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

Vittorio Bertola <> Mon, 30 December 2019 09:56 UTC

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Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2019 10:56:41 +0100 (CET)
From: Vittorio Bertola <>
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Subject: Re: [arch-d] possible new IAB programme on Internet resilience
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> Il 29/12/2019 17:25 Patrik Fältström <> ha scritto:
> So, if people do not like what IETF do, people just ignore IETF.

However, what happened in other cases (at least, in the DoH case) is that the people that had to choose whether to embrace what the IETF had done were the same ones that had worked in the IETF to get the protocol released, so of course they chose to adopt it. 

The problem was rather that, while this decision had significant policy implications, that set of people was pretty small and partial in comparison to the set of people that would be affected by the policy implications. So, seen from outside the IETF, this was exactly a case of a few people exploiting their position - not a political power position, but a corporate/technical power position - to impose their desired policy and values onto everyone else, which ironically is what the IETF claims to reject in principle.

Of course the IETF can then claim that, when these people decided to implement the protocol in a way that could disrupt lots of stuff for lots of other people, they were not wearing their IETF hat, but their own employer's hat... but this is just going to upset the rest of the world even more, as it looks like a cheap excuse for not taking responsibility.

So, documents like RFC 7258 are a strong, unilateral policy decision, and claiming that "we just write them, then people are free to follow them or not" is not going to fly.

On the other hand, I share the concerns that were expressed by several people on the practicality of a single monolithic global policy-maker for the Internet, which IMHO will never be able to exist properly until a form of democratic planetary government will exist, which is possibly still several decades away, maybe centuries away in the future. But, as I said, the need for global Internet policies will not go away just because we do not know how to fulfill it - they will just be decided in other ways, a huge private oligopoly being the most likely and the scariest one.

Now, if we think that this discussion is off topic, we can get back to discussing an IAB charter on resilience... however I think this is a crucial issue that will determine if and how the Internet will still exist in the future.

(P.S. - for the person who marveled at the number of 200 countries in the world - the U.N. currently has 193 member states plus two observers)

Vittorio Bertola | Head of Policy & Innovation, Open-Xchange 
Office @ Via Treviso 12, 10144 Torino, Italy