Re: Concerns about Singapore

Andrew Allen <> Sat, 09 April 2016 15:53 UTC

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From: Andrew Allen <>
To: David Conrad <>, Dhruv Dhody <>
Subject: Re: Concerns about Singapore
Thread-Topic: Concerns about Singapore
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Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2016 15:53:03 +0000
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My few pesos worth on this topic.

The website link provided also identifies 13 US states ‎where such laws still exists on the books and although due to a 2003 Supreme Court decision people are no longer prosecuted for violations there have according to the site still been arrests under these laws.

Two of the state's listed (Florida and Texas) were locations for 2 of the last 3 IETF meetings hosted in the USA.

‎Are we now saying that these13 US States are also now off the list of possible locations even though we have had several meetings in some of these states without any issues?

‎I think as a basic  principle we should ensure that meeting locations are accessible to all the community and no one should be denied attendance because of who they are, their race,  orientation, religion, politics  or where they are from etc.

It is however a little different if the location's  laws bar certain personal activities including for example what substances you ingest that may be legal in some places and not others or different laws regarding the public use of tobacco as well as other more  personal activities, including what age you need to be to do so legally. ‎I don't think it is entirely unreasonable for people to abstain for 6 days from personal activities legal in their own country that may be against local laws in order to attend an IETF meeting regardless of how unreasonable or obnoxious  those laws may be to us.

I think we need to accept that different places in the world have different cultures and different laws and so long as those laws don't actually prevent you entering the country or obtaining suitable accommodation or cause you to have  to lie in order to do so or significantly affect your personal safety these shouldn't completely rule out a location although they may be a consideration when evaluating between locations .

Having been to Singapore once before I am certain there are no room police patrolling the hotel corridors trying to ascertain what activities the guests are up to in their own rooms. There were also no personal questions asked at hotel registration as far as I recall ( I am sure I would have remembered that) so I don't see it as an especially hostile environment.‎ I think the IETF should confirm with the meeting hotels that there will be no issues in that regard and also a check with the Singapore authorities that there will be no threat to IETF participants because of their orientation or marital status would be a sensible measure.

I understand that certain laws and cultural ‎attitudes in some places may make some feel uncomfortable. As a British citizen seeing Malvinas Son Arentinas posters all over Buenos Aires was not the most welcome sight to me and to a degree offends some of my particular sensibilities and if I walked around Plaza de Mayo wearing a union jack t- shirt I think I might get a hostile reaction but that doesn't mean Argentina should be off limits to IETF. When visiting another country you are a guest there and you need to be willing to conform your public behavior in order to not offend the hosts and not violate local laws and that you may have to accept that you may not always have the same freedoms you enjoy at home. When in Rome.....

I don't think the IETF should boycott locations just because the community doesn't like some of the laws of that country or aspects of that countries governments policies‎.  That is a very slippery slope that could significantly reduce the number of possible meeting locations and also distract from the IETF mission.

I think the hard and fast criteria should be is the location  in practice open for every‎body to attend and will the attendees be reasonably safe there.


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.
From: David Conrad
Sent: Thursday, April 7, 2016 17:20
To: Dhruv Dhody
Cc: Discussion
Subject: Re: Concerns about Singapore

​No, I meant that IETF would be doing a disservice to a large part of the world (that has on its books these laws).

For reference:

(haven't verified, but I read it on the Internet so it must be true)