Leo Vegoda

Code of Conduct Task Force - Spring 2021 Update

Leo Vegoda
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A Code of Conduct Task Force (CoC TF) was formed to update RIPE’s Code of Conduct and supporting processes following discussion at RIPE 80. The TF drafted an updated Code of Conduct and shared it with the community in March this year. This article presents the TF’s history, key feedback on the draft, and looks ahead at plans to hold a BoF at RIPE 82 and the next stages of the TF’s work.

About the Code of Conduct Task Force

The Code of Conduct Task Force was formed after RIPE 80 to update the community's Code of Conduct. This followed a discussion on draft version 3.0 produced by the RIPE Diversity TF and the way that version interwove the code, the process, and the people who would implement it. So Hans Petter Holen, still in his role of RIPE Chair at the time, proposed this be published as three separate documents, with the aim to reach consensus on each one individually. This was agreed at RIPE 80.

This was integrated into the call for volunteers that Mirjam Kühne, who had then taken over as RIPE Chair, made in September 2020. The TF is chartered to develop three separate documents:

  1. RIPE Code of Conduct
  2. Code of Conduct team selection
  3. Reporting and operational procedures for the Code of Conduct team

The TF is composed of four members of the community and two RIPE NCC staff:

  • Denesh Bhabuta (Co-chair)
  • Athina Fragkouli (RIPE NCC)
  • Antony Gollan (RIPE NCC)
  • Brian Nisbet
  • Leo Vegoda (Chair)
  • Salam Yamout

What Have We Done So Far?

We have worked on updating the RIPE Code of Conduct document since September. We published a draft for community review in March. We are now analysing the community’s feedback so we can improve the draft.

What Did We Learn?

We received a wide range of feedback, but some key themes were:

  • Include wording that encourages people to consider their actions and to intervene when they see inappropriate behaviour.
  • Focus on principles and make it clear that the examples in the document are only examples and not a comprehensive list.
  • Include examples of behaviour that is welcome in the RIPE community.

Next Steps

We now need to complete our analysis of the feedback we received so we can make appropriate updates. We will then share an updated document with the community so that a decision on whether there is a consensus in favour of it can be taken.

Meanwhile, we have also identified some high-level requirements related to the tooling to help implement the Code of Conduct. The RIPE NCC is looking at what it would need to do to provide appropriate support.

We hope to run a Code of Conduct BoF at RIPE 82 in May 2021. In that session, we’d like to present the work done so far, summarise the community’s feedback on the draft, and discuss some of the aspects we are thinking about in terms of processes, tools, and recruitment.

The CoC TF is keen to get feedback at any time. If you want to share your thoughts with the TF, please write to us at coc-tf@ripe.net.

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About the author

Leo Vegoda Based in Los Angeles

Leo has been involved with the management of Internet Number Resources at ISPs, the RIPE NCC, and in ICANN's IANA team. He now runs a small business providing bespoke services to a number of Internet-space organizations. He is currently co-chairs the Address Policy WG and chairs the Code of Conduct TF.

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