[Proposed] Technology and Policy Interest Group Charter

STATUS: August 20th 2016: NOT ACTIVE: was under AC review in May 2016. see Latest version below.

This version:
Latest version:

The goal of the Technology and Policy Interest Group (TechPolig) is to discuss Internet and Web related policy issues that may affect the mission of W3C : Lead the Web to its full potential.

It is designed primarily as a forum for the W3C Members to discuss and analyse the implications of technically oriented policies and governance decisions, and it tries to reach consensus on the considerations that the W3C sees as relevant to the issues.

The TechPolig's analyses, in the form of W3C Member-private IG Notes, or other documents, can be used in a number of ways. The group might request to give them more public standing after a specific AC review and Director's approval, or can choose to use part of the analysis findings in cases where W3C is asked to get involved.

Join the Technology and Policy Interest Group.(NOT ACTIVATED YET)

Start date The start date is the date of the "Call for Participation", when the charter is approved.
End date Start date + 1 year
Charter extension The charter extension history is documented in "About this charter"
Confidentiality Proceedings are Member-only

A public list will also be created to inform the public and gather their feedback if one or several IG deliberables are made public (e.g. after AC review).

Initial Chair Jean-François Abramatic (jfa@w3.org)
Initial Team Contact
(FTE %: 5)
Daniel Dardailler (danield@w3.org)
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: As needed.

Face-to-face: Once or Twice per Year



W3C staff, by design of our process, has always assumed a broad mandate to comment publicly on topics which appear to be principally technical in nature, and will continue to do so in the future.

There is no clear dividing line between "technical" and "policy" issues, but a fairly significant grey area. W3C has long had technical activities that inform external policy discussions. This group will discuss the possible technical consequences of policy directions, the policy implications of technical decisions, and the relevant values the W3C community holds.

Because of the diversity of the W3C Membership,the group may find that it cannot reach consensus on some topics. The IG will therefore "learn by doing", realize that some of these discussions cannot be brought to consensus, but still find useful to publish its findings.

The TechPolig is concerned primarily with the Web, but the Web relies on many other layers of technologies (DNS, IP, Crypto, usage above it, etc) and also on the proper governance of all these parties to function together, so the discussions need not be constrained to only Web technologies.

The scope of this Group is on questions that have public policy aspects, and not to discuss internal W3C policies. Where W3C has established values or groups these will not be the focus of the TechPolig, although they may end up being referenced by the TechPolig.

Success Criteria

The TechPolig will explore, discuss and surface the issues and ramifications of relevant policy questions, and document the considerations relevant to those issues. In exploring these issues, the IG also intends to be sensitive to the fact that different regions may have different views on the issues

Successes will be evaluated against the following goals:

Upon mutual agreement by the Director and the Group chair(s), the Group may assist in coordinating W3C participation in existing and future external policy/governance activities and partnering (e.g. ISOC, NMI, GIPO, IGF, ICANN, etc). This coordination exists today for staff, but not for our larger community.

Out of Scope

The discussion of internal W3C policies is out of scope, as the responsibility for them is already well established. (W3C policies may nonetheless be used or referenced.)

Policy statements that are generic or have no technical aspects, or are irrelevant to the Internet and the Web; or on the contrary, primarily technically oriented, and already in scope of existing W3C WGs. Those will be out of scope for the IG, though the IG may advise on the latter if asked.


As an Interest Group, the TechPolig will mainly discuss and explore issues at the intersection of technical and policy making. The IG will decide on a case-by-case which of its deliverables may further be sent to the W3C AC for a wider review leading to a public document, after Director's approval of this step.

The TechPolig will:

The TechPolig will inform the Advisory Committee on its activities on a regular basis, and in particular when new topics are being discussed beyond the initial list provided in the next section.

Milestones and Timeline

The TechPolig doesn't have specific milestones, nor timeline, given the uncharted territory that Web Technical Policy discussions might lead into.

For its initial chartering period of one year, the TechPolig will look at this initial list of topics, selected based on a set of three criteria: consensus, impact, and timeliness.

The TechPolig will maintain a Member-visible page with details for those topics listing candidate items to be considered in the future.

If the group chooses to discuss other topics beyond those three, the AC will be informed.

Three months before the end of its first chartering period, the IG will produce a report on whether to continue the work, change it, or stop it.

Dependencies and Liaisons

W3C Groups

The TechPolig will coordinate closely with the W3C Liaisons team, and with the W3C Advisory Board.

The TechPolig doesn't have, or claim to have, any exclusivity on policy discussions within W3C, and as a matter of fact, these discussions are already happening in various W3C groups, but since the TechPolig aims at providing a central clearinghouse for external policy questions, horizontal reviews (of policy implications for W3C technical activities) and coordination will be necessary with several groups.

Examples of existing groups of particular interest for the TechPolig are: the TAG (architecture is politics), Privacy/Security (hot topics in Internet Governance debates), WAI (always relevant in public/gov policy discussions), eGov/OpenData (core technical policy), Internationalization.

External Groups

Although this is and will stay the primary role of the Liaisons staff, the TechPolig may also suggest how the W3C might coordinate with external fora and organizations where Internet and Web policy topics are being discussed, such as IGF, ISOC, NMI, GIPO, ICANN, or peer SDOs like IETF, IEEE, ISO, OASIS, etc.

We are already in liaisons or participating in those organizations, so it will be a new topic of discussions with known partners. We plan to handle these as we usually do them.


Participation in the TechPolig during its first year of activity (initial chartering period) is reserved to W3C Members.

The group will not normally include Invited Experts, but the chair(s) may invite people for a particular call, meeting or discussions.

The larger public W3C community may be invited to review documents from the TechPolig on a ad-hoc basis, after careful considerations of the confidentiality issue, and a public list will be used to collect the feedback received.

The meetings held by the TechPolig will be consistent with the W3C Process requirements for meetings.


This group primarily conducts its work on the Member-only mailing list

with a public list used to get larger community feedback if and when a document is made public .

It is expected that face-to-face meetings will take place on the order of once or twice each year, or as necessary, at the discretion of the chair(s).

Conference calls will be used as needed, at the discretion of the chair(s).

The Interest Group communicates in English.

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) is available from the Technology and Policy Interest Group home page. A public home page is also available. (BOTH PAGES NOT CREATED YET)

Decision Policy

As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. When the Chair puts a question and observes dissent, after due consideration of different opinions, the Group should summarize and report the opposing views and move on.

Patent Disclosures

The Technology and Policy Interest Group provides an opportunity to share perspectives on the topic addressed by this charter. W3C reminds Interest Group participants of their obligation to comply with patent disclosure obligations as set out in Section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy. While the Interest Group does not produce Recommendation-track documents, when Interest Group participants review Recommendation-track specifications from Working Groups, the patent disclosure obligations do apply.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the Technology and Policy Interest Group has been created according to section 5.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence..

Editor: Daniel Dardailler

$Date: 2016/08/20 14:47:44 $