Code of Conduct (the “Code”)

This page must be read together with the other parts of the Code of Conduct of the PKI Consortium.


The PKI Consortium (the “PKIC”) is comprised of a global group of professionals with differences in language, skills, expertise, experience, and backgrounds. Participants include PKIC Members and third parties (non-members). To maintain a professional and productive environment, it is necessary Participants of the PKIC to follow the letter and spirit of this Code. This Code applies to all official PKIC activities, such as meetings, teleconferences, mailing lists, conferences, and other PKIC functions. The PKIC is committed to maintaining a professional and respectful environment.

All Participant representatives are expected to behave in a collegial and professional manner in accordance with this Code. Participants will familiarize their representatives with this Code and require them to comply with the letter and spirit of this Code.


The PKIC is committed to providing a friendly, safe, and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, personal appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, religion, nationality, or other similar characteristic. The PKIC recognizes and appreciates that its participants have diverse languages, backgrounds, experience, and expertise, and expects that all participants will be treated with respect by all other participants.

  1. In connection with official PKIC activities, all PKIC participants shall:
  • Be polite, kind, and courteous to other participants, refraining from insulting remarks on the perceived intelligence or ability of others.
  • Treat fellow PKIC participants with respect, professionalism, courtesy, and reasonableness.
  • Respect that people have differences of opinion, and that there is seldom unanimous agreement on a single “correct” answer. Be willing to compromise and agree to disagree.
  1. In connection with official PKIC activities, all PKIC participants shall refrain from conduct such as:
  • Threatening violence towards anyone.
  • Discriminating against anyone on the basis of personal characteristics or group membership.
  • Harassing or bullying anyone verbally, physically, or sexually.
  • Launching barbs at others. [Note: a “barb” is an obviously or openly unpleasant or carping remark.]
  • Touching another person in a physically inappropriate way.
  • Deliberately intimidating or stalking another person (in-person, online, or by other means).
  • Inappropriately disrupting or impeding official PKIC events, including meetings, talks, and presentations. For purposes of this Code, “inappropriate disruption” would include aggressive, violent, and abusive conduct that prevents an official PKIC event from occurring or proceeding.
  • Spamming, trolling, flaming, baiting, and other similar behavior inappropriately directed towards an individual.
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.
  1. All PKIC participants should promote the rules of this Code and take action to bring discussions back into compliance with the Code whenever violations are observed.

  2. PKIC participants should stick to ideological, conceptual discussions and avoid engaging in offensive or sensitive personal discussions, particularly if they’re off topic; such personal discussions can lead to unnecessary arguments, hurt feelings, and damaged trust.


These are the policies for upholding the Code.

  1. Resist the urge to be defensive. Remember that it’s your responsibility to clearly communicate your message to your fellow participants. Everyone wants to get along and we are all in the PKIC first and foremost because we want to talk about PKI and everything that involves. Other participants will be eager to assume good intent and forgive as long as you have earned their trust.

  2. Participants should inform the Chair, Vice Chair, and/or a subcommittee or working group Chair immediately if they feel they have been, or are being, harassed or made uncomfortable by a PKIC participant. Intimidation, personal attacks, and retaliation of any kind will not be tolerated.

  3. Any PKIC participant may report, in good faith, a perceived violation of the Code to the PKIC Chair or Vice Chair, or to a subcommittee or working group Chair (each, a “Code Liaison”). One or more Code Liaison(s) will work with the reported PKIC participant to determine whether a violation of the Code has occurred and, if so, how to resolve it. Resolution may also include appropriate executives from the PKIC participant’s company, as appropriate. If the reported PKIC participant, Participant executives, and the Code Liaison(s) are unable to resolve the issue, any of the foregoing may request the assistance of a reasonably acceptable independent third party to assist with the resolution.

  4. Participants agree to take appropriate action in the event any of their representatives violate the Code. Such action could include warning, reprimanding, suspending, removing or replacing the representative who has violated the Code, depending on the severity of the violation. Depending on the number and severity of violations, the PKIC may impose consequences such as excluding a representative from certain meetings, removing or banning a representative from a (online) discussion, and suspending a representative from certain PKIC activities.

Maintaining Civil Discourse Among Participants

Members of the PKI Consortium (PKIC) wish to promote the organizations success by maintaining a constructive character in all PKIC discussions. They observe the character of some of the (online) discussions and at meetings, and conclude that sarcasm and ad hominem attacks impede progress by discouraging the sharing of ideas and encouraging the entrenchment of positions. For these reasons, the participants want to take active steps to avoid these behaviors in their own communications. It is recognized that it will be difficult to find the right balance between the need for free expression of ideas and the desire to conduct discussions with civility. Nevertheless, the members want to seek that balance.

Members have instructed the Chair and Vice Chair to monitor the character of PKIC online discussions and during virtual and in-person meetings and to admonish those who conduct themselves in a way that works against this goal.

Without exception, PKIC participants are world-class experts in many aspects of the PKIC’s work. But, none are completely informed in ALL aspects of the PKIC’s work. It is to be expected that from time to time statements may be made by participants that are either incompletely informed, are a matter of personal opinion but presented as a matter of fact, or are only be valid in a limited (but unstated) context.

Other participants should not assume the statements are the result of intellectual impairment or bad faith, and any response by a participant to such statements should make a good faith attempt to uncover the source of the misunderstanding and maintain civility.

Whenever a response from a participant clearly deviates from this objective, the Chair and Vice Chair are instructed to publicly remind the participant of the PKIC’s attitude in this regard.

Adapted from:

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