Re: [Gendispatch] Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF

Phillip Hallam-Baker <phill@hallambaker.com> Sat, 27 February 2021 17:15 UTC

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From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <phill@hallambaker.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2021 12:15:12 -0500
Message-ID: <CAMm+LwhPKXfXPDWnYROjpndLwi-7KNTNkUxpeDAwv-cLVNKm9g@mail.gmail.com>
To: "STARK, BARBARA H" <bs7652@att.com>
Cc: Andrew Campling <andrew.campling@419.consulting>, GENDISPATCH List <gendispatch@ietf.org>
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Subject: Re: [Gendispatch] Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF
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Barbara's thoughts got me thinking about how the experience of creating EV
certs is relevant to TERM.

Being the person who sent out the invites to the meeting that led to the
creation of EV, I think I know what they were originally supposed to be
about which was essentially a way to stop the 'race to the bottom' in
certificate validation by establishing an industry-wide minimum validation
criteria establishing accountability that was essentially VeriSign Class 3.

Going in, we expected that there would of course have to be changes that
forced us to do stuff differently as well because thats part of the game.
But we expected EV would be essentially OV and so did everyone else.


After we got started, we suddenly realized that nothing of the sort was
possible and the rules were going to have to be much more restrictive for
one simple reason: When we wrote the VeriSign Class 3 policy and practices
we were writing rules for ourselves to avoid US screwing up. We weren't
trying to stop ourselves finding loopholes. When we started writing EV, we
had to write rules that nobody could then do an end run around. And the
result was a lot less friendly to customers and to CAs.

TERM is in a similar situation. We are going to need to deal with a lot of
cross cultural issues and even within the Anglosphere.

Take the OK hand gesture. Until a few years ago it had no facsist
associations whatsoever. Then a group of racists on 4-Chan decided to start
using the gesture 'pretending' it to be a racist gang sign. And of course
the minute that racists started flashing it as a gang sign, it became a
racist gang sign. And of course, deliberately insulting people and then
telling them they must treat it as a joke or they will 'look stupid', is
simply a way to double down on the insult. Bully, bully. swagger, swagger,
sneer, sneer, oh why are we being cancelled?


Meaning is determined by usage. Who is using the term, why they are using
it, matter.

And yes, there is a partisan political dimension to this. I didn't remove
the terms 'master' etc.' from the Mesh specifications because I was
concerned they might cause offense. I removed them because I want to make
absolutely clear that I oppose the fascist seditionists who stormed the US
Capitol on January 6th.

When a bully appears and attempts to appropriate the US flag as his own
personal banner, there has to be resistance. Defining the exact means by
which the US flag is to be worshiped by taking away the career of the man
who defied him was a way of claiming sole ownership of the interpretation
of the nation's symbols. Which was of course the reason we needed to
demolish the monuments to their ideology.

The IETF has made its political position on censorship and privacy clear.
And now a very large number of US corporations are making their political
position opposing racism clear.