Re: [arch-d] The Internet Architecture for Pandemics/Emergencies/Crises

Andrew Sullivan <> Mon, 11 May 2020 12:57 UTC

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From: Andrew Sullivan <>
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Subject: Re: [arch-d] The Internet Architecture for Pandemics/Emergencies/Crises
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I'm employed by the Internet Society and Internet Society Foundation [1]
as the CEO, and speaking with that hat on, though I'm posting from my
home address as a matter of convenience.

On Fri, May 08, 2020 at 05:33:19PM +0200, Toerless Eckert wrote:

> In reading the ISOC call for proposals page, i am pretty sure that
> they wouldn't bother about long-term, fundamental architecture improvements
> as being within scope.

The COVID-19 fund is an emergency-response fund, yes.  There is a
planned research tranche of funding from the ISOC Foundation to come
available for application later in the year.  Formal architecture work
is more likely to fit under that category.

> certinly a key tool, but to me the ISOC call for proposals looks like
> very much baked to favour established administrative entities (must be
> able to have track record to manage the money). Aka: I fear it will
> exclude core technical innovators that have not managed to build up
> a bureaucracy large enough to deal with money that way. Too bad.

The ISOC Foundation is a granting agency.  It's intended to give money
to others, not to run programmes of its own, so the entity that gets
the money needs to be able to manage it.  If nothing else, US law
requires those giving out charitable grants to be able to account for
the money, and that is the reason that the Foundation requires
recipients to account for the money they receive.  This is a pretty
standard requirement.
> Managing the money is a service that ISOC should be able to provide
> to innovators.

This seems like a request that ISOC get into the business of direct
support for innovation research with respect to the Internet.  There
has been some thinking about this.  I suspect that an IAB list is the
wrong place to discuss how ISOC should construct its future
programmes, however, and I encourage people who want to have such
discussions to be members of the Internet Society and have that
discussion on ISOC mailing lists.

Best regards,


[1] Strictly speaking, the Internet Society and the Internet Society
Foundation are separate entities.  The Foundation is a supporting
organiation of the Internet Society.  Historically, the Internet
Society provided both grants to others and also undertook activities
through its own staff.  This tended to muddy the waters grants
vs. staff activity.  With the Foundation, therefore, we have the
opportunity to make clear which things are simply grants to others
(who get the money and are therefore responsible for managing it) and
which things are activities of the Internet Society itself.  Formally,
the ISOC Foundation's Board of Directors is the same as ISOC's Board
of Trustees, and as currently constituted I'm the CEO of both; in
practice the Foundation has a separate Executive Director and budget.
The money to support the IETF, by the way, actually comes from the

Andrew Sullivan