RE: v 5.4 - from Dave Mann
Well, Kevin makes at least two points that I agree with: first, that
legislators too often fail to seek expert opinion before formulating
new laws, and that it shouldn't matter whether we are affiliated with
a big organization as our opinions count too.
Well, I agree, but the world doesn't work that way at all.
So, if we are going to have enough impact, we need to impress on the
treaty writers that we aren't simply hobbyists or (even) black hat
hackers. Rather, we need to convey that we are (mostly) mature,
experienced individuals associated with reputable organizations with
a significant stake in the information infrastructure. That doesn't
make our arguments more cogent, but it does help establish that we
have enough experience to know what we are talking about.
A disclaimer that says "Unless stated otherwise, affiliations are
shown for identification purposes only and do not imply endorsement
by the organizations indicated" should make it clear in the signing
Also, note that Europeans in general take titles much more seriously.
Thus, I am likely to get more attention if I sign as:
Eugene H, Spafford, Ph.D., FACM, FAAAS
Professor and Director
Purdue University CERIAS
The former suggests I have a clue about the context, some seniority,
and recognition by my scientific peers that I have a valuable
perspective, The latter suggests that I might be part of the
problem they are legislating against!
As to organizational endorsements, think carefully what it means for
an organization to comment on the treaty. I personally think a
cadre of experts means more here than any organizational intent.
As to next steps, I suggest that we set up a web page with a short
description of the problem, links to the treaty draft, and text of
the draft letter. This should also include instructions on who we
want to sign it, and how to do so. And, we should include a section
how others (companies and individuals) can send comments to the
drafting commission separate from this letter. Then we need to
start spreading the word to get other signers.