Social Web Incubator Community Group Teleconference

11 Dec 2020


rhiaro, Sebastian, Lasse, cwebber, pukkamustard, derek, joost, christina, hellekin, rysiek, michiel, gerben, Leenaars, ian, eesti, (Derek, Caelin), (Michał, "rysiek", Woźniak), (Michiel, Leenaars), (Vittorio, Bertola), (Cristina, DeLisle), cwebber2


<maymay> Hello all, I'll lurk but can't connect to audio

hi maymay, we'll have live minutes in here so hopefully that's sufficient

<maymay> Yeah, I'm always impressed with how these meetings are run

maymay and if you want to comment on something you can q up in here and type and someone will read it out

<maymay> OK thanks

<scribe> scribenick: rhiaro

joost: I am with NLNet foundation, along with michiel
... we were discussing with sebastian and chris a week ago about how to discuss proper organisaed advocacy for efforts like activitypub
... in the context of eu political efforts for interop guidelines and legislation
... some information has been announced as part of the digital services act which has politically vague statements on the roll of platforms in the digital market
... which can sometimes possibly result in actual guidelines or legislation
... the goal of this talk would be how to properly organise that
... and who will do what

sl007: you said you are unsure about the roll of platforms - was also my concern until yesterday reuters were able to obtain a leak
... a platform is defined by the amount of numbers, a huge number so it will affect only a few platforms like the only the largest ones
... which do have a state of monopoly
... and then there is a short update of german netspolitik who analyse and talk to experts
... they are also saying that probably the most powerful competitive instrument of the planned digital markets act could include the possibility of imposing regulatins on platforms for the interop of their services
... that would have immense effects on social networks
... they asked about scientific exerpts in the eu and said the experts were overwhelmly positive and the commission has been considering obligations for a long time
... [??] and confirmed this with colleagues.. it says that experts agreed strongly to compulsory interoperability
... and then yesterday morning a post popped up on the twitter blog which is a community by..

Vittorio: ... there are good chances there will be someting on interop but we don't know how strong
... there is pushback based on the fact the eu should not have the powers to put these constraints onto the market
... the act seems to be based on harmonizing between member states [??] about competition
... it's not clear what is happening, everyone who has connections ith commissioners are trying to push .. the big platforms will start saying it should be as weak as possible and not too much regulation

<sl007> https://www.reuters.com/article/eu-tech-rules-idUSKBN28K28D?taid=5fd2693b2f44a80001678ce1

<sl007> [de] https://netzpolitik.org/2020/digitale-dienste-paket-was-wir-ueber-das-neue-plattformgesetz-der-eu-wissen/

sl007: we want to speak about what tools we can use to demand, if we demand compulsory interoperability, because maybe that's something we should vote for as this CG.. we can say as the CG to the EU we've got a protocol recommended by w3c and we demand compulsory interop from you to make it a human right... then I don't know, something like this? And maybe an open letter?
... and we should all have the fediverse users to look up their faourite MPs/representatives in the monopolies, eg. on twitter and send them 'I want AP for all' and if you've got other ideas and how we can get into the process
... what I did was to speak with four different MEPs about the situation and two fo them are very open minded and because they are very into the subject
... Patrick Brier of the german pirate party
... he's also a judge, and Karen.. two more, one was a green MEP and one was from the ?? party
... we've got two big groups in the EU
... and I tried to raise awareness

hellekin: what I understand you want to do sebastian is to create activitypub EU lobby?
... which is a good idea
... I would like to discuss the possibility of extending that to free software in general
... and I'd like yous ebastian to summairse a bit what you see with the digital single market and how we are positioned there

rysiek: a short remark on the idea of sending a lot of emailt o MEPs - when we were doing activism around the copyright directive
... I spoke with a lot of MEPs and they said this is something we have to be careful about

<cwebber2> rysiek: mass mailing doesn't work anymore

<cwebber2> rysiek: it's interpreted as spam

<cwebber2> sl007: not advocating mass mailing

sl007: the fediverse is the power of humans and if we say people just look up your favourite MEP in twitter or facebook and try communication with them

rysiek: thank you

<Zakim> cwebber, you wanted to talk about activitypub specific lobby

cwebber2: not everyone was here for the last meeting - we had rough consensus on a few things
... one of them was that we wanted to advocate for a ineroperable protocol that has at least one free and open source software implementation but ideally more
... but one of the things we talked about was it would be better to give recommendations of examples rather than encoding in specific tech
... obviously I'm an AP advocate but if we had standardised in 2005 we'd have xmpp
... and tech sometimes changes, sometimes new needs appear, like e2e encryption that might not appear previously
... so the important thing is we push for an interoperable protocol but rather than a specific protocol
... but we can give strong examples of what to consider
... and the other thing that we had come up with in that set of things

ian: I had one suggestion which is that people work with national campaigning/advocacy groups that are already very involved at national and eu levels
... off the top of my headin germany there's ccc, in the netherlands there's bits of freedom, there are a range
... t here's an umbrella group in brussels called edri
... r ather than individuals building links themselves
... these activism groups already have these links
... they also have the idea of when different actions will ahve the mosti mpact
... the commission is going to publish proposals next week, it will then go to the eu parliament and member states, there will be moments where activism will have the most impact
... when meps are considering amendments to the proposals so you can maximise the impact of your actin by working with people who are tracking what is happening in brussels or in the national governments

<sl007> MEPs helping @echo_pbreyer@chaos.social / https://twitter.com/echo_pbreyer and https://twitter.com/karmel80

<maymay> (just commenting on IRC) I like the idea to push for principles rather than a specific protocol, but also see the risk that the major players just roll their own "interop" APIs that don't fulfill anybodys needs and end up with X competing protocols

<Zakim> cwebber, you wanted to talk about foo

cwebber2: we have a few things being discussed - what should be advocated for and what should we advocate

<maymay> https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/standards.png

vb: nice to see people wanting to participate but lobbying in brussels is a complex thing

<Derek_Caelin> +1 to Ian and Vittorio! Let's join the groups that have already formed

vb: i've been doing this for years and just scratched the service. the only way we can do it is via people wh have been doing it for 20 years
... I would strongly recommend that people in this group want to participate, establish the brussels meeting points for the free software comunity
... we can provide pointers for people
... we know the free software community is really diverse
... you will find big free software companies there also
... ngos that are working on this, article19, eff, we should join forces and synchronise
... this is not about sending mass emails, i's about speaking with the right people at the right time
... the ball is in the hand of the commision, it's good to start talking with MEPs but they are not taking deciisions now
... we have to make sure the initial proposal is good
... the other thing you all could do is participate in consultaitons when they get out
... they regularly get put out
... my company openexchange we make dovecot
... we submitted a technical paper showing how interop can work in messaging and other people did the same
... at the same time the regulation will not deal with specific protocols
... it will take years to get the generic regulatin approved
... then an implementation phase, with an agency tasked with defining the protocols
... and deciding which companies meet the criteria
... but that will come.. it doesn't make sense now to pint out specific protocols, except that there are technical means to do it
... if platofrms say it is not possible we can say it's not true
... I was asking derek about smes in europe making products around fediverse. they are sensitive to economy and companies
... proposals coming from pirate party or FSF, they already know what they say, you have to convince the main parties

<Derek_Caelin> If the commission is focused on companies, I wonder if entities like Framasoft (peertube) should be part of this discussion?

vb: it's good to show there are companies that create jobs around open protocols and federated services
... this helps with the conversatives especially
... they are attentive to the economy

<Derek_Caelin> For better or for worse the Fediverse doesn't really follow a traditional business model

vb: that's the thing I would suggest
... some of you could join [??]

eesti: we talked about existing ngos active in digital rights, I never thougth we don't make connections to them
... I'm active at ?? which is a member of edri(?) and also active in CCC
... they never will focus on activitypub or the fediverse they already have this topics of interoperability as a side note and some of their papers
... some of their policy papers but they never will have.. not enough to just engage with them, we also have to do things on our own

cwebber2: somethign we didn't do - these meetings are supposed to only be happenign with members of the social CG.. we pulled in a bunch of people and now we've got people here who are not officially in the social CG
... here is how you can join

<cwebber2> https://www.w3.org/community/wp-login.php?redirect_to=%2Fcommunity%2Fsocialcg%2Fjoin

cwebber2: here is a URL ^
... I request that you join, the reason is that this protects us from patent issues. it's less risky today because we're talking about policy, but for technical conversations it's important

<Derek_Caelin> this page links to a login page

cwebber2: it's a straightforward process

sl007: I wanted to reply to vittorio.. what eesti said, if we approach businesses and ngos and interop is a sidenote, is my impression as well
... I've tried to invite edri(?) to 12 activitypub meetings/conferences and also political discussions
... that really gave me the impression that they don't carea bout interoperability
... privacy is their concern, which is fine
... and I would like to raise awareness that we are all volunteers and we can't probably do it in a very professional way
... about reaching the different parties, that's what I tried to do
... there were 5 politicians of 5 different parties
... I did not approach the conservatives yet
... if we all somehow approach people we somehow know or friends know I'm sure this can work
... the cheif of internet ofthe council of europe dr sylvia gruntmann flew to dortmand to an indiewebcamp just ot learn about open protocols
... there are some persons who do care
... about the open letter, should we write a draft?

<hellekin> +1

sl007: I can do it with whoever wants

<Zakim> cwebber, you wanted to discuss "which companies", and self-hosting

<joostagterhoek> +1

cwebber2: the bit about regulators looking at companies... they will start focussing on which companies are qualified to do these things.. there was an ack that part of the prolem is that self hosters and community run instances tend to fly under the radar
... I think the main thing we really want to be careful about in some of this legislation is that most legislation assumes that the only way to do things is with big players
... big players, the current structure of twitter and so on are the only way that many people can imagine because they ahven't been exposed to anything else
... the other thing is not accidentally creating a regulatory moat
... where you've created regulations that only large players can participate in
... that would be very ironic because it might actualy cut out some of the most viable paths to accomplishing what the regulation actually wants t do

<Zakim> hellekin, you wanted to comment on FOSDEM - OFFDEM this year

cwebber2: [??] community is just as important or mayb eeven more imporatn

hellekin: the eu asked amazon, facebook and google and microsoft to figure out a law for content and they came up with this time based restriction
... if you don't ut out the content within one hour you can be liable
... which is not possible for small players
... had they asked for the community we would have come up with a number of views based regulation
... I wanted to notify vittorio that as we did last year during fosdem we will do offdem
... last year we had parallel small events where the AP community gathered as well
... we will repeat the event this year
... if you want to come to brussels youc an
... and since fossdemw ill not be happening physically that means we're not tied to specific place close to the university
... we already have a huge place

<maymay> In case not everyone is aware, IMO the risk is that we end up with something like https://datatransferproject.dev/

hellekin: offdem will happen, I'll keep youp osted

<Zakim> cwebber, you wanted to try to talk about actionable paths: a set of goals and a set of organization-paths

cwebber2: we only have 20 mins left
... this is a set of topics that everyone could talk about all day
... but we want to try to move to actions
... I percieve two things that I'd like to get out of this meeting
... one is where and under what structures are we organising

<maymay> (so it will be important to talk about the difference between interop/federation vs just data portability)

cwebber2: two: what are we organising to do
... I suspect 2 is easier to fill than 1
... so I want to focus on 1
... I would like everyone who has a path they'd like to talk about to q up just to mention that

ian: work with organisations as vittorio said that know how politics in brussels work
... it is very complicated
... it's really hard to know who are the right people to talk to at which point in the process to achieve what
... you're unlikely to achieve much if you don't do that

<Zakim> hellekin, you wanted to comment on SocialHub and PUBLIC

<hellekin> https://socialhub.activitypub.rocks https://love.public.cat/

<michiel> The wrong kind of advocacy actually works antagonistically, it can also do damage

hellekin: to mention that we've been orgnansing on the social web and there's also something calld public(?) that's a libre ifrastructure consortium
... which is about european advoacy for free software

<cwebber2> michiel: you are right, mind queuing yoursel to say that?

hellekin: a number of people are, 43, following this, but nothing really happened so far
... it's open

<cwebber2> I think I'll allow that to be sandwiched in-between, as moderator ;)

<michiel> I'll queue at the end

hellekin: Links ^

<hellekin> see also https://ps.zoethical.org/g/Migrators

sl007: my question is .. the structure in the W3C, since we are a CG within W3C we basically have no official voice. Is there any process who is discussing policy issues like this?
... the other question is who could do what?
... researching policies or public relations, who to speak to whom
... also what vittorio and others, if we organise with businesses, who could speak with what business

cwebber2: I don't have an answer.. I suspect the person who does best is amy

<cwebber2> rhiaro: unfortunately I don't really have an answer either... there's often policy discussion amongst AC reps, but there's not a lot of actions that come from that because the W3C focuses on technical specs

treora: I agreed and appreciate what vittoria and ian said, to talk to politicians about how brussels work. I moved to brussels 2 years ago and still don't know
... trying to get people who are on the fediverse, getting themt o know aout the political things that are going on
... sometimes when I go to events in brussels, people like ?? ... tells me you can tell me it's important but we don't see any requests about it from the population
... maybe some people care but as long as there's no movement that demands these things it's hard to defend doing this
... besides talking to politicians it's good if there's more people talking about it on all social media
... anything that makes more people care is contributing to the cause

michiel: two things.. to put in a path
... the path is not to allow the mainstream social corporate media to remain in place, but to create an even playing field by having them removed because they're under legal attack and also under cnsiderabe ethical issues
... to action from having all of these removed from public authority

<hellekin> +1

<cwebber2> that's an interesting suggestion

michiel: to have eu removed from facebook and from twitter and no longer endorsing it and then to renew the grounds and start back filling it up with the obvious candidate to take that roll is to have something with a w3c standard behind it

<cwebber2> forcing the government to dogfood a decentralized approach

michiel: [??] too single minded in sending messages

<cwebber2> though it could possibly backfire in one way

michiel: people who feel attacked and are annoyed and stop listening to other people because people get associated with those people
... I'd be careful with just randomly pushing people and trying to [???]

cwebber2: having governments eat their own dogfood oftheir regulation by withdarwing from centralised platforms
... could be a step in the right direction
... but could be wrong by us ecoming the centralized platform..
... we'v ementioned a number of different paths here and a few different organising institutions
... I thought that joost has mentioned something... we do need to find a place.. we've got a number of directions
... how should this group of peoplecontinue to organise
... the socialcg was originally a pace for technical discussions
... I don't believe tech and policy are separate
... but I'm not sure whether or not this needs to be spun out into a subgroup
... it probably is helpful to get a poll, are people interested in continued conversations?
... where do people want to organise followup *action*?

joostagterhoek: these meetings are very insightful to get everyone's perspective
... which is useful but to set specific goals or tasks of how to approach such a topic in an organised way in a collaborative space

<hellekin> 0 -- We should bring this to another organization since it's not specifically about ActivityPub development.

joostagterhoek: could be a good way to keep in touch with what everyone is doing
... and a log of what was being discussed
... take that discussion and put it into tasks anda ssign responsibility for each task

<michiel> Internet Society might be interested

cwebber2: creatinga task list and [??]
... who monitors the task list
... taking on that role could be an intense hobby or a full time job..
... michiel suggested internet society I dont know much about them

sl007: I would be interested in ian brown's perspective on what would be the perfect place to organise this

vb: to cmment, the internet society is already interested int he topic, but still working out a position

<michiel> Internet Society has European chapters

vb: they were not completely in favour of this, as not as much as the european people, but now it's becoming more favourable, but very heavily influenced by american oranisation members
... this topic has been pushed by european members
... agree this is very time consuming
... there are very few paid policy peple in european free software community
... we need if there are some organisations to stay in the loop, and have orgs as signature of documents to send to the european commission
... we've been doing this
... a way to stay in the loop
... if people have time there are lists to join

<treora> regarding “we’ve been doing this”, the most recent letter: https://www.article19.org/resources/open-letter-eu-commissioners-interoperability/

vb: the final option is to form an informal group or policy group pro openness, very informal, and sign stuff with that name

<hellekin> Migrators group was created just for that

<Loqi__> EU: Open letter EU Commissioners on interoperability requirements

cwebber2: the group which succeeds here would have to be one that would be.. who is stepping up to organise the next few meetings out from this one?

ian: thinking about timing
... vittorio earlier was right to say the key moments here when it comes to activitypub may be several years in th efuture
... they certainly will be after next year, as the eu parliament starts debating the proposals the commision is supposed to publish next week
... it's extraordinarily unlikely that the legislation itself will point at specific technical standards
... legislation only changes na decade scale
... what is most likely is the legislation will at a very high level say these large companeis must support or enable interoperability, and leave it at that
... and leave it up to national regulators
... then will those competition authrities take legal action against them?
... as we're seeing right now in the US for different reasons..
... if it goes further than that it might say here's a process by which the european commission can identify standards
... and AP might be one of those
... I've written two reports on this topic, which I said there - EU standards have tended to come out of very government focussed standard bodies
... here AP and AS2 would be an obvious place for government authorities to point at
... that probably would not happen for several years from now, this is a long game
... in terms of where people could coordinate, I'm sure that me and vitorrio and gerben would be happy to keep anyone on this group interested up to date on what is happening month by month

<Derek_Caelin> Yes please!

ian: and to thinka bout ways when specific issues are coming up like signing letters or speaking at meetings to persuade MEPs to look at the issue next year we could coordinate again

cwebber2: we are over time
... we have two things that need to happen right now
... everyone here has a pretty good idea of what ought to be happening..
... in the meanwhile nobody has given an alternative place to coordinate so the socialcg is probably sitll the bes tplace
... my challenge is somebody come up with a better place at the next socialcg
... I'd like it to come from someone who is already doing the work
... that is my request
... who is alrady doing the work who says we are aware of the socialcg and pull in those people so we can have a community oriented intpu into the proceses that are happening
... that's my challenge to you all
... meanwhile we need to figure out when we're going to meet next

<hellekin> +1

<joostagterhoek> +1

<cwebber2> +1

cwebber2: +1 or -1 to say whether or not you think we need to have af ollowup meeting

<Derek_Caelin> +1

<sl007> +1

cwebber2: especially about where to organise our work

<michiel> +1

<rysiek> +1

<Zakim> hellekin, you wanted to comment on following up with email on public.cat

<Cristina> +1

hellekin: I'm ready to open a group specificaly with the people who are here so we can follow up organisation by email
... if you like this idea send me your email via any way you can think of
... I put mine here

<hellekin> how@zoethical.com

cwebber2: we'll figure out the next time on socialhub

<michiel> Thanks!

cwebber2: thanks everyone!

<joostagterhoek> Thanks Amy!

<rysiek> thanks, Amy!

<Cristina> thanks, Amy!

<michiel> I would suggest changing the email address to to something that is spam harvesting proof

<joostagterhoek> Silvia Grundmann = Silvia Grundmann

thanks joostagterhoek

<sl007> thanks rhiaro thanks joostagterhoek

<sl007> Forum https://socialhub.activitypub.rocks

<sl007> Link to the Paper of Ian Brown https://www.openforumeurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Ian_Brown_Interoperability_for_competition_regulation.pdf

Summary of Action Items

Summary of Resolutions

[End of minutes]

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Default Present: rhiaro, Sebastian, Lasse, cwebber, pukkamustard, derek, joost, christina, hellekin, rysiek, michiel, gerben, Leenaars, ian, eesti, (Derek, Caelin), (Michał, "rysiek", Woźniak), (Michiel, Leenaars), (Vittorio, Bertola), (Cristina, DeLisle)
Present: rhiaro Sebastian Lasse cwebber pukkamustard derek joost christina hellekin rysiek michiel gerben Leenaars ian eesti (Derek Caelin) (Michał "rysiek" Woźniak) (Michiel Leenaars) (Vittorio Bertola) (Cristina DeLisle) cwebber2
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