IAB Response to the Appeal regarding draft-ietf-ianaplan-icg-response by JFC Morfin

IAB Executive Administrative Manager <execd@iab.org> Wed, 08 July 2015 21:13 UTC

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From: IAB Executive Administrative Manager <execd@iab.org>
To: <jefsey@jefsey.com>, <ietf-announce@ietf.org>, <iesg@ietf.org>, <iab@iab.org>
Subject: IAB Response to the Appeal regarding draft-ietf-ianaplan-icg-response by JFC Morfin
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The  appeal from Mr. Morfin was received on June 22, 2015; it can be 
found here: https://www.iab.org/wp-content/IAB-uploads/2015/06/20150622-
IANAPLAN-Appeal-IAB.pdf.  Jari Arkko, Marc Blanchet, Russ Housley, 
Andrew Sullivan, and Suzanne Woolf recused themselves from consideration 
of the appeal.

Mr. Morfin’s appeal concerns the IESG's approval of draft-ietf-ianaplan-
icg-response and the IESG’s subsequent response to his appeal to that 
body of their approval.   Mr. Morfin asserts that the IESG response to 
his appeal was inadequate because it did not address management of the 
transition outside the IETF (Appeal, section II) or the set of questions 
put forward.  Mr. Morfin further asserts that the failure to respond to 
these questions constitutes a failure to follow the spirit of RFC 6852 
(Appeal, Section IV).  He therefore seeks these answers from the IAB 
(Appeal, Section VIII).  A number of these questions, but not all, 
relate to the relationship between the IETF consensus and IAB consensus 
(Appeal, Section X.)  Mr. Morfin further questions the use of RFC 2026 
process for making the decision to approve draft-ietf-ianaplan-icg-
response (Appeal, Section IX).

On addressing the transition outside IETF:

The IESG response noted that the document produced matched the chartered 
deliverable of the IANAPLAN working group.  The IAB notes this text 
within the IANAPLAN charter:

     The IANAPLAN working group is chartered to produce an IETF 
     consensus document that describes the expected interaction between 
     the IETF and  the operator of IETF protocol parameters registries.

     This working group is chartered solely with respect to the planning 
     needed for the transition, and is not meant to cover other topics 
     related to IANA.

Addressing other matters of a broader scope would have been outside the 
purview of the IANAPLAN working group.  Addressing those issues in the 
context of an appeal of the actions of the IANAPLAN working group would 
be similarly inappropriate, given the charter.  The IAB therefore 
believes the IESG acted appropriately within IETF procedures.

On RFC 2026 procedures and venues for the discussion of future actions:

The IESG response noted that RFC 2026 appeals are available only for 
handling actions that have already been performed, and that they cannot 
be used to develop questions about potential future actions or outcomes.  
Mr. Morfin agrees with this interpretation  (“This is correct and this 
is why this appeal implicitly questions the use of RFC 2026 process”).  

The IAB concurs that RFC 2026 appeal procedures cover only actions that 
have already been performed. IETF procedures set out in RFC 2026 and 
elsewhere are more comprehensive than appeals, however, and they see 
participation in a working group as the appropriate way to put forward 
questions that relate to potential future actions or outcomes from a 
decision.   Where no working  group exists whose charter covers the 
relevant questions, an individual may propose a new working group.  

Mr. Morfin did participate in the IANAPLAN working group, and the 
process for proposing new work does not exclude Mr. Morfin, since he can 
communicate his desire to create a working group to the IESG, put 
forward proposed charters, and communicate on mailing lists which might 
be set up to discuss such an effort.  The IAB therefore concludes that 
RFC 2026 procedures have been met in this case.  The IAB further notes 
that judging that existing procedures have been followed is the limit of 
its own authority in procedural appeals.  

On the questions posed in Mr. Morfin’s appeal to the IESG:

Mr. Morfin’s appeal to the IAB suggests that the questions posed in his 
appeal to the IESG should be answered by the IAB in the absence of 
responses from the IESG.  The IAB does not concur.  The questions posed 
generally require the reader to judge the implications of the IETF 
consensus to publish draft-ietf-ianaplan-icg response. The IAB believes 
that the correct venue for this discussion was and is the working group 
mailing list. Since Mr. Morfin participated actively in the relevant 
working group, the IAB believes the avenue for taking up these issues 
both was available to him and remains available to him, since the 
working group mailing list is not closed.

Questions 3, 5, and 18 ask whether the IETF consensus implies something 
about the IAB consensus or its intended actions. There is no general 
ability to infer the IAB’s position from IETF consensus as the IAB may 
or may not concur with the consensus opinion.  In this case, the IAB 
explicitly supported the IANAPLAN response contained in the draft 
document produced, as is recorded in section 5 of the approved document 
("IAB Note").  The questions posed to the IAB do not appear to be 
salient to the appeal of the document action by the IESG or an appeal of 
the IESG response to that appeal.  We therefore judge that an appeal 
response is an inappropriate place to consider them. As noted in the 
IAB’s response to Mr. Morfin’s appeal of the publication of RFC 6852, 
regarding-rfc-6852-by-jfc-morfin/) questions or suggestions from the 
community to the IAB may be sent by mail to the IAB at iab@iab.org or 
via the RFC publication process.

On the relationship of draft-ietf-ianaplan-icg-response to RFC 6852:

RFC 6852 relates a set of principles upheld by the signatory bodies for 
the development of standards; those cited by Mr. Morfin are: due 
process, broad consensus, transparency, balance, and openness.  Mr. 
Morfin asserts that the application of RFC 2026 does not meet these 
requirements in this case (“It is my opinion that the RFC 2026 is not 
RFC 6852 compliant in this case”).   The IAB believes that RFC 2026 is 
the governing document within the IETF for the approval of working group 
drafts intended for informational status.  The IAB believes that RFC 
2026 is consistent with RFC 6852, and that its procedures were met in 
this case.  As noted above, the IAB’s authority in procedural appeals is 
limited to judging that existing procedures have been followed. There 
are avenues available for modification of RFC 2026 should consensus to 
emerge to do so, but Mr. Morfin does not assert that there is such a 


The IAB declines to annul the decision of the IESG to approve 
publication of draft-ietf-ianaplan-icg-response.  The IAB concurs with 
the IESG appeal in its analysis of the limits of the RFC 2026 appeals 
process, and it believes that the appeals process was followed in this 
case.  The working group process remains open to Mr. Morfin, as do 
normal avenues of communication for his questions and concerns.

This appeal response has been recorded on the IAB website at: 

For the IAB,

--Ted Hardie
IAB Executive Director