ("Resolution 2007-02-15.jrk.1: Openness of Board Discussions"):
> I propose the below resolution for a board vote at the March meeting,
> since I have been told by the secretary that it is too late for a vote
> at the February meeting. I apologize for its verboseness, but all of it
> seems necessary to achieve its intended purpose. Improvements are
> welcome.

Thanks for that.  I hope that no-one on the board will disagree with
any of it.  Mostly it's things I have been trying to do anyway but it
will be helpful to have them formalised.

One thing that is left unclear is when a board member should take it
upon themselves to forum-shift a discussion to a more-public list, and
if so how that should be done.  This is a constantly thorny problem
with some difficult tradeoffs.  I would like to discuss how we should
go about that.

I would suggest something like the following:

 * When a confidential matter is first mentioned, a clear statement
   should be made of _what_ is confidential and _why_.

 * If no such statement is present in a message from a Board member
   or officer which starts a new thread on -board or -private then any
   recipient of the message is entitled to:
    - enquire as to the confidentiality status;
    - follow up with a confidentiality statement;
    - repost it to a more public venue and reply in the more
      private venue to say that they have done so.
   Every recipient should use their own judgement about whether there
   is a need for confidentiality, and should err on the side of
   minimising mistakes (ie, ask).

   If a thread is forum-shifted in this way to a more public list,
   then anyone who replies should reply in the more public venue,
   unless they disagree with the forum-shift.

   This policy specifically supersedes the right of Board members and
   officers to the normal respect for the confidentiality of head
   article emails they send to -board and -private, unless the sender
   specifically states that they intend for the message to be

 * When the confidentiality status of a head article is made clear, the
   whole thread will be taken to have the same confidentiality status.
   New matters with different confidentiality properties should not be
   introduced.  Followups in confidential threads should not be
   forum-shifted to more public venues.


More information about the Spi-general mailing list