c-base (Berlin) - Code of Conduct

c-base

We, the organizers and participants of CryptoParties, pledge our dedication to making our events open and welcoming to everyone who shares our guiding principles: Being excellent to each other, and doing things.

While the “doing things” is covered in our HowTo organize a CryptoParty, this code of conduct takes on the task of defining “be excellent to each other”.

Openness & Inclusiveness

We would like people to be able to teach and learn from each other regardless of background or level of expertise.

A successful CryptoParty is a CryptoParty where each person learned _and_ taught at least one new thing.

At the same time we would like people to acknowledge their differences and taking them into consideration when interacting with each other.

For example: a joke might be obviously ridiculous but funny for one person, while it is salt in an open wound for others.

Not A Safe Space :-(

Because of this openness CryptoParties may not be considered safe spaces, but what needs to set them apart from other public events is the dedication to deal with any violations of this code of conduct that will come up vigorously.

Exclusion Of Exclusion

People who act in discriminatory or otherwise excluding ways (see unacceptable behaviour for further details), and who are not able or willing to change their behaviour, may be excluded to preserve a welcoming atmosphere for everybody else.

Free Of Charge

No entry or other fees may be required to attend a CryptoParty. Donations are fine, though.

Anonymity

A registration may never be required to attend a CryptoParty. If the organizers would like the participants to register to be able to better plan ahead, it must be obvious how to do so anonymously/pseudonymously.

Accessibility

Attending a CryptoParty should not require more physical ability than navigating your city does.

That means that the venue and general organization of the event should allow for people in wheelchairs and/or with impaired eye-sight or hearing to participate in it, and use the bathrooms and other facilities of the building.

No Smoking

The venue needs to have at least one room that is smoke-free, including second-hand smoke.

No Recordings

As CryptoParties are privacy-advocating events, filming and the taking of pictures or recording of audio is prohibited.

No Hierachies

While we acknowledge the implicit and practical hierarchies and power-relations within the CryptoParty community, extra effort may be put into resolving them.

Examples of hierarchies are:

  • the people who own or rent the venue vs. the guests
  • people who teach vs. people who learn

In general, though, everybody has the same rights and responsibilities!

Licences

All content produced for or under the label “CryptoParty” needs to be released under creative commons zero (CC0, this is equivalent to public domain), or at least share-alike, attribution (CC by-sa) licence.

Handling Of Deviations

There might be circumstances where it may not be possible to guarantee all of these points, or where some may be intentionally broken, for example a CryptoParty that is filmed to document and later advertise the process.

This is ok as long as this is the exception, and as long as this deviation is made very clear in the announcements of the CryptoParty.

Also, see dogma further below.

Independence

In order to be radically open, welcoming, and inclusive, CryptoParties need to stay independent from factors that may stop people from attending in the first place:

Political

While CryptoParties are inherently political, they are independent from any political party or politics in general.

Political parties may not facilitate CryptoParties in their name.

Commercial

Companies or NGOs may not facilitate or sponsor CryptoParties in any form.

The tools recommended at CryptoParties need to be Free Software (FLOSS) and/or Open Hardware.

As a starting point, working with the software and hardware that participants already use is fine, and, to some extent, even encouraged, though.

Expected Behaviour

Be Considerate

People who participate in CryptoParties come from a diversity of backgrounds. Even if they speak the same language, they may have vastly different vocabularies. If in doubt, expect people to not know a word, and explain it or ask if further explanation is needed.

There is also differing perception of offensiveness of language. If you think your words may be perceived as offensive: Don't use them if you can. If you don't have another way of expressing yourself: Ask others to help you find better words.

This is also true for behaviour in general.

Be Helpful

If you see someone who is or who might be in distress, no matter how mild, ask if and how you can help. If you cannot act yourself, ask someone else to step in, please.

Collaborate!

We are in this together. Always. Shared joy is double the joy, shared grief half the grief.

Nobody has to be a hero, martyr, or rockstar, and you should ask others for help if you are impended to become one.

Speak Up!

Never tolerate unacceptable behaviour, but also don't forget to give a shout-out to people who do good work!

Unacceptable Behaviour

Intention and perception of speech and behaviour are always subjective, but as a general statement, we find (in alphabetical order):

  • abusive
  • derogatory or demeaning
  • discriminatory
  • harassing
  • intimidating

speech or actions unacceptable, and our understanding of harassment includes (again, in alphabetical order):

  • deliberate intimidation, stalking or following
  • harassing photography or recording
  • harmful or prejudicial verbal or written comments related to
    • disability
    • ethnicity
    • gender
    • heritage
    • neurotype
    • physical appearance
    • religion
    • sexual orientation
  • inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention
  • inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces (including presentation slides)
  • sustained disruption of talks or other events

Don't Hit On The Students!

While one of the aims of CryptoParty is to tear down walls, including those seperating teachers from students, there usually are some people at a CryptoParty that come with the clear intention to teach. This comes with a responsibility, not only by communicating clearly what your level of expertise is and what level of security students may gain by learning from you, but also considering the conflict of interest on the side of the students who are there to learn and who might be impressed by your knowledge, passion, or patience. Please don't exploit this.

Other People's Keyboards Are Lava

Don't touch anyone's keyboard, but your own. While it would be ok after asking for and gaining permission from a “don't violate people's private space” point of view, it still is bad from a didactic point of view. Even when there are weird problems with a computer, take your time to dictate and explain even complicated procedures and commands. The student will learn more, and if consequent problems arise from these actions maybe even weeks after the CryptoParty, the person who owns the computer might remember what was done, and what might be a source of a problem.

Resolving Conflict

No matter the effort you put into a nice and harmonic environment, the moment will come where two people or groups of people will be in some sort of conflict that needs explicit attention and care.

Many of these situations can be simply resolved by translating or spelling out the needs and expectations of both parties to each other as well as the events that led to the conflict.

No matter the situation, it is always good to have dedicated support for both sides of the conflict. Neither of the parties should be left alone in their struggle.

Acute violence may require the immediate removal of one or both of the parties from the situation. If both are removed at once, their safety outside of the CryptoParty environment needs to be taken into consideration.

Conflict should always be met with an assessment of

  • the concern (how grave were the (alleged) offenses? how likely is a re-occurence? who else might get affected?),
  • the opportunity for resolution and the prevention of future offenses, and
  • the capacity and resources of the people involved directly or indirectly to make use of, create, and sustain those opportunities,

and the improvement of community structures and processes accordingly.

Silent Quitting

The loose and decentralized structure of CryptoParty makes it susceptible to silent quitting: people who occasionally participated suddenly staying away. Most often this is the result of priorities and time constraints, but sometimes it is caused by discomfort in the presence of certain behaviour. There should be explicit opportunity for people to talk about this discomfort in order to resolve it. No matter how small the complaint is, please take it very seriously as it might be an indicator for deeper and more far-reaching issues!

Accountability

This code of conduct only makes sense if people are held accountable for their actions. If you don't find your grievances addressed right away, please ask for the support of people you are comfortable talking to, be it other participants, the organizers, the awareness team of your local CryptoParty, or people from the global community. If all else fails, it is also encouraged to make grievances public after having considered possible consequences for everybody involved.

You can find contact information on the pages of your local CryptoParty chapter, or on contact_addresses.

It is the responsibility of the community to take care of both the accuser as well as the accused.

Localize!

In the end the resolution of conflict is heavily dependent on culture, law, and personal capabilities to deal with it, so please extend this chapter to your needs, publish and share the results!

Decision Making / Finding Consensus

Decision making in CryptoParty is loosely based on consensus within the group of people affected by the decision.

There are many ways of finding consensus, and people are encouraged to experiment with different methods to find out what works best for them in different situations/circumstances.

If you found a good way to find consensus in your local group, please write it down, publicize, and share!

Dogma

Dogma is for the privileged. It might be necessary or even beneficial to deviate from this code of conduct for a variety of reasons, and it is ok to do so, as long as this deviation is communicated very clearly, and there are no concerns by the local and/or global community.

References / Further Reading

This code of conduct is one of many. Two very common ones that were partially used for this one are the Berlin Code of Conduct and the Geek Feminism Code of Conduct. Another code of conduct in writing that was partly inspired by this code of conduct and could in return inspire it is the xHain Code of Conduct which itself was inspired by the Sisters Uncut Code of Conduct.