Re: [arch-d] possible new IAB programme on Internet resilience

Brian E Carpenter <> Sun, 29 December 2019 19:38 UTC

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To: Niels ten Oever <>,
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From: Brian E Carpenter <>
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Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2019 08:38:09 +1300
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Subject: Re: [arch-d] possible new IAB programme on Internet resilience
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On 30-Dec-19 02:27, Niels ten Oever wrote:
> On 12/27/19 8:28 PM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
>> I'd go a bit further. IMHO, the IETF (+IAB) does best by explicitly
>> excluding political, economic or sociological issues from our
>> reasoning *even if they seem relevant*.
> The IETF is caught up in political issues, but hopes that it can stay out of the cross-hairs and continue business as usual.

Yes, because our scope covers technology deployed in almost every political, economic and social environment in the world, so the technology *needs* to be versatile, robust and resilient as a result. I wrote my words above carefully -- we do *best* by excluding those considerations, which does not mean that we always succeed in excluding them.
> Technology has political, economic, and sociological implications.

Of course, but they are often extremely hard to predict when designing the technology. No doubt the spear was invented only to kill animals for food.

> If the IETF does not take these into account, someone else is bound to do it for the IETF. Ethical considerations and commitments are an inherent part of pretty much all engineering organizations, I have (and probably will) always will be surprised the IETF really does not want to commit to any framework for ethical, value or norm considerations.

As has been pointed out, that isn't really true, because we do state some values in RFC3935, and assume some (especially the right to privacy) in RFC 1984, 2804 and 7258.

However, resiliency doesn't seem to me to require a discussion of values. It's a very clear technical requirement on its own. Surviving human error, equipment failure, natural disasters, political interference, and acts of war might each generate different resiliency considerations.