K-PACK Transcripts of 23 Feb '96 session. ================================= K-PACK February 23, 2024 CM: February 23, a couple of minutes after noon. This is Paul Karol speaking. Harry Paxton Linda Argote Bob Kraut David Banks Ed Clarke CM: We're going to finish up the check list. DB: Right. CM: I had a couple questions I wanted to back up on. Do you have a preference which way you would like to proceed? DB: it's your choice. Having looked at the first transcript, it seemed to me that we might avoid problems to be assured that we would be able to finish today, if I wrote up a statement that I think answers the questions you had on the check list. So I can distribute that, I've made copies for everybody, you can read that as an alternative. if you've got questions why don't you do that now. In some sense this has gotten entered into the record officially when I handed it to you. So you can read it on your own time if that's necessary and call me back for questions, if you want to find out more about it. CM: My questions arose in reviewing the previous transcript, at least things that I was unclear on, or we were all unclear on. We now know that, Serb and Rimm met with Flores unbeknownst to you, and yet it seems that Flores didn't know anything about the proposal even much later on. Do you have any sense at all what they might have been meeting with him about? DB: I can only conjecture and I don't know. CM: And there was a note about a second meeting of just Rimm with the dept. Of justice over spring break. DB: My understanding is that Rimm returned from spring break in 1995, saying that he had met with the DoJ over the break and he wanted to move forward in seeking funding. CM: Okay, he didn't amplify on that, other than he just said that he had met with them. DB: There were details. He said that the DoJ had told him that we would need to file a request to find out, to determine whether or not the databases that they had seized contained the type of information that we would be able to analyze. And without that request they could not even begin to consider funding a project in this area. Rimm also had specific information about, I think, the wild cat platform or something, that is apparently is used by one of the pornographers whose log files had been seized. And there were technical questions about how the data in a wild cat platform might be organized, but I don't know what's involved there. CM: The only other item I want to return to ... Was when we were discussing whether or not the DoJ might be interested in the software that had been developed. And you gave a clear answer, but in rereading it, I realized you were answering what I was not asking properly. (laughter) you answered very well about the parsing technique or, and the verification of it, or the descriptions that were downloaded. Where I was asking about was the scheme for getting at the profiles. DB: Okay, can you please repeat your question, so I'm sure I understand. CM: Okay, the question is: is there a possibility that the Dept. of Justice could really have been very interest in the parsing routine for getting into what should be anonymous profiles, but were apparently not anonymous profiles of individual users at Carnegie Mellon. Not that their interested in Carnegie Mellon, but just in the whole idea that a its software package like this was developed. DB: I'm afraid I still don't quite understand the question, because I don't see any way that a parser would be useful in hacking somebody's files. CM: It may be a poor choice of term, maybe you can even help me out here. CM: I think that it would be some type of program for searching the directories for the, for the .ams information that your talking about automatically. DB: Okay. The parser, the one that was written would have been of no value in that because the parser classifies captions. And the information that would be available in the ams. profile would be only that on a certain date somebody accessed this particular bulletin board, and it would say nothing about a caption that could be useful in, for the parser. CM: Alright, that's why I was after, was the latter. I'm not interested in the caption. I'm interested in now a piece of software that can find out who is accessing certain bulletin boards. And knowing who these people are. That's what I was asking, is the dept. Of justice perhaps interested in something like that. DB: They never expressed anything like that to me and I don't think that such a thing could be done without a court order or without very much more sophisticated hackers than I can imagine. I mean, the only reason that Sirbu and Rimm were able to get into the ams.profile files at CMU was the fact that, for reasons that I do not understand, nobody had closed the backdoor. The default study was world? Readable rather than private. And if it had been switched the other way and something like 11% of the files were, they wouldn't be hackable even by any event code that the DoJ might have, that I could imagine. CM: Those are my odds and ends. I don't know if anybody else has some odds and ends. CM: I have one question which I'm not ... The paper or whatever Rimm submitted to you for a grade and the paper that Sirbu, he submitted to Sirbu, presumably for a different grade, did you ever see these two side by side? DB: The paper that used at the basis for grading was the draft of his paper which had been ... CM: The one that went to the gl ... ? DB: The one that had been accepted by the _Georgetown_Law_... CM: I see. You don't know this maybe, but it is conceivable that Sirbu also used that as for grading. Or even ... DB: No, I wouldn't ... I imagine that that's probably true, but I do not know. CM: So he may have got a little bit of double dipping in there. DB: I would not be surprised, but Sirbu and I never discussed how his course was being graded. CM: OK, that was just a clarification. DB: Of course. CM: I had also promised to verify with SURG that you were not indeed Rimm's advisor and they did confirm that. DB: Yes, in fact I happened to find a copy of the letter that I don't ... I presume this was sent to the second committee of inquiry, but I don't know that officially and there's nothing on this paper that indicates that. But, it is a note from Jessie Ramey which substantiates that point. Would you like a copy? CM: Sure. [long pause] okay, do you want to proceed with the discussion. We were up to items f and g. Which we so cutely call effigy in the transcript ... [laughter] ... I'm sorry. CM: I couldn't translate everything that was wrong, but .. This one I managed. DB: Surely, let me start and mention that there were errors in the transcript of the second of February. And on page 3, line 4 "they didn't ask me" should be changed to "they did ask me" ... On page 4 line 14th from the bottom ... "Vilani" should be "Irani" ... Page 5 lines -12 and -13 you just addressed. That was the question about SURG offices ... Who was in charge of the SURG project ... Page 7 line 20 from the bottom the attribution "Dave" in the paragraph is not correct. I'm the speaker. I don't know what was being said there but I was speaking to the rest of you. Nobody addressing me on this. I was basically telling you that if you requested, you could reconstruct the entire email record from everybody by ... Asking the appropriate people in academic computing to recover the tapes. Not quite everything, but you can get a pretty fine construction. On page 10 line 8 "the only data set that hadn't been acquired" should be īthe only data set that had been acquired." And those are the only sort of substantial errors that I saw. There were three small comments mostly responding to your questions, Ed from the last meeting which I though I would just, sort of, nail down because they had been left hanging. You wanted to know the date of the last piece of correspondence in my response to the committee of inquiry. I'm sorry it wasn't more strictly chronological. That was a floating piece, that was not cced to me, it was sort of hanging in my files. But if you look at the first paragraph, I'm thanking Sirbu for a Quaker? To an article and that replies to Sirbu's message of June 28. And Sirbu's message to me of July 14 refers back to my concern that Rimm had lied to us. And so it had to have gone between those dates and I'm moderately confident that it actually came within 2 day of the 28th message. June 28th message. I'm not sure this is important, but you wanted to know when the undergraduates had contacted me about the morality of my involvement with the DoJ project. I had thought it was October, but actually it was a little bit earlier than that it was September the 15th and their first message cites Thomas' post to the Hoffman/Novak cyberporn debate page. And I didn't tell them anything except that I wasn't allowed to answer, but I didn't believe that I had done anything wrong. The third point that I wanted to ... I felt that some of the first committee of the investigation's charges were wildly off base. And a particular example that I mentioned in conversation last time was the basis for accusation E.2.7, the seventh subcharge under E.2. And in that subcharge, they claim that Rimm suggests that the people who block their files are pedophiles, block access to their computer files are pedophile, and this sincerely bothered me because when you go back and you read footnote 30 in Rimm's paper it reads precisely, "While there is no evidence to suggest that usenet and internet users who block monitoring of their accounts access pornography more frequently that those who do not, one also cannot assume that a notable difference does not exist." Poor writing, but not wrong. This is especially true in the context of pedophilia and child pornography, consumption, preferential molesters, pedophiles with a true sexual attraction to children frequently employ innovative mechanisms to evade discovery, as discovery will likely lead to incarceration, and he sights some literature that supports that. it would take an incredibly twisted reading of the text in footnote 30 to deduce the charge in E.2.7. And I know that I saw that charge in the, I think, original Hoffman-Novak critique, and it seems that the CoI just sort of threw every charge that had been made publicly into the boiler and just passes them forward undeliberatively. And I think that that is a very bad thing to do. CM: If we put that charge in a broader context and perhaps even remove you from the issue entirely, what do you think the opening part of the sentence "this is especially true in the case of " does, what it means, what is "this is especially true" referring to? DB: "This is especially true" that people who are engaged in pedophilia might try to cover their tracks. I mean that is not surprising. I don't see anything in the plain English reading of that sentence that suggests that people who block their accounts are child molesters, which is exactly the charge that's made. I realize that it's not well written. I'm not defending it, I had nothing to do with it. But I am saying that is bothers me, that you're sort of scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with ... with charges. CM: I don't want dwell on it too much. But I was .. I [Lost piece of tape. 30 Seconds (timed).] CM: .... he's trying to influence the reader DB: I don't disagree that he's tried to influence the reader. But, if he's deditatively? correct and, I mean he's an undergraduate, he writes badly, and he wants to hype this in the greatest possible way, but to distort the plain English is, I think, very bad. I mean, good heavens if I were to look at the first paper that you ever wrote, Paul, and try to pick at the pieces about word choices and what you might have suggested to the reader's mind, I don't know. I don't like Rimm and I don't want to defend him but I, I think there is enough other stuff that's clearly wrong, that to pull these things forward is unworthy of the process. CM: OK let's step back to you now. and away from management. DB: OK, let me see. I had gone through ... what's written here is, I hope, a far more articulate account than I discover that I give from the first transcript, but I went through charges A, B, C, D and I was in E when we finished. Charge E pertains to poor writing in analysis including errors in sampling, coding, analyze, interpreting the findings and the literature. And as my format throughout this write up goes, I first defend myself against misconduct and secondly I talk about good judgment. The defense against misconduct is that I did not write the paper. I was not the advisor in charge of its preparation. Given that the paper more than double in size after I was dismissed. Given that the statistical content was mostly removed. Given that I saw no copy of the paper during the 6 month of rewrites before it was published. I don't see that I can accept any responsibility for the content, clarity or word choice that appeared. Additionally, many of the deficiencies named by the committee of investigation, committee of inquiry seem insupportable and ???? have been copied without evaluation from the criticism, some of which are blatantly wrong, unreasonable or perhaps are purely political, that appeared in the media. And, specifically, may I refer to points 1, 3 and 5 on page 14 if the Committee of inquiry report. and a more detailed response to these points appears in the larger document which I have already provided to you. One of these points is the one we just addressed. Argument for good judgment, I strongly oppose the media hype tone and sloppy language of the paper. My comments on these points in each of the 4 meetings and on the drafts that I reviewed were largely ignored. At one point I had repeated myself so often that I said I was beginning to feel like Cato the elder and I think that's odd enough that somebody might remember it if you wanted to ask them. I apprised Sirbu of my concern about the quality of the writing on multiple occasions, the last of which was in our meeting with John Lehoczky on Feb. 21, in 1995. Most of these problems would have been corrected if the paper had been submitted to a referee process and distributed in draft form to the many interested parties. I learned that paper was not to be refereed when Sirbu and Rimm made their conference call to me at midnight of Nov. 29, the day before I was dismissed form the project, ordering me to cancel my talk the following afternoon. My immediate reply was the 25 year old law student editors are not competent to referee the paper, Sirbu disagreed, saying that many law student pursuing a second career, my letter to Sirbu of Dec. 1 reprises my arguments for referees and a conventionally open academic handling of the paper. my opposition to the embargo was so strenuous that it got me removed from the project. CM: Let me interrupt this, you just touched a point that I really want to question you about, and make sure that I understood what you said and I think I do because you just repeated it. You're saying that both Martin and Margin called you up at midnight, roughly, to get you to stop. DB: AHD, yes ... it was a conference call. CM: It was a conference call. I wasn't sure that I understood that. Any other questions about part e? DB: Charge F. Violations regarding preparation: preparing the manuscripts, submitting it to journals, consultation with colleagues, and dissemination, including giving appropriate credit and attribution to person and literature, identifying specific sources at the point of reference and more generally. The defense against misconduct. There are several surcharges here, media hype, lack of peer review, absence of open communication under the embargo, plagiarism and deception of colleagues. Rimm's arrogation of CMU's name to enhance prestige, use of the work of others, the example in the charge is legal footnotes, and failure to cite the work of others. And of these, the first three are not ground for an academic misconduct charge, hyping it to the media, getting a paper through without peer review, and absence of open communication are certainly very bad things to do, but they aren't criminal misconduct, in my understanding. I was not aware of Mehta and Plaza's work, nor of Napjus's, so the fourth and seventh charges are not pertinent to me. The failure to cite the contribution of the author of the legal footnotes is not clearly misconduct. I have provided extensive statistical contributions to many projects, and received no acknowledgment, and in any case, it has nothing to do with my involvement. The argument for good judgment is this area is that as previously noted, I have documentation and witnesses that I opposed the hype, the lack of peer review, the absence of open communication and it led directly to my dissociation from the project. I knew nothing of the plagiarism. Early in my participation I asked Rimm to list all the previous work in the area, both on the pornography side and the Internet bulletin board side, and got what I believed to be a complete list, which speaks to my good judgment. The CoI report gives conflicting dates on Rimm's contacts with Mehta, and one version of those dates, it says, would be after I had separated from the project. If the other version is correct, then I might have to speak to why I didn't know about Mehta's stuff, but I just never heard of it. Regarding Rimm's referral to the CMU team, this is a feature of his writing that I asked him to change. He told me that he wanted to make sure that he was properly according credit to the entire team since so many had contributed to the final work. He also felt the use of personal pronouns in scholarly writing was bad form. He didn't want to say I did this, he wanted to say the team did this. It is my understanding that Don Hale's office encouraged Rimm's conflation of himself with CMU until immediately after the publicity turned negative. Hale gave Rimm an office in their own building and access to phones and faxes and stuff like that. Also, I believe Erwin Steinberg appeared on the same _Nightline_ show that interviewed Rimm, which emphasized CMU's willingness to be publicly identified with Rimm's work. And certainly Lazarus had supported that as well, so if Lazarus, Steinberg, and Hale were all agreeable to this, I think it hypocritical to prosecute me. My chief concern about the legal footnotes was that I was not competent to assess their quality and knew nothing about their contributor. I raised this issue with Sirbu, when I first saw the legal footnotes, both when they first appeared and in my letter of Dec. 1, and I think I also mentioned it in the meeting with John Lehoczky and Sirbu on Feb. 21, but I could be wrong about that. Since I was removed from the project immediately following their appearance, and given no subsequent draft until after the paper had been published. I was not aware that the author was not acknowledged. Any questions about that charge/ Charge G. Improper conduct relating to other aspects of preventing and minimizing the risk and harm to research participants. The defense against misconduct on that: I instructed Rimm to protect the data. I warned Sirbu that he should be supervising Rimm's undergraduate helpers' access to the data. I was not aware that Rimm had obtained logfiles from Robert Thomas. And perhaps this occurred after my involvement ceased. And I still don't quite understand how could this happened because Robert Thomas I thought had been arrested before I was involved in all this and has been in jail and I think he's still in jail. So I'm not quite clear how or when this could have been obtained. You may have more information about how that worked ???. Since no data were ever obtained from the DoJ, there is not basis for a misconduct charge on this point. Then the argument for good judgment runs as follows: Besides making two efforts to help ensure data security, the first was supporting Rimm's request for funds from SURG to keep that data more secure than the Andrew system would allow, and secondly volunteering to supervise the anonymization of the ams.profile data. I warned Rimm on several occasions of the need for security, insisted that we consult with an ethicist, apprised Rimm of his research obligations after he sent me the only logfile data of which I was aware, and warned Sirbu of my fears about undergraduate access. That's in my letter of Dec. 1 to Sirbu and it was reiterated in my meeting with John Lehoczky. Regarding the DoJ data, I have some statements in section 4 that I think, describe the defense on the DoJ a little more fully. They essentially reprise stuff that we have already discussed and I didn't want to just bury it in twice. I had asked that two additional charges be placed, and the communication I got from the provost said that he is neither explicitly nor implicitly in large [enlarged] a set of charges that are to be considered and, that's, I guess, his call. But, let me mention what the two charges that I thought important to consider. The first which I call charge y, unethical treatment of colleagues. I asked the original CoI and Paul Christiano to consider adding two additional charges, the first concerns Sirbu's treatment of me. This is not submitting the DoJ white paper, meeting secretly with the DoJ, allowing Rimm to remove me from the project while retaining the benefit of my contributions, making promises to obtain permission to use material, but then not fulfilling those promises, and so forth. I have heard nothing back about this, and so I'm letting you all know that, I think this is a worthwhile charge to consider. The second charge is improper conduct as an advisor. I had also asked that Sirbu be charged with failure to perform his minimal duties as an advisor. And I don't know whether or not these charges have been filed. And the things that I see under that heading are that undergraduates need supervision and all the difficulties that we are facing today, I think, came pretty directly from a lack of close supervision. I actually would guess that Rimm has a very strong case against Sirbu or CMU for not, for the very quality of advising that he received. I know that Sirbu was warned by me, in the presence of John Lehoczky, and in the presence of Rimm and Zuckerman, and in email contained in the K-PACK documentation, of virtually every problem that we had to consider over the last 4 weeks. But Sirbu claims in the _New_York_Times_ that he hadn't read the final version of the paper, and that I think is a clear responsibility of an advisor, especially if the paper is going to be the cover article of _Time_ magazine and the feature of _Nightline_. And what I found particularly repugnant, was that in the in the only public statement that I'm aware of Sirbu making about this which occurred, I think, the day or two days after the _Nightline_ indecent, he hung Rimm out to dry, and I think is proper posture, at least in that early stage before more massive issues of impropriety arose, would be to defend the work of the student. Or at least to help to spin control it, explain it, put a better light on it. Because actually, there would have been ways to do that. CM: What do you mean by the expression "Hung Rimm out to dry?" DB: Sirbu said that this is Rimm's paper, not Sirbu's paper. That he hadn't read the paper in the final version. And this wasn't the paper that he would have written. And said that in a interview with the _New_York_Times_ about something that appeared on _Nightline_ the day before, and in _Time_ magazine the day before that, strikes me as a very clear way of saying, I'm not responsible for this, I'm not going to defend it, if people are criticizing it don't look to me to back it up. And I had just never heard of an advisor who was, not tried to support a student on work. Now you can't defend misconduct, but there is clearly a lot of room to say, well it's an undergraduate paper, but Rimm has identified important things. His methodology for examining involved with the parser is well breakthrough methodology that bring a whole new tool to the study of pornography. Previously, we had to rely entirely on interview accounts of what people look at, what they do, and that methodology is entirely superseded by what Rimm was proposing and doing. This are positive things that could be said. And I think it would be entirely appropriate for an advisor to stick up for his student. CM: Can I just ask one question? Do you think Sirbu was aware of those positive aspects in the whole situation? DB: I sent him email, in which I suggested that he ought to stick up for Rimm. And said that given that I was kicked off back in November, I don't fell comfortable doing it myself, but I think that you jolly well ought to. And I forget whether I outlined what it was, but I'm sure that Sirbu knew about it. CM: Do you think Sirbu was telling the truth about having not read the last drafts of the paper before it was published? DB: If he was telling the truth then he was irresponsible as an advisor. If he was lying, then he was lying and that is a misconduct too. I don't know what his [not clear] are. So those are two things that [we'll/you'll] have to discuss off line. I don't know how you want to handle that. In section 4 ... CM: This is just a clarification, I'm sorry, I've been away so I'm trying to play catch-up as well as I can. You have seen, or you got letters from Paul Christiano as did Sirbu and some say here are the charges of this committee? So you are fully aware of what we've been asked to look at. DB: Absolutely not. CM: You've not see that. DB: I have received one copy of the Committee of Inquiry, of the first Committee of Inquiry's report, which lists 7 charges, to which I've replied. CM: I see. DB: I have asked whether the second Committee of Inquiry's findings have anything to do with my defense, and I have received no direct answer. I have received a summary of some things that maybe are involved, but I don't know of any testimony that I might be able to call upon to defend myself. CM: Okay, I was just trying to see who haws received what. In this case. Thank you. DB: Surely. This finishes all of the charges. I have tried, the last two sets of questionings, to have covered a range of topics, and I wanted, I sort of set them out here, with short responses. I can read them, they just reprise stuff that we have said before. Whatever you wish. CM: Okay, I was just trying to see who has received what. In this case. Thank you. DB: Surely. This finishes all of the charges. I have tried, the last two sets of questionings, to have covered a range of topics, and I wanted, I sort of set them out here, with short responses. I can read them, they just reprise stuff that we have said before. Whatever you wish. CM: I'm comfortable with the discussion we've had on the Dept. Of Justice issue. I certainly have no more outstanding questions. DB: Let me ask that you all read these portions on, just to be sure that we are saying the same thing, but ... that... the topics that I identified ... maybe this would be good to do ... the topics that I identified as the key ones on which I had been questioned are: the DoJ white paper, why did I stay involved with the project as long as I did, the ams.profile records, Rimm's independent study, and why was the paper so bad? Were there other major topics that I have forgotten or overlooked? CM: Again this is a minor point. I'm skimming this thought, let me say, Sirbu and Zuckerman didn't back me up. My understanding is that Zuckerman was sort of out of the game long before the paper for into its final state. So is Zuckerman appropriately mentioned in 5 ... 4 point ... no 4.5. DB: I believe so. Zuckerman attended, I believe, 2 and a half of the four meeting that Rimm, Sirbu, I and Zuckerman held in the fall semester. He had to the best of my understanding received a copy of every draft of the proposal of the paper that got circulated. I believe we all did. And Rimm would stop by the office and say, "Here is your copy. And it said this copy belongs to David Banks its number one of four. Please do not distribute, duplicate, discuss, whatever." CM: Alright. DB: and I had thought that Zuckerman that Zuckerman was in that loop. I know that Zuckerman in some of our meetings said that he would get back to Rimm with comments on the writing. I understand we were all feeding our stuff to Rimm. In each of the meetings, particularly ones in which Zuckerman was present, I said the quality of this writing is very polemical. I may have used the phrase yellow scholarship, like yellow journalism. CM: But, in fact Zuckerman lost contact with the project, no later than you lost contact in what December or so. So he didn't have a chance to see anything from December till when it was published in, whenever. DB: I don't know that. CM: You don't know that. DB: I have not heard anything about that. CM: That is just something we need to find out. Right? CM: OK, Yes. DB: OK, were there any points that may need to be visited? These were the 5, that I remember as being the key points of discussion .. hitherto. CM: There are other key point, but I think they're been handled very well and as I say I don't have any questions left about anything. DB: OK. Point 5 is not something that properly falls under the scope of this committee. But, I think I need to make these points regularly, and maybe something will happen someday. I think the misconduct process has been very badly handled, and I want to go on record as indicating what my chief objections to CMU's management o that process are. The first objection is that the process had taken entirely too long. The _Faculty_Handbook_ sets explicit limits on the timing of each phase, and those have been grossly surpasses. K-PACK was not even constituted until after every reasonable counting would have required the Committee of Investigation to have completed its work, and in fact, I had to petition the Faculty Review Committee to get K-PACK established. Secondly, George Duncan should never have been appointed to the first Committee of Inquiry, and he should never have consented to serve. His proper role is as a witness for my defense, and it is unconscionable that he has preferred charges against me for relying upon the advice he gave. The Committee of Inquiry should have been named Barbara Lazarus as a respondent. Her involvement began before mine, and continued after I left. As the financial source, she had more control over the work than I. As an officer of the university, she had specific trusts to prevent misconduct and avert embarrassment. I believe she read the drafts, knew of the improper data acquisitions, and was more involved that I in every aspect except for the writing of the white paper to the Dept. of Justice. The Committee of Inquiry should have honored my request to interview John Lehoczky, who is the only unindicted witness to a frank exchange on the ethics or Sirbu's management of Rimm's project. Had they done so promptly, John's memory would have been seven months fresher. And this protracted delay may have eroded the value of a key witness in my defense. Paul, I don't think you should be on this committee. Your on the Faculty review Committee, and I would have to appeal any decisions that this committee makes to you again. CM: This was discussed, and what was going to happen was, if this comes up at faculty review, I would just recuse myself. DB: Uh, that's good, I'm not, it's still not, I think, entirely good practice. CM: Agreed. What had happened was, when I was appointed, the person who appointed me, was not aware I was on the Faculty Review. At this stage, the things have been prolonged, they didn't want to spend more time looking for another person to chair the committee. In addition to that, with the Faculty Review, we discussed the fact that this could, a situation like this could happen to anybody of the Faculty Review, that something is going to come up that they're ultimately associated with, and the solution is you recuse yourself. So we finally decided that, as unfortunate as the overlap was, we thought we would be handling it properly. DB: There's another reason why the overlap might be improper. I certainly understand it. I knew you would have recused yourself by that, that wasn't, it's just technical and legalistic realistic rather than a serious concern like some of the other ones are. But, the flip side of it is the fact that, as you know, I submitted petition that all charges be dismissed back in December, and it is possible that one reason that the Faculty Review Committee has not answered that petition is that they know that you're involved and will be sensitive to the timing needs that I have. So, it cuts many ways. By the way, maybe this is not the right time to ask but, is the Faculty review committee still thinking about this petition? Is it hanging fire? Is it doing anything? CM: I don't know. They may be and they've left me out, which would be appropriate. DB: Sure. My sixth point is that many of the charged made by the first Committee of Inquiry constitute harassment, scapegoating or at least a blind copying of hysterical charges bandied about in the media. Bad writing cannot serve as a basis for misconduct, nor can media hype, nor can any of the kinds of bad judgment shown by many participants; however, all these charges have been referred, often in verbatim form, from the posts by Hoffman and Novak, Jim Thomas and Brian Reid. In my case, the DoJ white paper, I don't see hoe that can support a misconduct charge on the most narrow, legalistic ground, but it has been allowed to hang over my head for seven months. If the CoI report had received the same close public scrutiny that Rimm' s paper received, it would have been shown as similarly sloppy. CM: Don't you think the same criticism could be made of the treatment of Sirbu and Rimm? DB: I think that many of the criticisms raised by Hoffman and Novak, Thomas and Brian Reid are not well founded. And the larger document that I gave you showed that a number of points where I think they're just off base. The footnote that we discussed is one example in which I think somebody sat down and said how can I twist this to make it into a criticism? A similar thing occurred with the concern about ordering the preferences in the hierarchy on the parser categories. There is an issue there, nut it's a very small and tangential issues, and has this appeared in an uncontroversial paper, there would have been no question raised about it at all. And in fact, I think that the evidence that I've seen regarding the validity rates of the parser mean that it would be essentially statistically impossible for any reorganizing of the hierarchy to lead to changes in the pedophile classification rates. You've got 97 percent reliability for pedophile classification, and it's really not going to change of you ask first of all, is it soft core pornography, and then if it's pedophile? I don't see that happening. There were a batch of others along this line. Hoffman and Novak, Jim Thomas and Brian Reid are not disinterested parties. Brian Reid wrote a critique that began, something using the word vomit, and that's not scholarly writing. Brian Reid is very much concerned with preserving the absolute freedom of the internet, and was eager, I think, to discredit anything that might be used as ammunition for legislation to bridle the Internet. Hoffman and Novak, of course, are running their marketing, they've got a five year plan for studying marketing on the Internet, and in some sense, Rimm's work might have been regarded as sort of a direct competitor at the time to the types of methodology that they wanted to bring forward. I am not saying that they are wrong, and I am not saying that many of the criticisms that have been raised aren't correct. But I think the CoI is supposed to act as a screen to filter out the political and hysterical and the unprovable stuff, and leave something a little more correct. Jim Thomas' stuff. He seems to be coming as this from an American Psychological Association's morality perspective. I think if I recall correctly, much of the stuff he cites is from the ethical guidelines for the American Psychological Associaiton, which as far as I know, none of us are a member of. I have my own set of ethical guidelines that I follow, and I think I conform to all those in my profession. That's not a clear statement that his argument shouldn't be listened to, but I think he did not know enough of the facts that he confused things. He seemed to believe, for example, that the parser was based on secret information disclosed by the bulletin board operators on the basis of trust, rather than by getting the merchandising catalogs that they sell to everybody. And much of his complaint seems to be based exactly on that confusion. And the CoI, the first Committee of Inquiry, at least I told them how that was set up, and I think they should of at least thought hard before forwarding Jim Tomas' verbatim complaints. Overall, my whole lesson from the Rimm situation is that the secrecy in which they operated allowed all sorts of impropriety to occur. And I think this misconduct process ought to have been more open. I think that none of the errors I listed in the six points above would have occurred. I can't imagine Christiano appointing George Duncan to the first Committee of inquiry if he knew that the appointment was going to be a matter of public record, and would so be reviewed. Nor can I imagine George accepting the appointment if he was aware that this would be subject to public scrutiny. The very long delay in the process I don't think wouldn't have happened if it had been an open process. Many of the other concerns, I don't think the first CoI would have written quite such a slapdash report of they knew that everybody was going to read it and think ? it over carefully. These are all things I don't like. Committee of Inquiry and K-PACK are, sorry, I call them Star Chamber Courts. You all are secret, you're not accountable to anybody for the quality of your judgments. No matter what you do, I can't name you, which gives you a great deal of latitude, and I am not at all suggesting that any of you as individuals would handle this badly, but as a process that worries me. I am also uncomfortable that the evidence and documentation that I have provided to K-PACK are not being given to the other defendants. And I don't know the law, but I think that everyone deserves full access to the testimony and evidence against them, and I would be angry if I were to learn that you all were hearing testimony from somebody else that appeared to flatly contradict me and incriminate me, and perhaps I have contradictory evidence to rebut that charge with, and unless you tell me about their testimony, I will not be able to respond. So, those are my concerns on that. And, finally, I have questions about confidentiality. As I read the _Faculty_Handbook_ it suggests that the purpose of the misconduct procedures confidentiality rile, twofold, to protect the reputations of those who are innocent but accused, and to allow CMU to wash its laundry in private. That's not explicit, that's just what I read as what they were probably thinking. And the implicit scenario is that the misconduct into accusations are low-profile affairs known to only a handful of professionals and can be solved in-house. The Rimm debacle broke that mold when CMU announced that five people had been charges as respondents to the investigation, it's refusal to name names afforded me no protection. The bulletin board discussion groups, my peers and students, the newspapers and my neighbors have no doubt that I am under investigation. And I think it would be disingenuous for CMU to claim otherwise. The gag rules to which K-PACK adheres prevents me from exhibiting evidence that might clear my name, and in this case, the confidentiality rule has been used to silence me as my integrity gets trashed, all allowing CMU time to optimize it's spin-control. That again, is sort of hyperbole, but that's one construction of what's happened. And I would appreciate some formal notification on the following points: Am I legally bound to maintain confidentiality? How much more damage should my career sustain before it becomes proper for me to overrule the rule and defend myself? If I am acquitted, does CMU plan to help restore my reputation, within either the university or my professional community? You don't have to respond now. CM: I want to respond in a manner you will find mostly acceptable and very intelligent. Maybe these are questions that the provost has to answer. CM: Or his legal advisor. DB: Will you see that they get answered? CM: Mm. DB: Thank you. In principle, I am concerned about my general reputation with the whole world, but I am specifically concerned about my reputation at CMU and in the statistical community. This is not an exhaustive list by any means. I'm trying to sort of indicate the range of the dimension of concern at CMU. First of all, I have students who now that that I am principal villain and cc me about this. Secondly, I got the following email from Alan Kennedy back on July the 6th. Alan Kennedy is not a close friend of mine, he's an acquaintance, and I think his reaction is probably typical if what happened in the general CMU community. CM: Can you identify him? I don't know who he is. CM: He is the former head of the Department of English, now a professor of English. DB: David, Something has just cleared up, I think , so I thought I'd write to you about it. I'm sorry to say that I had begun to form an impression that you were deeply involved in the Martin Rimm project. Your name had been mentioned a couple of times when the original study was being done I guess, and when the recent fuss opened up it seemed that you had been a part of the advisory team backing Rimm up. Frankly, as the public critique of Rimm has broadened I'd started to get very worried. But today I heard that you were not in fact part of the exercise, and that it could have gone much better if you had been. What a relief. I mention all of this in case you might think that you need to sat something a bit louder in some quarters to distance yourself -- if that is what you would want. Please don't take offense -- I'm just passing on the 'gossip' as a friend, if that isn't a contradiction in terms. All the best, Alan. I called him back on this and Alan said he had been avoiding me for a while because he thought I had really stepped in something, and he didn't wan to face me about it. Alan and I happen to have a mutual friend in this who I think knows more about this than he probably should, and I think he explained things to Alan, but for everybody else in the CMU community, I don't know what they're going to find. (End Side A, Flip Tape) This email is still not quite the correct one that I would wish him to have, because I was involved in the Rimm project and I think that his understanding that I was not in fact part of the exercise is technically wrong. It's a lot more complicated than that, and without access to the details, I don't know how he can exactly understand what happened. And I imagine that this is representative of many people. The third charge, the third concern, is within my department. I have been very circumspect in my department, and only John Lehoczky is entirely aware of essentially all of the charges against me and all of my responses to those charges. Robb Kass, the current chair of the department, has a broad and general understanding, but I don't think that he has looked at anything in detail. Nobody discusses this in my presence. My feeling is that publicly, many of them think that there is a small probability that I have done something wrong, a larger probability that I exercised poor judgment in improperly acquiescing to something, and a much larger probability that I was sloppy or careless. I need letters of recommendation from these people. I am going to be working with them in some degree for the rest of my life, and I would like to recover some portion of their respect. And I don't think there is any easy way to make that happen. In the outside statistical community, the situation is more difficult. And again, I have sort of some dimensions of concern here. One dimension is that the entire statistical community of Pittsburgh, or at least everybody who attended my address to the ASA chapter on November 30, are sort of now completely in the loop on my involvement, and not naming names has not protected me from that association. I also spoke on the regression analyses I did on the bulletin board service data at the Classification Society of North America meeting on June 24, just before the paper appeared. And from the email I received, I now that people all over the U.S. and Canada know of the investigation and assume that I am have been named as a respondent. Sort of more concretely, there are a number of journal editors and associate editors who are aware of this. I sort of never hesitated to discuss the project in the first six months. I figured it like any other research work I was doing, I would discuss it with anybody who was interested, and the topic was one that made many people interested in it. The editors and associate editors were certainly enthusiastic, and many of them, several of them,, three of them, suggested that I submit a paper to their journal, and one offered expeditious refereeing as an additional inducement. Now, over the last several month, I keep getting, you know, trickles of email here and there saying, how do things stand. Or I go to a conference, the Interface Conference or whatever, and at the mixers they ask me, you know, what's happened, I saw about the Rimm blow up, you are charged in that business. And I don't think I can say. No I'm not charged, and I don't think I can say no I refuse to answer that on the grounds that CMU's misconduct policy prevents me from saying anything. I've told them that yes, I am charged, I can't discuss the details. Most of them I told I didn't think I had done anything wrong and expected to be cleared by December 1995, at the latest, and that I was not free to discuss details. But, that timetable has been derailed. This is a third case, Donna Hoffman. She his one of the leaders of the charge against the Rimm paper, and when it first came out, she immediately called me. Oh, I should mention that she is an officer of the American Statistical Association, and is a bit of a wheel in that area. Well, who knows, it's speculation, but well, she's a bit if a wheel. She called me early on the process, and I told her that I didn't think I had done anything wrong, but was not free to discuss it. And then she wanted to go on at some length explaining why I was wrong in thinking I hadn't done anything wrong based on her understanding of the things that the report had actually done. And, I basically had to cut her off and say, I can't talk about it, I don't think I did any of the things you think I did, but I can't discuss it. She tried to meet me again at the annual meeting in August to get more information on this, or, she would like to write a follow-up piece for her cyberporn debate bulletin board that adds more details specifically about the CMU investigation, and I have stonewalled her. But, she is somebody I am going to have to work with for the rest of my professional career, and I don't know that there is nay way to get back to regular, collegial relations with her. And these are the reasons why I think there is concern here. Thank you. CM: I had one observation. I can see why you can drawn into the thought that we are a Star Chamber, and I can only speak for myself, I'm here to try and, well, best that I can, to find out what's happened. There's at least as good a chance that I'll be your friend as your accuser. So, we are attempting to be neutral, but I realize that the delay is not helping you any. So, we'll just, you know, as we can, we'll go forward?/though it?. DB: I understand that, and as individuals I actually have great esteem, I think for all of you, and I am aware that you are approaching this in the best possible way. Nonetheless, a Star Chamber, is specifically a secret trial, and this is what this is. CM: I am a student of history. DB: Thank you. OK. I'm crying Herald?, and I'm not getting anywhere. CM: I should add to your list of motivations for confidentiality, and that is some of the documentation we have is extremely irrelevant and its ????. And if this were not confidential, I imagine we would have this room full of contributions from all sides of the issue, which we would be obligated to wade through, and most of which would be completely irrelevant to getting you finished as quick as we are trying to get you finished. DB: That you. That is true. CM: Any other questions? DB: Do you all anticipate wanting to speak with me again, or do you want to notify me of that eventually occurs. CM: I don't anticipate it. We'll discuss how we are going to handle passing transcripts back and forth to everyone. Well, we actually hadn't brought that up, because you, in fact, are the only person we've interviewed so far. DB: Right. CM: So it's not that we haven't given anybody else anything. We have not even contacted, at least we haven't set up the rest of our schedule. As I mentioned, we really wanted to get to you first, for reasons that we all appreciate. Again, do you have anything else for David? DB: OK. Thank you. Thank you very much,. (Banks exits the room.) CM: One o'clock.