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

Stephane Bortzmeyer <bortzmeyer@nic.fr> Sun, 29 December 2019 09:43 UTC

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Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2019 10:39:10 +0100
From: Stephane Bortzmeyer <bortzmeyer@nic.fr>
To: Andrew Campling <andrew.campling@419.consulting>
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Subject: Re: [arch-d] possible new IAB programme on Internet resilience
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On Sat, Dec 28, 2019 at 06:32:54PM +0000,
 Andrew Campling <andrew.campling@419.consulting> wrote 
 a message of 229 lines which said:

> The lack of an effective, global policy making body for the internet
> is a problem that needs to be addressed as it is a significant gap.

This statement is questionable. As noted by Randy Bush and Brian
Carpenter, such a body would have an extraordinary power (in the past,
even the worst dictator had a power limited to the borders of the
country), and then we would have to think about how to limit and
control that power.

> I agree with Vittorio’s points above, believe that the IETF and
> other bodies ignore this at their peril.

I don't think that IETF ignore there are political consequences to our
choices (see RFC 8280). 

> The IETF is many things, it is not however especially diverse by
> most accepted definitions of the term.

I don't know if there is a generally accepted definition. Some people
see diversity as a matter of skin color, some as a matter of
political opinions, or social class. Seeing political discussions
inside IETF (for instance about DoH…), it seems there are many very
different opinions.

> I note that there is a large body of evidence that shows that
> organisations of all types perform better when they embrace
> diversity, and conversely that organisations that do not are doomed
> to underperformance.

As they say on Wikipedia, "references needed". Anyway, things like the
place of women are not a matter of efficiency but of justice. I don't
care if organisations with more women are "more efficient" (for some
organisations like the NSA, I wish there were less efficient…),
because discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity, sexual
orientation, etc, is wrong, period. It does not matter if it is
efficient or not.

> I welcome It may indeed be harder (but by no means impossible) to
> reach consensus

It all depends on the layer (as in the layer model). At a high-level,
we have a consensus, for instance in the universal declaration of
human rights. At a lower level, when it comes to more concrete rules,
I don't think we can have a consensus between a all humans on
earth.

> This lack of a clearly articulated (and tested) policy position on
> which to build a technical solution is a problem.

We have many RFC about our political choices, RFC 8280 provides a good
list.