Re: [Ianaplan] on considering consensus

Eliot Lear <> Tue, 25 August 2015 15:33 UTC

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To: John C Klensin <>, Brian E Carpenter <>, "Leslie Daigle (TCE)" <>, Marc Blanchet <>
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From: Eliot Lear <>
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Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2015 17:33:17 +0200
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Subject: Re: [Ianaplan] on considering consensus
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Hi John,

I'm going to try to combine your notes into a single reply.  Please
forgive my jumping around a bit.

On 8/25/15 5:10 PM, John C Klensin wrote:
> --On Tuesday, August 25, 2015 07:44 +0200 Eliot Lear
> <> wrote:
>> On 8/25/15 7:42 AM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
>>> We have this rule that rough consensus is established on the
>>> list. And I would say the problem with the meeting text is
>>> that journalists will spin it to say that the IETF agrees
>>> with the whole plan.
>> But the text that you proposed will be spun the opposite way
>> that there is not support for the proposal as a whole, which
>> is worse.  And rough consensus can be CONFIRMED on the list.
>> I don't say we have it at this point, but I'd like the 15
>> people not to be ignored.
> Eliot,
> Speaking as someone who would have participated in the interim
> but who was on an airplane and unable to even passively stream
> it and as a long-term skeptic about interim meetings, I'm fine
> with confirming consensus from a meeting (interim or otherwise)
> on a mailing list.   However, such a confirmation process should
> not give the meeting attendees special weight.  No one has
> suggested ignoring them but "the fifteen" (or the the four or
> five; see below) are not somehow special.  They should
> especially not have an extra, or louder, voice when the number
> of people who participated in the interim are a small fraction
> of those who have participated on-list or if the consensus was
> only rough (I note that, if there were 15 people on the call,
> "Four or five people supported.  Nobody opposed" (from the
> minutes) would not usually count as a strong statement of
> support from the interim).

I agree that in-person attendees should be given no more weight – NOR
LESS – than those who are on the list.  But a normal WG meeting usually
has that many active people on a given issue, and not more.  Those are
notes and note minutes, by the way.  Others are free to review.

> I think you have correctly identified the problem: independent
> of discussions in any particular forum or among anyone and their
> small circle of supporters, any of the obvious ways the
> statement can written has the potential to be interpreted
> ("spun" if you like) in ways the IETF would find regrettable.

Everything can be.  I don't think spin discussion are a particularly
good use of our time. 

> (2) The WG needs to make statements only within its scope and
> qualifications and, if it offers additional opinions, to clearly
> identify and separate the two.  If that approach is followed, it
> is probably appropriate that the WG take a position but we need
> to be clear that is not an IETF position.

That's a fair point.  The model we are applying is that of what is
stated in RFCs 4052 and 4053.  Assuming we come to closure on text, I
don't view it logistically possible to get an IETF-wide consensus view
in time.

As to your note to Marc:
> Second, even as someone who would prefer to see the US
> Government's role in IANA transitioned out of existence, but
> continuing to speak as devil's advocate,  I believe that a
> reasonable person could come away from the three (or four if one
> counts CWG and CCWG separately as may be appropriate) reports,
> the process that led to them, the selection of newly-created (or
> proposed) bodies, and the likely apportionment of power among
> them with the conclusion that, while a transition is
> appropriate, a transition that leaves all of the decision
> authority in assorted ICANN entities, subsidiaries, and
> appointees is not.  

There are two problems with this devil's advocate statement.  The first
is that not all the authority is left in assorted ICANN entities. 
Rather it is found in the three communities.  Second, any debate about
the individual proposals should have happened within the communities.

The issue for us now is whether or not the combined proposal causes us
pause, particular due to any process conflict that might have been
created in the combined ICG proposal.  If it does not, we should say it
does not.  If it does, we should say it does (and why).  In addition, we
should be confirming that the content the ICG provided at the beginning
of the combined proposal properly reflects the sections below.  If it
does, we should say it does.  If it does not, we should say it does not
(and why).  That's all.