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

Niels ten Oever <lists@digitaldissidents.org> Sun, 29 December 2019 13:27 UTC

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From: Niels ten Oever <lists@digitaldissidents.org>
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Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2019 14:27:25 +0100
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Subject: Re: [arch-d] possible new IAB programme on Internet resilience
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On 12/28/19 9:07 PM, Melinda Shore wrote:
> On 12/28/19 9:48 AM, Randy Bush wrote:
>> not clear.  a little chaos and need for open communication to coordinate
>> may be saving us from even worse centralisation and authoritarianism.
> 
> I believe this is true.
> 
> Anyway, this may be a good time for people to reread RFC 3935.
> The Internet Engineering Task Force is chartered to do engineering.


From RFC3935:

[quote1]
      The IETF community wants the Internet to succeed because we
      believe that the existence of the Internet, and its influence on
      economics, communication, and education, will help us to build a
      better human society.
[/quote1]

[quote2]
   The Internet isn't value-neutral, and neither is the IETF.  We want
   the Internet to be useful for communities that share our commitment
   to openness and fairness.  We embrace technical concepts such as
   decentralized control, edge-user empowerment and sharing of
   resources, because those concepts resonate with the core values of
   the IETF community.  These concepts have little to do with the
   technology that's possible, and much to do with the technology that
   we choose to create.
[/quote2]

> We don't do governance of any body other than ourselves (and
> sometimes not even that).
>

The quotes above seem to imply something else, but that then in turn depends on your definitions of governance/influence/engineering/politics/etc. So YMMV. These quotes also go against Brian's mail that said:

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. 

Technology has political, economic, and sociological implications. 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.

Best,

Niels


-- 
Niels ten Oever
Researcher and PhD Candidate
Datactive Research Group
University of Amsterdam

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