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This Code of Conduct

documents the expectations for users of VINCE and coordinated vulnerability disclosure processes led by the CERT/CC.

Table of Contents


Harassment: We define harassment as unwelcome or hostile behavior, including speech that intimidates, creates discomfort, or interferes with a person's participation or opportunity for participation; verbal threats or demands; degrading language; intimidation; harassing photography, screen shots, or audio or video recording; inappropriate physical contact; sexual imagery; unwelcome sexual attention; stalking; unsolicited physical contact; and sustained disruption of the coordination process, including case handling workflows, presentations, and other events.

VINCE platform: The software service that the CERT/CC provides to enable its coordinated vulnerability disclosure practice.

VINCE user: Any user of the VINCE platform, including CERT/CC analysts, researchers, vendors, and other participants.

CERT/CC analyst: Individuals authorized to represent the CERT/CC within the VINCE platform.

VINCE Code of Conduct

is intended to inform and guide our communications in connection with our Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure (CVD) practice, including the VINCE platform. We believe that successful vulnerability coordination requires an open exchange of ideas.


 Open exchange is possible only


in an inclusive environment that fosters trust, dignity, understanding, and mutual respect, and where participants recognize the inherent worth of every person and group.


Harassment is never appropriate.

We pledge to make participation in our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, visible or invisible disability, ethnicity, sex characteristics, gender identity and expression, level of experience, education, socio-economic status, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation.

We pledge

Table of Contents


  • All VINCE users are expected to follow this Code of Conduct, as well as the modified SEI Terms of Use.
  • All VINCE users are expected to be familiar with our Vulnerability Disclosure Policy.
  • All VINCE users are expected to act and interact in ways that contribute to an open, welcoming, diverse
  • and inclusive,
and healthy
  • community.
  • We
have adopted this code of conduct to define the behaviors we support (and don't support) in our vulnerability disclosure coordination practice.We expect VINCE users to follow this code of conduct. We expect
  • do not tolerate any form of harassing or offensive behavior.
  • Any offenders who are asked to stop their
  • inappropriate behavior
to comply immediately.We do not tolerate any form of harassment or offensive behavior in the context of our coordinated vulnerability disclosure practice, which includes the VINCE platform
  • must comply immediately.
  • If a VINCE user engages
in harassing behavior
  • in inappropriate behavior, the offender may be suspended from further participation in the VINCE platform.

Examples of behavior that contributes to a positive environment for our community include:

  • Demonstrating empathy and kindness toward other people
  • Being respectful of differing opinions, viewpoints, and experiences
  • Giving and gracefully accepting constructive feedback
  • Accepting responsibility and apologizing to those affected by our mistakes, and learning from the experience
  • Focusing on what is best not just for us as individuals, but for the overall community

Examples of unacceptable behavior include:

  • The use of sexualized language or imagery, and sexual attention or advances of any kind
  • Trolling, insulting or derogatory comments, and personal or political attacks
  • Public or private harassment
  • Publishing others' private information, such as a physical or email address, without their explicit permission
  • Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a professional setting


This Code of Conduct applies across the VINCE platform, however we expect and encourage respectful and non-harassing behavior from all parties we engage with.

Reporting abuse

Instances of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable

Governing Principles

A welcoming and collegial environment can be achieved when we adopt the following principles in our day-to-day actions and interactions.



Trust one another

Work better and smarter individually and together and feel better about the work we do, how we do it, where we do it, and for whom we do it.

Respect one another

Feel valued and supported, recognized, and energized to contribute our best at work.       

Be civil

Create and sustain positive experiences that build a safe and supportive environment.

Be inclusive

Foster a sense of belonging, of giving and receiving respect, of enhanced self-esteem, of recognition and acceptance, and of supportive energy and commitment from leaders, colleagues and others.

Terms of Use

The use of VINCE is subject to the SEI Terms of Use, with the following modification:

The VINCE platform is intended to provide a forum for the sharing of vulnerabilities in a controlled manner. Accordingly, to the extent that the posting, upload, or transmittal of any content would normally be prohibited by the SEI Terms of Use, such prohibition shall be inapplicable to the extent that such posting, upload, or transmittal was done for the purposes of coordinated vulnerability disclosure and was made using the VINCE platform as intended.

To the extent of any conflict between this Code of Conduct and the SEI Terms of Use, this Code of Conduct shall control.

Reporting Inappropriate Behavior or Actions

Instances of inappropriate behavior may be reported to the CERT/CC using the private message to CERT/CC mechanism within VINCE.


All complaints will be reviewed and investigated promptly and fairly.

Instructions for using the private message feature of VINCE

can be found here

 are available in Communicating.

All CERT/CC analysts are obligated to respect the privacy and security of the reporter of any incident



The CERT/CC is responsible for clarifying and enforcing our standards of acceptable behavior and will take appropriate and fair corrective action in response to any behavior that the CERT/CC deems inappropriate, threatening, offensive, or harmful


CERT/CC analysts have the right

and responsibility

to remove, edit, or reject comments, issues, and other contributions that are not aligned to this Code of Conduct, and will communicate reasons for

moderation References

such decisions when appropriate.

Other corrective actions may include, but are not limited to:

  • A private, written warning from the CERT/CC, providing clarity around the nature of the violation and an explanation of why the behavior was inappropriate.
  • A warning with consequences for continued behavior.
  • A temporary ban from use of VINCE for a specified period of time.
  • A permanent ban from VINCE.

Persistent or recurring offenses from multiple members of an organization may result in consequences for the organization as well.

Corrective actions to the violations of the VINCE Code-of-Conduct may include: private or public warnings, a temporary ban, or even a permanent ban from the system. The CERT/CC will consider these and other options to encourage a cooperative vulnerability coordination and disclosure process.

References and Other Resources

Portions of this document are adapted from


We also recommend VINCE users be familiar with and use bias-free language


VINCE platform: The software service that the CERT/CC provides to enable its Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure practice.

VINCE user: Any user of the VINCE platform, including CERT/CC analysts, researchers, vendors, and other participants.

CERT/CC analyst: Individuals authorized to represent the CERT/CC within the VINCE platform.

titleInteraction Tips
  • Self-monitor the respect that you display in all areas of your communications.
  • Before acting, consider the impact of your actions, words, tone, and expressions on others.
  • Be aware that the coordinated disclosure can evoke emotion and remember always to show respect for others' opinions.
  • "Each one influence one” by becoming a bridge builder and role model for civility and respect.
  • Practice sound judgement and apply common sense.
  • Act in a manner whereby you respect yourself, demonstrate respect for others, and take advantage of every opportunity to be proactive in promoting civility and respect.
  • Take responsibility for your actions and practice self-restraint in responding to potential conflicts.
  • Extend trust to individuals with the expectation of receiving that same trust.
  • Communicate effectively which means being transparent, when possible, and ensuring that communication strategies meet the context.
  • Interact with mutual respect and keeping positive communication at the forefront of every interaction.
  • Rely on facts rather than assumptions.
  • Gather relevant facts, especially before acting on assumptions that can damage relationships.
  • Work collaboratively, finding common ground and common goals.
  • Conduct technical discourse that is professional, productive, and focuses on the work or problem, not on the individual.
  • Listen to what others have to say before expressing your viewpoint or cut off another person.
  • Make sure your comments or inputs contribute to the conversation at hand.