[Community-Discuss] ID verification on the Database Working Group mailing list

Andrew Alston Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com
Mon Jan 24 14:18:43 UTC 2022

Let me be clear - the affiliation to me is actually neither hear nor there other than on the members list - where I believe that affiliation is absolutely critical.

The members list however is limited to members and anyone posting on there should be a member and should be speaking as such.

To be frank though as per my previous comments - what should matter on the lists is the content of the message not the identity of the sender.  The RIRs and the ietf etc - and anywhere that engages in the concept of consensus based decision making is meant to look at the content of the messages.

A single objection that is unaddressed (not necessarily resolved - but it has to be adequately addressed) is meant to act as a blocker.  Support by a million people is not a gauge of consensus - nor is the affiliation of the person indicating such.

For some reason though we all seem to have forgotten the principles of consensus as best defined in rfc 7282 which can be found at https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/html/rfc7282

This has for years been the basis on which technical consensus is defined.


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From: Anthony Ubah <ubah.tonyiyke at gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2022 4:32:17 PM
To: Andrew Alston <Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com>; Mike Silber <silber.mike at gmail.com>; Ben Maddison <benm at workonline.africa>; JORDI PALET MARTINEZ <jordi.palet at consulintel.es>
Cc: General Discussions of AFRINIC <community-discuss at afrinic.net>
Subject: Re: [Community-Discuss] ID verification on the Database Working Group mailing list


Permit me to barge in into this threesome to add that, while the use of sock puppets and crowd mentality should be discouraged in the community, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the use of pseudonyms, nor cache affiliations, as opinions and affiliations might not always align. Both can also be on a collision course.

Now that I have your attention, I'll like to buttress that.

If an organization has not granted rights to an individual to represent, that member of staff has absolutely no right to state affiliation, use official email domain, or even identify the organization's resources in holding like AS number or IP ranges. Doing otherwise is illigal.

Still chiming off the reason above, the call for use of organizational email/domain name is absurd. I've enjoyed a good laugh in the background every time some community members call for 'void' on comments for "Gmail" users as against common sense, on the premise of 'Gmail', and nothing more. This is a very narrow-minded call for a dozen reasons;
One, being that, while some members own, or are co-founders of their organizations, some spend a bulk of/their entire career in one, while others are in constant movent across organizations and regions. Different strokes for different folks.
Hence such marginalization is not well-thought-out, and baseless. For continuity purposes, members should be allowed to use whatever email address they please.
Also switching emails will also put long-standing community members at risk of being disenfranchised in voting within the community, as a new email might not fulfil the longevity clause introduced lately for eligibility to vote in the PDGW voting processes.

That said, I personally have no issues with verifying my own identity (I already have), but I shouldn't be compelled to state my affiliation as a yardstick to gauge my comments.
According to Afrinic's guidelines on this mailing list, it is for 'anybody who has an interest in the activities of AFRINIC working groups', and not for open resource holders, or affiliates.

Don't take my word for it. A quick reference to the Afrinic website will provide some input on this. (https://afrinic.net/email<https://afrinic.net/email>)

An excerpt;

"Most of these mailing lists are open to anybody who has an interest in the activities of AFRINIC working groups and provides space for people to share information for the benefit of the entire community.
While AFRINIC encourages the use of these lists for a healthy, relevant debate and information sharing, we also advise all to ensure that the AFRINIC Community Code of Conduct is respected."

In conclusion, the agenda being pushed is against the principles of these guidelines and is simply dancing at the edge of a legal cliff.

Best Regards,

Anthony Ubah
Zero Affiliation

On Mon, Jan 24, 2022, 6:19 AM Andrew Alston via Community-Discuss <community-discuss at afrinic.net<mailto:community-discuss at afrinic.net>> wrote:
While affiliation is important - I think it’s relatively easy to solve - enforce a rule in the code of conduct that demands that posts contain either a statement of affiliation in the signature - or the company handle you are speaking on behalf of.

If you are speaking in private capacity - the signatures can still be there and a clear statement that you are speaking in private capacity.

This means the companies can deal with the offenders if they speak without authorization or if the signatures are fake.


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From: Ben Maddison <benm at workonline.africa>
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2022 13:09
To: Mike Silber
Cc: Andrew Alston; General Discussions of AFRINIC
Subject: Re: [Community-Discuss] ID verification on the Database Working Group mailing list

Hi Mike,

On 01/24, Mike Silber wrote:
> [...]
> > On 24 Jan 2022, at 11:35, Ben Maddison <benm at workonline.africa> wrote:
> >
> > [...]
> >
> > If a sender's affiliation is not obvious (From: domain, signature, etc),
> > then the chairs and/or moderators should challenge them to state it.
> > Failure[*] to do so should:
> > A)  be an indication to the community (and particularly for the purposes
> >    to considering consensus) that any arguments presented should be
> >    viewed with great skepticism; and
> > B)  be a CoC violation, eventually resulting in a ban.
> I accept your point - but think it would be better served on
> subscribing to the mailing list [or to retain your posting rights]
> rather than on a challenge basis. One post escapes the challenge and
> then there are claims of favouritism :-)

Yup, that also seems a reasonable approach that I could support.

Assuming such a disclosure would be self asserted(?), that leaves some open

- How is that information provided to the reader of a message (perhaps
  auto inserting a link to a disclosure webpage at the foot of each
- How is the provided information maintained to prevent staleness when,
  e.g. a subscriber changes job, accepts a new consulting gig, gets
  elected to a board somewhere?
- (Most stickily) to what extent is the provided disclosure verified,
  and by whom? This is hard enough in the case of positive assertions,
  and seems near-impossible in the case of omissions.
- Probably others...


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