Re: On the difference between scenarios A and B in Carl's report

Margaret Wasserman <> Mon, 06 September 2004 14:27 UTC

Received: from ( []) by (8.9.1a/8.9.1a) with ESMTP id KAA08110; Mon, 6 Sep 2004 10:27:07 -0400 (EDT)
Received: from ([]) by with esmtp (Exim 4.33) id 1C4KVr-0007fu-82; Mon, 06 Sep 2004 10:30:31 -0400
Received: from localhost.localdomain ([] by with esmtp (Exim 4.32) id 1C4KMv-0003wW-Am; Mon, 06 Sep 2004 10:21:17 -0400
Received: from ([] by with esmtp (Exim 4.32) id 1C4KL7-0003fI-9c for; Mon, 06 Sep 2004 10:19:25 -0400
Received: from ( []) by (8.9.1a/8.9.1a) with ESMTP id KAA07761 for <>; Mon, 6 Sep 2004 10:19:23 -0400 (EDT)
Received: from ([] by with esmtp (Exim 4.33) id 1C4KOJ-0007aH-JL for; Mon, 06 Sep 2004 10:22:46 -0400
Received: from [] (account margaret HELO []) by (CommuniGate Pro SMTP 4.1.8) with ESMTP-TLS id 152791; Mon, 06 Sep 2004 10:15:16 -0400
Mime-Version: 1.0
Message-Id: <p0602043dbd620cadefd7@[]>
In-Reply-To: <129F9C12EAF23C28123178C5@B50854F0A9192E8EC6CDA126>
References: <129F9C12EAF23C28123178C5@B50854F0A9192E8EC6CDA126>
Date: Mon, 06 Sep 2004 10:19:15 -0400
To: Harald Tveit Alvestrand <>,
From: Margaret Wasserman <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format="flowed"
X-Spam-Score: 0.2 (/)
X-Scan-Signature: b280b4db656c3ca28dd62e5e0b03daa8
Subject: Re: On the difference between scenarios A and B in Carl's report
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.5
Precedence: list
List-Id: IETF-Discussion <>
List-Unsubscribe: <>, <>
List-Post: <>
List-Help: <>
List-Subscribe: <>, <>
X-Spam-Score: 0.2 (/)
X-Scan-Signature: 73734d43604d52d23b3eba644a169745

Hi Harald,

At 9:32 AM +0200 9/6/04, Harald Tveit Alvestrand wrote:
>These BCPs are the IETF's expectations on IETF behaviour. They 
>cannot constrain the behaviour of ISOC, unless ISOC makes an explict 
>commitment by Board resolution to do so, as it has done for its 
>roles in the standards process, the Nomcom process and IPR issues.

Any of the choices that you have put forth would require an explicit 
resolution by the ISOC Board of Trustees.  I don't personally think 
that one type of ISOC Board resolution represents a lesser commitment 
than another, and I believe that ISOC's track record shows that we 
take the responsibilities quite seriously that we have accepted based 

At 9:32 AM +0200 9/6/04, Harald Tveit Alvestrand wrote:
>- Declarations in the form of changes to ISOC bylaws to enshrine 
>ISOC's commitment to the IETF support function (Mechanism 1)

Just  a point of clarification:

The ISOC By-Laws do not say anything about what ISOC does.  They only 
describe the top-level ISOC governance structure, such as the 
responsibilities of the ISOC President and Board of Trustees.  The 
By-Laws don't even state how the Board is constituted or selected, 
those decisions are left to the Board.

What changes would you suggest at this level to enshrine ISOC's 
commitment to the IETF support function?

It would make more sense, IMO, to update ISOC's guiding principals 
and mission ( to include 
an expanded responsibility for IETF support.

>- Promises from ISOC to the IETF community in the form of an MoU 
>between ISOC and the IETF (Mechanism 5)

I don't understand what legal entity would hold up the "IETF" end of 
this MOU.  Currently when someone needs to make a contract with the 
IETF (the RFC Editor, another standards group, a hotel, etc.) that 
contract is signed by either ISOC or CNRI/Foretec acting on behalf of 
the IETF.  Do you know of  some way that the IETF (by which I think 
you mean the standards development portion) can be an MOU signatory? 
Would the IETF approve the MOU by publishing a BCP on our end?

>- Changes to the ISOC governance structure so that it is more likely 
>that any potential conflict will be detected early, and that action 
>will be taken to fix it in a manner that is satisfactory to the IETF 
>(mechanisms 2, 3, 4, 6, 7)

I have some quibbles with the specific mechanisms described in Carl's 
document, but something along these lines might be feasible.  I don't 
personally think that these changes are necessary, though, because I 
believe that the ISOC and IETF governance and funding models are 
already sufficiently intertwined.

IMO, no set of BCPs, MOUs, By-Laws or rules will ensure the 
philosophical and strategic alignment of two separate communities 
over the long term.  Either there is natural alignment (because we 
are comprised of and accountable to a single community, as I believe 
that the IETF and ISOC are today) or there is not.  The real answer 
to maintaining ISOC's alignment (or the alignment of any corporation) 
with the IETF community is for the IETF community to remain actively 
engaged in ISOC.  We can do this by becoming members of ISOC, 
volunteering to serve on the ISOC Board or ISOC committees, joining 
ISOC chapters, participating in ISOC Board member elections, 
influencing the choice of IETF-selected Board members, responding to 
ISOC opinion polls, attending ISOC Board meetings, etc.

Although there is already a significant level of engagement between 
ISOC and the IETF community, I think that an increase in ISOC's 
responsibilities to the IETF should be accompanied by an increase in 
IETF community engagement in ISOC.  This increased engagement may 
happen as a natural outgrowth of ISOC taking increased 
responsibility, or we may need to do some things to encourage it.


Ietf mailing list