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Subject: Re: [emergency] Re: [oasis-board-comment] Re: [emergency] Objections toDHS-Dictated Material in the IPAWS Profile Draft

Agreed, Art,

Let's stick to issues.


At 7:54 PM -0800 2/15/09, Art Botterell wrote:
>Rex, I'm afraid this may be a bit of a red herring.  No one has 
>suggested that the TC process isn't being followed.  The questions 
>facing us have to do with whether including this particular outside 
>material in a Committee Draft is appropriate or wise.  As best I can 
>tell, the TC process is silent on that question.
>Separately the Board may or may not want to take up some other 
>OASIS-wide issues having to do with the prudence of entering into 
>undisclosed side-contracts with members, and with whether the 
>existing TC process is really adequate in light of this peculiar 
>experience.  However, those aren't questions for the TC, and I trust 
>we won't allow ourselves to be distracted from the real issue before 
>- Art
>Art Botterell, Manager
>Community Warning System
>Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
>50 Glacier Drive
>Martinez, California 94553
>(925) 313-9603
>fax (925) 646-1120
>>>>  Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com> 02/15/09 7:38 PM >>>
>Hi Bob,
>To the best of my knowledge the TC Process is being followed. In
>addition we have sought OASIS guidance on these topics. Since I am
>not a co-chair of the Subcommittee formed to address the CAPv1.1
>IPAWS Profile, nor am I an officer of the TC, I don't believe I
>should be answering for the SC or the TC so I am copying the SC and
>TC mailing lists with this reply.
>Best Regards,
>At 7:53 PM -0500 2/15/09, Bob Freund wrote:
>>Is the TC Process being followed?
>>On Feb 15, 2009, at 7:42 PM, Rex Brooks wrote:
>>>Thanks Renato,
>>>Good to know.
>>>At 10:14 AM +1000 2/16/09, Renato Iannella wrote:
>>>>I fully support Art's comments below.
>>>>I must also inform you that this is one of the reason's why I did
>>>>not recommend that NICTA continue its membership of OASIS.
>>>>Cheers...  Renato Iannella
>>>>On 15 Feb 2009, at 05:49, Art Botterell wrote:
>>>>>Friends -
>>>>>If you look at this 71-page document you'll see that almost two-thirds
>>>>>of it isn't OASIS work-product at all.  The actual draft Profile,
>>>>>including an appendix created by the CAP Profiles Subcommittee, makes up
>>>>>only 25 pages.  The other 46 pages, Appendix B, are actually a
>>>>>separate--and in many ways contradictory--document created by the U.S.
>>>>>Department of Homeland Security.
>>>>>I believe that including that non-OASIS content in our draft for public
>>>>>review is unnecessary, confusing, risky and ultimately damaging to the
>>>>>credibility of the OASIS process and this Technical Committee.  I also
>>>>>believe it's against the public interest, as I'll discuss in a moment.
>>>>>It's UNNECESSARY because the same DHS document is already referenced and
>>>>>linked in section 1.5, "Non-Normative References," along with several
>>>>>other references that weren't included in full.  There is no need under
>>>>>the OASIS process for us to include this language in full either. 
>>>>>simplicity, if for no other reason, we shouldn't obfuscate our document
>>>>>with a large block of redundant material, particularly if we're serious
>>>>>about seeking meaningful public review and comment.
>>>>>It's CONFUSING because although the DHS material purports to be a
>  >>>>requirements document, it's actually written in the form of a fairly
>>>>>detailed specification, one that contradicts the draft OASIS Profile on
>>>>>a number of very significant points and goes far beyond it on others.
>>>>>Putting that conflicting material in an appendix and labeling it
>>>>>non-normative can't offset the overwhelming fact that it still would
>>>>>comprise the largest part of the document.   And including a mass of
>  >>>>extraneous and inconsistent material in the draft can't help but muddy
>>>>>the public comment process.
>>>>>It's RISKY because we're being drawn into uncharted legal and procedural
>>>>>waters. The traditional role of OASIS has been to generate voluntary
>>>>>standards that folks can use or choose not to use.  But here we're being
>>>>>asked by DHS/FEMA to conduct what they've told us on several occasions
>>>>>they plan to treat as the public review component of a federal
>>>>>regulatory process, one that will have significant financial and
>>>>>political implications on a number of industries, jurisdictions and
>>>>>other stakeholders.  That's a very different activity, and not one I
>>>>>think most OASIS members contemplated when they joined the organization.
>>>>>Although we may hear opinions on the subject, the fact is that we
>>>>>simply can't know what sorts of liabilities, legal expenses or other
>>>>>ramifications might arise from such an undertaking, not only for OASIS
>>>>>but also for the individual members of this TC.
>>>>>And it's potentially DAMAGING to OASIS and the OASIS standards process
>>>>>because it creates an appearance that OASIS and particularly the
>>>>>Emergency Management Technical Committee are no longer independent and
>>>>>honest arbiters but now merely agents of the U.S. government.  (That
>>>>>impression can only be deepened by the fact that the chair and most of
>>>>>the members of the CAP Profiles Subcommittee... and many if not most of
>>>>>the active members of the EM TC... are themselves DHS/FEMA contractors
>>>>>or subcontractors.  And further, that OASIS itself has entered into a
>>>>>side contract with DHS.)  We've historically heard complaints from
>>>>>international members that this TC is excessively U.S.-oriented; we
>>>>>don't need to add fuel to that fire.
>>>>>So why is Appendix B in there?  Not in support of the OASIS process,
>>>>>clearly.  It's there, I'd suggest, because OASIS has been recruited,
>>>>>perhaps unwittingly, into a radical experiment in the privatization of
>>>>>federal regulation launched under the previous Administration. 
>>>>>And that
>>>>>experiment is now being pressed headlong to completion before the new
>>>>>Administration has a chance to consider it.
>>>>>That's a strong claim, I know, and the mechanics of such things may be
>>>>>unfamiliar to many OASIS members, so please bear with me while I expand
>>>>>on it a bit.
>>>>>The C
>>>>>AP IPAWS Profile will ultimately be binding on the radio, TV,
>>>>>satellite, cable and cellular telephone industries, among others, and on
>>>>>state and local jurisdictions nationwide.  Historically, such federal
>>>>>regulations have gone through mature and well-defined procedures for
>>>>>open public comment and review managed, in this particular subject area,
>>>>>by the Federal Communication Commission.
>>>>>However, in June 2006 an Executive Order (EO 13407) made the Department
>>>>>of Homeland Security the lead agency for public warning, with the FCC,
>>>>>NOAA and other federal agencies tasked to support DHS.  Being quite a
>>>>>young federal agency, as such things go, DHS... of which FEMA is now a
>>>>>department... has not had time to develop fully its own processes for
>>>>>developing regulations.
>>>>>In the case of the cellular alerting program (and with a bit of prodding
>>>>>by way of congressional legislation) DHS partnered with the FCC in 2007
>>>>>and 2008 to conduct an advisory committee process followed by two cycles
>>>>>of rulemaking with formal public comment and reply-comment processes.
>>>>>But in the case of IPAWS, which is meant to integrate multiple public
>>>>>warning systems (EAS, cellular, NOAA Weather Radio and others) into a
>  >>>>single coordinated national capability, DHS has taken a different and
>>>>>much less collaborative approach.  They've hired contractors, most of
>>>>>them with little or no experience in public warning, and developed a
>>>>>detailed set of technical specs, and then pressed OASIS to cover those
>>>>>specifications with a veneer of public review by slipping it into our
>>>>>document as an appendix.
>  >>>>
>>>>>Meanwhile, DHS has proceeded separately through its "Practitioner
>>>>>Working Group" to solicit comments on... and thus build stakeholder
>>>>>investment in... their own version of the Profile.  So it seems
>>>>>reasonable to question whether DHS actually is committed to the OASIS
>>>>>process, or whether they may simply be using OASIS to create, if not a
>>>>>rubberstamp endorsement of their own agenda, then at least an illusion
>>>>>of public and expert review of a document we've actually found to have a
>>>>>number of serious shortcomings.
>>>>>In short, we need to consider the possibility that OASIS is being used
>>>>>in an attempt to shortcut the regulatory process and reduce the
>>>>>transparency of government.
>>>>>The justification that we're including this appendix as "a service to
>>>>>the users" is both transparent and irrelevant.  Including an appendix
>>>>>that explicitly contradicts the actual OASIS recommendation is hardly
>>>>>doing anyone a service.  And in any event, nothing prevents DHS from
>>>>>publishing any additional information it deems beneficial or necessary
>>>>>by its own means.  Ultimately the CAP Profile will only be one part of
>>>>>the regulatory framework required for IPAWS.
>>>>>In summary, then:  There's no compelling reason under the OASIS process
>>>>>for including the confusing, contradictory and extraneous material in
>>>>>Appendix B, and a number of important reasons not to.
>>>>>I hope you'll join me in acting prudently on Tuesday to remove this
>>>>>unnecessary appendix from the draft before it hopelessly confuses the
>>>>>public review process and perhaps permanently damages our reputations as
>>>>>advocates of an open standards process.
>>>>>And there's no need for haste here, except perhaps on the part of some
>>>>>of the DHS bureaucracy.  The IPAWS program has been ongoing for at least
>>>>>four years; we've been involved for less than ten weeks.  And DHS
>>>>>representatives have already advised us that they plan to come back with
>>>>>amended or additional requirements in the foreseeable future.  So please
>>>>>don't be swayed by any implication that we're somehow obliged to release
>>>>>this document prematurely.
>>>>>- Art
>>>>>To unsubscribe from this mail list, you must leave the OASIS TC that
>>>>>generates this mail.  Follow this link to all your TCs in OASIS at:
>>>>To unsubscribe from this mail list, you must leave the OASIS TC that
>>>>generates this mail.  Follow this link to all your TCs in OASIS at:
>>>Rex Brooks
>>>President, CEO
>>>Starbourne Communications Design
>>>GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison
>>>Berkeley, CA 94702
>>>Tel: 510-898-0670
>>>To unsubscribe, e-mail: oasis-board-comment-unsubscribe@lists.oasis-open.org
>>>For additional commands, e-mail:
>>Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:smime 1001.p7s (    /    ) (0135EDFE)
>Rex Brooks
>President, CEO
>Starbourne Communications Design
>GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison
>Berkeley, CA 94702
>Tel: 510-898-0670
>To unsubscribe from this mail list, you must leave the OASIS TC that
>generates this mail.  Follow this link to all your TCs in OASIS at:

Rex Brooks
President, CEO
Starbourne Communications Design
GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison
Berkeley, CA 94702
Tel: 510-898-0670

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