Code of Conduct

Cyber-investigation Analysis Standard Expression (CASE) Open Source Community Code of Conduct

Date of Last Revision: 22 January 2019
Ratification Date: 25 January 2019


Participants in the CASE Community are required to meet the standards for behavior detailed in this Code of Conduct in all their interactions. 

1.0 Introduction 

  1. This code of conduct applies to all spaces managed by the CASE Community, including, all public and private mailing lists, issue trackers, code repositories, wikis, blogs, physical and virtual meetings and conferences, and any other communication channel used by our community.
  2. This code is not exhaustive or complete. It serves to distill our common understanding of a collaborative, shared environment and goals. We expect it to be followed in spirit as much as in the letter, so that it can enrich all of us and the digital investigation communities in which we participate. 


  1. The CASE Community welcomes and encourages participation by everyone. We are committed to being a community that everyone feels good about joining. Although we may not be able to satisfy everyone, we will always work to treat everyone well. 
  2. No matter how you identify yourself or how others perceive you: we welcome you. Although no list can hope to be comprehensive, we explicitly honor diversity in: age, ethnicity, culture, subculture, genotype, ability, disability, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, physical appearance, marriage and civil partnership, national origin, neurotype, phenotype, employer, occupation, professional and political affiliation, level of education or experience, technical ability, veteran status, creed, religion or belief. We happily make accommodations to persons with disabilities that want to interact with or join the CASE Community.  
  3. Although we welcome people fluent in all languages, CASE development is conducted in English. 


  1. The CASE Community strives to:
    1. Be inclusive. The CASE Community is a globally-focused technical standard consortium. We know that diverse teams perform better. All CASE Community members respect each other for their diverse positions, and we never discriminate against any person for any reason. 
    2. Be open. We invite anyone working towards improving the global digital investigation community to join the CASE Community. We preferably use public methods of communication for project-related messages, unless discussing something sensitive. This applies to messages for help or project-related support, too; not only is a public support request much more likely to result in an answer to a question, it also makes sure that any inadvertent mistakes made by people answering will be more easily detected and corrected. We encourage all classes of CASE Community members to be as open as possible, while also being respectful to members who are unable to disclose as much due to business competition reasons, and non-disclosure responsibilities. 
    3. Be empathetic, welcoming, friendly, and patient. We work together to resolve conflict, assume good intentions, and do our best to act in an empathetic fashion. We may all experience some frustration from time to time, but we do not allow frustration to turn into a personal attack. A community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. We should be respectful when dealing with other community members as well as with people outside our community. We should provide background context and motivation for discussion items when dealing with new community members or members who are new to a discussion.
    4. Be collaborative. Our work will be used by other people, and in turn we will depend on the work of others. When we make something for the benefit of the CASE Community, we are willing to explain to others how it works, so that they can build on the work to make it even better. Any decision we make will affect users and colleagues, and we take those consequences seriously when making decisions. 
    5. Be inquisitive. Nobody knows everything! Asking questions early avoids many problems later, so questions are encouraged, though they may be directed to the appropriate forum. Those who are asked should be responsive and helpful, within the context of our shared goal of improving CASE Community technical contributions. 
    6. Be careful in the words that we choose. Whether we are participating as professionals or volunteers, we value professionalism in all interactions, and take responsibility for our own speech. Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other participants. Harassment and other exclusionary behavior are not acceptable. This includes, but is not limited to: 
      • Violent threats or language directed against another person. 
      • Sexist, racist, or otherwise discriminatory jokes and language. 
      • Posting sexually explicit or violent material. 
      • Posting (or threatening to post) other people’s personally identifying information (“doxing”). 
      • Sharing private content, such as emails sent privately or non-publicly, or unlogged forums such as IRC channel history. 
      • Personal insults, especially those using racist or sexist terms. 
      • Unwelcome sexual attention. 
      • Excessive or unnecessary profanity. 
      • Repeated harassment of others. In general, if someone asks you to stop, then stop. 
      • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior. 
    7. Be concise and constructive. Keep in mind that what you write once will be read by dozens of persons. Writing a short message means people can understand the conversation as efficiently as possible. Short messages should always strive to be empathetic, welcoming, friendly and patient. When a long explanation is necessary, consider adding a summary. Try to bring new ideas to a conversation so that each message adds something unique to the thread, keeping in mind that the rest of the thread still contains the other messages with arguments that have already been made. Try to stay on topic, especially in discussions that are already fairly large.  Provide constructive critiques and reviews, and when possible, indicate constructive alternatives to items or approaches being rejected.
    8. Think globally. We are working on a global effort. Although we each represent our employers, customers, and projects, we have an obligation to stay focused on the improvement of the entire digital investigation community’s ability to exchange cyber-investigation information. 
    9. Step down considerately. Members come and go. When somebody leaves or disengages from the CASE Community they should tell people they are leaving and take the proper steps to ensure that others can pick up where they left off. In doing so, they should remain respectful of those who continue to participate in the community and should not misrepresent the community’s goals or achievements. Likewise, community members should respect any individual’s choice to leave.  


  1. While this code of conduct should be adhered to by participants, we recognize that sometimes people may fail to adhere to or be unaware of some of the guidelines in this code of conduct. When that happens, you may reply to them and point out this code of conduct. Such messages may be in public or in private, whatever is most appropriate. However, regardless of whether the message is public or not, it should still adhere to the relevant parts of this code of conduct; in particular, it should not be abusive or disrespectful. If you believe someone is violating this code of conduct, you may reply to them and point out this code of conduct. Such messages may be in public or in private, whatever is most appropriate. Assume good faith; it is more likely that participants are unaware of their bad behavior than that they intentionally try to degrade the quality of the discussion.

  2. Should there be difficulties in dealing with the situation, you may report your compliance issues in confidence to the Presiding Director or any Governance Committee Director. If the violation is in documentation or code, for example inappropriate pronoun usage or word choice within official documentation, we ask that people report these privately to the project in question, and, if they have sufficient ability within the project, to resolve or remove the concerning material, being mindful of the perspective of the person originally reporting the issue.

  3. It is the responsibility of any Governance Committee Director who receives a complaint to take action in accordance with the Code of Conduct.

5.0 Consequences for Violation of Code of Conduct

  1. The CASE Community will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of participants in any forum, including online and at conferences, and in any form, e.g., speech, imagery, gestures or written communication. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. 

  2. Removal from Event. Anyone who violates these principles may be asked to leave the physical or virtual forum or venue without a refund, if applicable, at the sole discretion of CASE Community Governance Committee.

  3. Removal of CASE Community Membership. The CASE Community Governance Committee has the right to remove any individual or organizational member if they knowingly or repeatedly violate the CASE Community Code of Conduct. The Governance Committee may issue a written warning to a member, or they may immediately revoke the membership if deemed necessary. The revocation of individual or organizational membership may forfeit membership dues paid to the CASE Community. The CASE Community Secretary will send a membership revocation notice to the specific individual or organization. 


This statement thanks the following, on which it draws for content and inspiration: 


Apache Software Foundation: 

Digital Forensics Research Workshop: