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

Mark Nottingham <> Thu, 26 May 2016 07:02 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100
From: Mark Nottingham <>
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Date: Thu, 26 May 2016 17:02:27 +1000
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To: Margaret Cullen <>
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Hi Margaret,

Although sending such a message is very attractive, I don't think we should be making decisions about the meeting location based upon what message we send; the world is full of countries that abuse human rights, and we meet in many of them regularly. Many of us even live in them.

If the IETF meeting location is determined on that basis, we'll end up with a) a very small pool of potential locations, and b) lots of arguments about what is "acceptable abuse." There's also the unintended side effect of the message we send to other countries if we start discriminating in this way -- that their abuse is acceptable to us.

I think the focus on how the restrictions affect our community directly is a better way to go. YMMV, of course.


> On 26 May 2016, at 9:09 AM, Margaret Cullen <> wrote:
> I understand that this is a very difficult situation, but I think you have left something important out of your list of pros and cons.  If we cancel the Singapore meeting, we get to say _this_ to the Singapore government, who wants us to meet there enough that they have offered us $150K in incentives for us to come there:
>> “    Singapore laws against same-sex relationships between men and
>>   preventing the recognition of same-sex marriages could create
>>   difficulties for same-sex partners and their children; these have
>>   discouraged affected members of our community from participating
>>   at the IETF meeting in November of 2017 and have also influenced
>>   others to decline to attend in principled solidarity with them.
>>   Accordingly, the IETF has decided to postpone indefinitely the meeting
>>   in Singapore and is pursuing alternative venues.”
> If, instead, we hold this milestone meeting in Singapore despite the fact that these issues have been raised, we are sending the message that we consider basic human rights violations to be no more of a disincentive to visiting a particular venue than visa issues, cost considerations, or other items that have been raised in this discussion as examples of why “no venue is perfect”.
> Margaret
> _______________________________________________
> Recentattendees mailing list

Mark Nottingham