Re: [Diversity] 'Paywall, ' IETF self-sufficiency, increasing participation (was Re: Remote participation fees)

Pranesh Prakash <pranesh@cis-india.org> Sun, 01 March 2015 02:05 UTC

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Date: Sun, 01 Mar 2015 07:35:39 +0530
From: Pranesh Prakash <pranesh@cis-india.org>
Organization: Centre for Internet and Society
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To: Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Diversity] 'Paywall, ' IETF self-sufficiency, increasing participation (was Re: Remote participation fees)
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Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com> [2015-03-001 14:15:05 
+1300]:
> Additionally, the IETF interprets each person's input as individual,
> whether it is or it isn't. That in itself is quite effective in
> disenfranchising employers.

Is there an RFC that states this?

Further, regardless of how the IETF treats inputs in theory, the reality is:
1) A large percentage of IETF participants are paid by their employers 
for participating in IETF proceedings and meetings.
2) Employers are in no way, shape, or form discouraged from putting 
forward their views through their employees.
3) A sizeable number of IETF participants do so using their work e-mail 
addresses.
4) Employers' names are mentioned in each RFC to indicate an 
individual's pedigree.

I would like to know how employers are disenfranchised when this is the 
reality.

I find this entire "we are all individuals" line to be the foundational 
fiction of the IETF.  Slowly that has gotten extended into the "IETF is 
a the most open, multistakeholder Internet governance body" line.

> Also we do, all of us, know how to recognise when someone is parrotting
> the BigEvil Corporation's party line, and we all know that if six people
> with the same affiliation have identical opinions on a contentious
> point, that's roughly equivalent to one individual opinion.

My worry isn't BigEvil corporation.  My concern is that pretending 
individuals who are paid for by their employers and those who 
participate purely in their personal capacity are somehow equal because 
of their equal capacity to hum is fallacious and harmful towards 
achieving diversity.  The first step towards achieving diversity is 
recognizing that a) there is a lack of diversity; b) there are reasons 
preventing diversity.

> The rough consensus process is actually quite good at resisting gaming
> by BigEvil Corporation; see sections 6 and 7 of RFC 7282.

Again: my concern isn't gaming of consensus, nor do I believe 
corporations who sponsor their employees' IETF work are evil.  My 
concern is diversity within the IETF and within the larger sphere of 
Internet governance.

-- 
Pranesh Prakash
Policy Director, Centre for Internet and Society
T: +91 80 40926283 | W: http://cis-india.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/pranesh_prakash