Re: [Recentattendees] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100

Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com> Tue, 31 May 2016 05:30 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100
To: lloyd.wood@yahoo.co.uk
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From: Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com>
Organization: University of Auckland
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Date: Tue, 31 May 2016 17:29:55 +1200
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Lloyd,

A few factual corrections below.

On 31/05/2016 15:31, lloyd.wood@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
>> But there's another problem, too: because the IETF is a technical organization
>> that publishes documents, everyone who participates in the IETF by definition
>> finds it acceptable to make technical statements, otherwise they wouldn't be
>> IETF participants. That's what they signed up for. They might not be willing
>> to make statements in other fields, because that's not what they signed up for.
>> We don't know until we ask them. We might want to do that before making
>> non-technical statements in the name of the organization.
> 
> too late.
> 
> See e.g RFC3271 ('ideology', 'noble goal'),

That was indeed sponsored by the IETF operations area. But it
is very explicitly not an IETF consensus document (or maybe
you didn't read the Abstract).

> RFC1984, RFC7258...

Those (and RFC2804) are not non-technical. They talk about the technical
impacts of limitations on cryptography, of wiretapping features, and
pervasive monitoring on the security of Internet protocols. Clearly they
convey technical implications for regulatory policy, but so do many
scientific or technical documents.

> The IETF is now a function of the Internet Society (ISOC), 

No it isn't. The actual phrase was carefully chosen - "an organized activity
of the Internet Society" - to indicate that it is *not* a function of ISOC.

> expressing
> the policies of the Internet Society within its technical domain.

No it doesn't.

> (Because the IETF famously couldn't govern itself, 

Actually, the IETF is famous for having created its own governance structure
in 1992.

> and if there's
> just one thing that ISOC is all about, it's governing other things.)

Not in the least. The ISOC has always argued against any authoritarian
version of Internet governance.

> If you're not willing to make a statement on a non-technical field,
> ISOC will decide what you think, and make that statement for you.

ISOC has members, chapters, and so on. When it takes a position, it
results from consultation with the members.

> 
> ISOC "acts as a public relations channel for the times
> that one of the "I" groups wants to say something to the press.
> The ISOC is one of the major unsung heroes of the Internet."
> -- says ISOC, singing its praises in the Tao.

ISOC didn't write the Tao.

   Brian