Re: [79all] IETF Badge

Samuel Weiler <weiler+ietf@watson.org> Thu, 11 November 2010 08:17 UTC

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From: Samuel Weiler <weiler+ietf@watson.org>
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Subject: Re: [79all] IETF Badge
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On Sunday, 7 November, the secretariat announced to the 79all list:

> Please note that you will need to wear your badge at all times 
> during the meeting to gain access to the various meeting rooms. 
> Onsite security will be here to verify that only registered 
> attendees are allowed access to meeting sessions.

At the IAOC open mike yesterday, I observed that the above 
announcement was made with no explanation, with no advance warning, 
and with no opportunity for community input.  I also observed that it 
is a change in practice.  I expressed concerns about process and 
transparency, not about whether we should have badge police -- let's 
leave that conversation for another day.

The IAOC offered four explanations at the plenary:
1) There's an RFC that requires us to wear badges.
2) Badges have been checked occasionally in the past, usually in
terminal rooms.
3) We've had past problems with equipment disappearing, and
4) "The local host requires ... checking the people in the meeting
areas who are registered for the meeting".  (Point 4 verbatim from
the transcript.)

Having pondered the IAOC's answers, I find that I am still confused 
and I remain concerned about the process.  Specific follow-up 
questions are below.

The first two answers are not on point: we do not have badge police on 
working group rooms at a normal IETF meeting[1].

The third answer does not justify a last-minute, unexplained change in 
practice: if we were concerned about theft, we could have said that 
months ago, just as we announced the network authentication changes. 
We could even have asked the community how much it cares and whether 
this is an acceptable solution.

Which brings us to answer four: the local host imposed a requirement
on us.

That seems notably at odds with answer three.  Which is accurate? 
Was this an IAOC/IETF action that could have been explained in 
advance, or was this a unilateral requirement from the host?

If it is the former, why did the IAOC think this was an acceptable 
change to make at the last minute, with no explanation and no 
consultation?  If the latter, why is the IAOC allowing the host to 
dictate such details of our meeting operations, particularly without 
any form of explanation or advance warning?

In either case, I call on both the IAOC and the local host to tell the 
guards to back off.  Let's have a normal meeting (or what remains of 
it), as the IAOC assured us we would.

-- Sam Weiler, paid IETF79 attendee


[1] Indeed, I'm not sure we have ever had badge police on the meeting 
rooms (v. the terminal room).  No specific example was offered last 
night, nor do I remember one from my experience in the IETF.